115 miles with Sacred Grass Cutters, Resers surface, Rocky Joins

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Cycle America/N, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. Mighty Jim Muellner continues to make small work of a task that would challenge even the most fit of
    athletes. Day in day out without the aid of massage practitioners, special foods or any kind of sag
    support, this giant of a man is making a mockery of his 67 years. And to top it off, he has enough
    left over to keep our eyes filled to the brim with his fun descriptions of the roads on which he
    finds himself. Indeed this man's crossing of the US (he may go all the way!) is already raising the
    bar for what we, as cyclists, can expect from ourselves as we grow into our older years. Too much!!

    We heard from the Reser brothers today! They are cranking along, much We heard from the Reser
    brothers today! They are cranking along, much enjoying the ride albeit cut off from the on line
    world with a broken Pocket Mail device (only the second time this has happened to any of our many
    TransAm riders over the last 5 years). In other exciting news, Jeff Longtin and Peter Borgen left St
    Paul MN today . Their send off was blessed by Mayor Randy Kelly. We soon should be hearing from
    them! And if that's not enough, the city of Des Moines and Bike World are building a huge reception
    for our riders. Owner and TransAmn vet, Forest Ridgeway knows what the open road is like, so he has
    deputized one of his able promoters, Josh Lukins to make sure our riders are made to feel like the
    heroes they are! And Josh has teamed up with Mayor Preston Daniels senior scheduler, Lorna Davros,
    to make sure no stone is left unturned!! WOW!!

    And more later but Rocky Brown signed on to take the Boise to Portland relay leg that Skot Paschal
    rode thru the fires for us on last year. Here's Jim:
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    Hi You dry people:

    Tho April Showers May come your way they bring the flowers that bloom in May. I think it should
    be: May and June showers WILL come your way, but they bring wet tires that make a rooster (tail,
    ed) without an egg.

    The day started well, however as time wore on the rain drops came and continued the rest of the day.
    It did produce some neat effects on the numerous cattle. They all looked clean and shiny. The new
    little calves learn fast and put their rear ends toward the rain. I always imagine they are saying
    to their moms, 'I liked it better inside'. I am always impressed how patient the cows are as these
    little calves learn how to nurse. -- punching the utter to get things started. Life is so
    fascinating. I remember having to hand nurse a calf once and the calf would punch my leg whenever I
    came into its pen.

    Missed an item from the trail riding that I did a few days ago. We were surrounded by tall trees and
    water on both sides. Suddenly you would see a dome from some power plant, you could imagine it being
    a space ship ready to pick you up. Other times the large power towers would appear in huge rows,
    with their large arms outstretched, reaching into the distance,. Most any Star Wars Geek could
    easily imagine the huge machines marching across the desert from the movies, I sure could. Well,
    maybe I have been riding too long, but it was fun to play act to pass the time.

    Today I noted a change in farm buildings. They are all white, the walls and roof. In MN they are
    traditionally red. Some super paint salesman must have had a lot of white paint. They look very
    neat, but white?

    You can see that there has been some severe weather around here over the years. The old barns have
    their metal roofs peeled away and there are lots of holes blown thru the walls. One was sway backed
    and twisted into a unique shape that would have made a yoga specialist proud. The only thing working
    was the wind mill.

    Saw a few partridge also, they sure are small and delicate looking. The wild turkeys are becoming
    more common, unfortunately they are also becoming road kill.

    Living in Minnesota. I always imagined Iowa as being flat. Don't let anyone kid you. I have biked up
    some of the longest and steepest hills imaginable.

    Have I been lost? Well you might say that. In trying to pick a flatter or quieter route I have wound
    up at some of the most remote parts of the state. After riding south of Hwy 80 I am back on Hwy 6
    hoping to find the flat terrain of legend.

