Sunday, May 1, 2011

Project Backroads

That tree...  It's in the middle of the "road".

Two things.  First, I'm an idea guy.  I have a ton of what I think are good ideas, a few of which might actually be.  Only a handful usually ever see the light of day though since I'm easily distracted and the next shiny object is never far from sight.  It's different when I'm on the job, but my time is my time and I feel I'm free to do what I want with it and leave as many projects half completed as I see fit.  That being said, this one might have some staying power.  For a while now I've thought about how cool it would be to map out and take pictures of all the B roads in Iowa and make them publicly accessible.  It's not something I've found yet in my half-assed Google searches.  I've found bits and pieces of info, but that's about it.  Well, this weekend I finally got off my butt and started working on this project.  Over two days I mapped out and took pictures of more that a dozen B roads across four counties.  I rode a good chunk of them and will write up some descriptions as well.  Right now I'm looking for a way to integrate them into Google Earth and make them publicly accessible, but that may not end up being the best way to do this so some research will go into it.  Once I figure out at least a good starting point for this project, I'll start posting updates here.  Ultimately I'm hoping this picks up traction and ends up being a community project.  Still...  Baby steps.  Check back later this week for more on this endeavor. 

Second, a quick ride update.  Got in almost 100 miles of gravel and B roads this weekend.  Logged another metric for the Cup O' Dirt, bringing my total up to 1 full and four metrics.  Once I get a photo prepped, look for that on the COD site.  Rides were your standard fare with extra B roads, although I was ignoring my nutrition today and paid the price with two good bonks.  As anyone who does distance riding knows, there's a couple ways you can bonk.  Sometimes they creep up on you and give you fair warning, and sometimes they jump out of the shadows and take you down ninja style.  Today, the first one hit me like a shuriken to the jugular.  As I started sucking down an emergency Gu I went back and counted my calories.  The ride started off as a short trip to Dairy Queen with the lady and her son, but the next four hours after that saw me take in a grand total of 300 calories.  Oops.  Add to that the strong winds and an above average effort, and I'm surprised it didn't hit me sooner.  That's the power of the chocolate dipped cone, I guess.  The second one came near the end of my ride, but wasn't as bad.  I recovered and finished off my ride a few miles later.

Next weekend I'm planning on hitting some more B roads around the Amanas.  I know of a few good ones out there with some water crossings mixed in.  I know of a few other areas to check out, but after that I'll start doing this adventure style.  Should make for a good summer.

1 comment:

  1. B roads are my friends. I would love a map of every B road in Iowa, would be fun to plan bike and camp trips.