This bike ride on the Raccoon River Valley trail had two objectives: 1) Admire the fall colors 2) Test out new handlebars.
The Redfield grain elevator was busy when I arrived at the trailhead. Roaring dryers, semi trucks circling, and airborne corn chaff are also signs of fall in Iowa. Leaving the noise and dust behind I headed towards the river and checked out the spillway before hopping onto the trail.
The falling leaves were just as crisp as the temperatures. Colors were on the yellow side of the pallet. The trail wasn't covered completely yet and was free of limbs and walnuts so it was easy to pedal along and admire the changing scenery.
One of the gravel crossings had recently been paved. The new designs encourage cyclists to slow a bit and help with seeing oncoming traffic.
A few days prior I had replaced the handlebars on the Iron Giant and taken short spins to test them out. I was looking forward to see what they felt like on a longer ride.
I love the look of the new bars, and the different vantage point from behind them. The upright posture is a way better fit. The set up isn't aesthetically perfect since I'm using the same shifters, but it worked just fine and was very comfortable grip.
Handlebars and the weather don't appear to be the only thing changing. My bike riding is entering a new season as well. Another mile away from the norm that is Iowa cycling and closer to what is unique to me.