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Good night one and all.  Six months until we all join forces.  Sleep well!

46 Replies

knees36, June 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I almost always try to make friends with any dogs along the route that wants to come out and bark at me as  I bike by their territory.  Such has been the case on my Marlo route.  The dogs would bark, but not come out to the road.  I would wave to their owner but he wouldn’t wave back…just sit in his lounge chair in the driveway.  Then things changed a bit.  I went by their house the other day and both dogs came out on the run…well kinda ran anyway…both are pretty old.  The big one looked like a pit bull, but after a closer look  I think he’s an American Bulldog…longer legs than an English Bulldog.  The other dog was a little  wirey haired terrier.  The owner was out splittling wood  in his yard.  He started yelling at his dogs to come back home.  I got off my bike and the bull dog come up to me rather carefully.  I scratched his ears, stoked his head and he must have thought that was pretty nice.  The little wirey haired guy was really wired and kept barking.  I explained to the owner that  I always try to make friends with the dogs along the route and pretty soon they hardly notice me at all except to maybe come out to get a “pat or two.”   Pretty soon the  dogs quieted down, then went back into their yard.  I got on my bike and the owner (who had been ignoring me on my previous ride past his house) said,  “Have a nice day!”  I replied, “You too”, and headed on down the road.  Coming back past his house about fifteen minutes later as part of my “loop route” both dogs were out on my side of the road waiting for me to come by.  Funny and kinda cute too!!!   I stopped, gave the bulldog some more strokes while “Wired” barked a couple of times, then they both were satisfied and went back across the road to their house.  That made my day!   And so it’s a G’night to dglenday and jdvxc who’s on line and to toadhead who was on until just a bit ago and to Sandaltan and to Davey Sprocket (who  I thought was going to his new job on July 1 rather than June 1…my bad) and to the many others who might be just going over the many entries on the forum this evening.  Cheers. 


knees36, June 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Well, a couple of weeks ago I almost “bought the farm” while out on my Marlo route.  Essentially the entire route is a straight road except for a couple of right hand turns, but about half-way there is a very gentle “S” with a small hilltop at the end of either “S” with the bottom of the hill and a bridge across the small Iowa “crick” at the center of the “S”.   A grain truck passed me even though there was a yellow line telling him, “No,no!!!”, you musn’t pass on this line and curve in the road.”  At the same time there was a car coming from the opposite direction.  So, for a rather long instant, or so it seemed to be an eternity, the three of us were on the same portion of the road, yellow lines be  d.a.m.n.e.d!!!  The truck had to get back onto “our” side of the road quickly to avoid hitting the red car and proceeded to do just that!!!  As the big wheels of the trailer closed in on me to just a few inches from my handle bars  I had to make a quick decision and went off the road hitting little tiny ditches where water had washed away the soil and limestone of the road’s shoulder.  Somehow,  I kept the bike upright to a full stop and watched the truck go over the hill and on his way.  No,  I didn’t give him “the finger.”  Instead,  I just reached down for a thankful swig of H2O, noticed some bleedng from my ankle, noticed that my bike had shifted to a different gear all by itself and then I put it back where it belonged and finally hit the road back to where my car was parked.  The next Monday  I went to the Highway Patrol office to get some advice as how to get to the employer and what to say to him (a grain elevator manager, perhaps???) to, and at least, how to advise his fleet of driver(s) about a cyclists right to the road.  The patrolman I that talked to turned out to be a biker himself (now how lucky can one guy be) and he said they’d set up some periodic  patrols on the roadway to act as a “presence” rather than me going to meet with the driver’s employer.  This, he said, usually settles down the drivers and there no longer is a problem.  Well, he must have done someting more because none of the drivers would return my wave to them as they went by me the next time I was out on the road.  BUT, they didn’t pass on the yellow line again either, and they even geared down their truck at the “S” portion of the road and then passed me at the top of the “S” like a  good driver should.  So, my little lesson for the day is to visit with your local Highway Patrol about a problem you might be having with a driver rather than tackling the problem  yourself.  With that it’s a G’night to bill60, anaypiazza, trojan99, HelenHeart, rekceps50, tfoster, cindysue, AnnG, rwesterc, and wamous who are online at this moment and to the many readers who have yet to log on.  Knees.


Sandaltan ., June 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

Good story Knees!!  Webster county is just a little safer because of you.



knees36, June 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Good evening to all you who may be on the forum yet this evening or tomorrow.  Actually it is quite late this evening so many of you may have “hit the hay” by now. 

I’m just about done riding my Marlo route (10.54 miles) for a longer route or loop.  I have had another experience worth noting here…so here goes.  Not long ago I spotted a badger’s den (and that badger himself) very close to Marlo’s home.  Marlo is a small, very light blond poodle mixed dog that barks at me at every chance he gets.  I still have not gotten very close to him to make friends with the little guy.  Anyway, I stopped recently at Marlo’s home and talked to the “man of the house” about spotting the badger and the badger’s den since “the man” has family including his wife, two small boys and Marlo living there.  He was surpised about the badger and indicated that a badger had killed one of dogs in the past.  Now  I’m not sure if a badger would attack his kids or not, but why take a chance that it might.  It would certainly attack Marlo if given the opportunity.  The den was only about 100 feet down the road from their house.  Anyway, “the man” has been informed of the badger and,  I hope, has taken some steps about relocating this very dangerous critter or maybe taken more drastic action.  

