Once again I waited until the end of the month to ride my gravel hundy. I purposely chose to ride alone so I could ride my own pace. My alarm was set for 5am, but after I woke at 4am, I figured that I might as well start. I strapped on my good lights and was on the bike at 4:40. My original plan was to ride a 30 mile loop to the west and meet a group of friends for singletrack near 7am. I completely misjudged.
My route went north then west to Dallas Center, then south to Adel. It was very dark and foggy so I was conscious of being safe. However, I still had two stealth farm dogs try to run me down - Scared the crap out of me both times. South out of Adel on Old Portland Road (btw a bridge is out - so I added 5miles for a detour into DeSoto). Then east until I found the Great Western Trail. Off the trail several times to find gravel side roads and I ultimately made it to Casey's on Bell Ave. for breakfast.
It was now 9am, I was feeling good and I had 55miles in. After eating I worked my way to the center trails. Headed to Denmans and rode it reverse, then forward. Then onto Hillside and Roller Coaster. Finally back to Denmans for a reverse and forward trip again. I didn't ever find the guys, but saw a few that I knew out there (Justin and Sarah, Mrs. Squirrel).
By this time, I had around 80-83 miles and needed to make it to my daughters soccer game out in Waukee. I went through Raccoon River Park, onto Grand and out Booneville road. It was nice to be able to string more gravel together that direction. Finally south of Booneville, then west to VanMeter then north to the Waukee soccer fields.
I finished with around 105 miles in around 9hours of ride time. I didn't feel too bad and this route was actually really nice. By eliminating Old Portland Road and riding the route via VanMeter, it would lose a few miles. However, you would gain it back as I had received a ride home from the soccer game (no need to get more miles, right?).
So this makes 9 gravel hundies in consecutive months. 3 more to go to complete the year.