    There must be a religious cult in Iowa called the Sacred Grass Cutters. Every inch that is not
    planted must be mowed or there will be hell to pay. Is there no one here who likes tall grass
    blowing in the wind? Where birds can nest and hide. Where rabbits can nibble at the new shoots. Cut
    grass looks fine in a park or cemetery, but along every highway? It sure is a waste of fuel. Maybe
    we could have prevented the war by stopping all the unnecessary grass cutting around the country. I
    even saw some people fertilizing so their grass would grow faster, so they could cut it more. They
    need a bike to wear off some of that energy.

    Found a dry unused shed last night as the rain did not want to stop. Make do with what you have my
    mother taught me.

    Goodnight all, Jim

    Hi All you beautiful people:

    Never did find that clump of trees. Besides the folks at Green River golf course said I should go
    for Moline. The trail at the end would make it worthwhile, I was told. As I passed the last freeway
    between myself and the river I felt I just might make it.

    I tried to read the map of the area, but nothing matched. Saw Janet, a Flemish woman working on her
    fields and so I asked her. None of the names matched, but her advice was excellent. She was busy
    restoring prairie grass to some of her land.

    Following her advice I made it down to the river where I was able to enjoy a Greek chicken dinner
    and one of 24 flavors of soft ice cream. What a deal.

    The "great river trail" ran along the highway for quite some time. But ultimately it flanked the
    river. It was spectacular with the lights of the Quad cities in the background. The insects were out
    in droves as were the fishermen. It was well after eight by the time I reached the bridge on the far
    end of town. The ones before it were freeway oriented. To makes matters worse, it was under repair.
    At least the drivers were kind to me in most cases.

    Finally getting across the river I headed for a private camping spot in town. Got to an ice cream
    store just as they were closing. While it was cooling down outside, I still enjoyed the cone. And
    the shop keepers there gave me the final assurance I was on the right track.

    Got to my campsite and checked my computer, 115 miles, that is right. Hopefully my legs will move
    tomorrow. Thankfully it was flat except the last 20 miles. Also there was a slight tail wind.
    Anything from the back is a blessing.

    Goodnight all, Jim

    Hi Wonderful People: Thank you for reading my ramblings. It is sometimes difficult to be positive,
    but today was not one of them. The sun actually shined between 12 and 2pm. I almost wanted to lay in
    it and get a tan. The weatherman said we should expect more rain Thursday and Friday, Oh boy I can
    hardly wait.

    Yep, this is hilly country, don't let anyone kid you. It is great training for the mountains ahead.
    I have been getting some advice from Chuck Anderson in Colorado (of http://www.CycleTourist.com) and
    I don't know which scares me more: the distance between our reception cities or the mountains. I
    will just resort to my trusty low gear and go for it.

    When I see all the railroad tracks along any bumpy road I find myself on, I dream of riding a
    rail bike.

    Saw some wood carvings along the way. No wonder there are no trees left.

    Saw several more round barn like structures, but under closer observations I wonder if they were
    really corn cribs of large size. Does anyone know?

    Passed a herd of Jersey cattle with the big doe eyes. My parents had one like that when I was young
    in New Munich, MN. They sure look gentle.

    Saw a huge scrap yard in the area behind a farm. It had every piece of junk imaginable. Could not
    figure out why it was located so far from anywhere. But there was a rail spur to it so they must
    work at sorting
    it.

    Stopped to buy some camping food. No not the kind you need hot water for. I bought a loaf of bread,
    several tins of sardines and kipper snacks, some trail mix, bananas, apples and some crackers. I
    felt I needed some food just in case I got stuck somewhere without a restaurant. It is amazing that
    out here in Iowa you can ride thru town after town with not a restaurant in sight. Often, when you
    do see something it is fast food so I just go hungry in hopes of finding real food. This is the real
    reason I love biking in Europe.

    Enough of my complaining. Hey, the sun is out again and life is good. Reporting from Hwy 6,
    somewhere in Iowa, looking for a camp site.

    Love to all, Jim

    ------------------------------
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