And so, riders, beware of critters like a badger while you’re out on the road pedalling your legs away.  They can be very vicious and are aggresive if they feel cornered or threatened.  Ride safely.  G’night to cofb and TexKott and to any other folk who may be lurking in a nice way on the forum tonite.  Cheers.


Sandaltan ., July 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

I don’t remember ever seeing a badger in Iowa.  I have seen them in MN, WI and MI but not Iowa.  Are they becoming more common???



Zinger, July 1, 2011 at 8:33 am

I played dodge ’em with a half dozen baby bunnies on my ride yesterday. They were extremely cute, and I would have been devastated if I’d hit one. I also saw a half grown raccoon which surprised me as it was late afternoon.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a badger although they may be what we call wooly buggers. I did have a family of skunks that lived along my favorite route one year.


knees36, July 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

Sandaltan said: I don’t remember ever seeing a badger in Iowa.  I have seen them in MN, WI and MI but not Iowa.  Are they becoming more common??? RIDE RIGHT

ST…it could be that they are becoming more common.  I’ve seen them as roadkill while riding on county  roads here in north central Iowa and have seen one at the Knierim town park about 12  miles from my home.  That one was doing his best to get to cover.  Believe me,  I just let the guy run and didn’t try to challenge him in any way…a mutual respect thing.  The badger along my Marlo route tried to hide as well, but  I was past him/her before it could get to cover.  They can be very vicious if they feel threatened.


knees36, July 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I rode my Marlo route again today expecting lots of motorcycle traffic what with ABATE going on in Algona, about 40 miles north of Dodge, but didn’t see one motorcycle on the road and only one bicyclist…me.  Even the auto traffic was very light and no trucks.  It was kinda boring…no close calls.  Marlo must have been inside ’cause he didn’t greet me with his usual cacaphony of yaps.  Even my friend in Barnum and his two dogs were nowhere to be seen…although he has lots of wood to cut again.  We had quite a storm last night with some nice winds and lots of rain.  Anyway, a large branch came down in his yard…enough firewood to last him quite awhile this winter.  The riding conditions were terrific…a cool north breeze heading toward Barnum and a light tailwind coming back.  No other significant stuff to report, so it’s a g’night to Jbrush49er, sestrain and HelenHeart who are currently online and to any of you other folk who might be lurking in these forum pages.  Later, Knees.


knees36, July 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm

While travelling to Eppley Airfield last week to fly to Virginia for a family funeral we drove through Audubon, Iowa…home of Albert the Bull.  Albert is the town’s landmark, a huge statue of this Hereford sits at the southern end of Audubon on US#71, but we didn’t see him anywhere.  “Where in the heck is Albert?”  Both of us remarked that Albert was nowhere to be seen.  I kinda forgot about “Al” until today while out on my daily ride.  As  I was putting my bike up on the car rack  I saw a pickup coming down the blacktop, pulling something on a trailer.  As the pickup got closer there was this huge statue of a Hereford bull…it just had to be Albert in all his glory going back home to Audubon!!!  Now how fortuitous is it to see Albert out on the road!!!  It made my day, seeing he was heading back home…if it truly was Albert.  Looked just like the old guy heading back to his old stomping grounds.   With that, it’s a g’night to Tony Cortez, HelenHeart and rbskiir who are online this late hour and to the rest of the forum folk who may be lurking just perusing.  Take care all…RAG is just around the corner.


helenheart, July 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm

 Good night, Knees
      Sleep tight


AnnG, July 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Knees, there was a bull sitting on a trailer for about a month in the Algona Fareway parking lot as a beef promotion, and that’s the kind of thing that you could pull in a trailer.  That one was fiberglass, I think.  But Audubon’s Albert the Bull is 36 feet long, 30 feet tall, and has a 15-foot span between the horns.  He weighs 45 tons, mostly concrete, and he just isn’t going anywhere.  Are you sure you looked in the right place when you went through Audubon? 


knees36, July 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

AnnG said: Knees, there was a bull sitting on a trailer for about a month in the Algona Fareway parking lot as a beef promotion, and that’s the kind of thing that you could pull in a trailer.  That one was fiberglass, I think.  But Audubon’s Albert the Bull is 36 feet long, 30 feet tall, and has a 15-foot span between the horns.  He weighs 45 tons, mostly concrete, and he just isn’t going anywhere.  Are you sure you looked in the right place when you went through Audubon? 

Whew!!!  That’s a lot of bull!!!  We must have just have missed Albert as we went through Audubon.  With those specs  I don’t think Albert would be going anywhere soon.  I’d now bet that I  saw the Algona bull (also named Al?) heading south.  A runt compared to Albert.  Thanks for the clarification,  Ann G. 


AnnG, July 5, 2011 at 8:30 am

Knees, I think that there are probably several trailer-sized bulls that Cattlemen’s Association folks move around from place to place, just to remind people that it’s a good time to grill a ribeye or something. 


Sandaltan ., July 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

Knees, I think I saw the Cardiff Giant one evening after leaving Mutt’s Place in Barnum.  So maybe you did see Albert the Bull in Barnum.



“Bicycle Bill”, July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

There’s a company not too far from me in Sparta WI (home of the Elroy-Sparta Bicycle Trail) that makes these sorts of fiberglass animals and what-have-you for buyers and users all across the country.  The name of this outfit is FAST — which stands for “Fiberglass Animals And Shapes”.  They made the huge muskie (fish) for the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame up in Hayward WI, for instance.

No tours, but it’s fun to go past the open field outside their plant to see the molds and — sometimes — products in various stages of construction/painting.  Google the company name for more info.



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