Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Ride of 2010

Today's high climbed into the mid 50's, a rare, but very welcome treat for this time of year. I got off to a late start, after 3:00pm, and I had no route planned, except to follow the front wheel.

There was a vibrant and aggressive southwest wind, so I headed south into the wind, hoping the wind wouldn't change direction on my way back north (it happens to me quite often). I headed down through the Amish neighborhood south of Grabill, IN. This Amish dairy always looks tidy and prosperous.

Some gravelly goodness. Fortunately, the road is still frozen, just the very surface is thawed, making a very firm and non-slippery ride. I took the studded Nokian tires off so I could make better time.

I wound south to North River Road, back under I-469. This stretch of 469 has been renamed "Ronald Reagan Expressway", a distinction bestowed upon the road by our dubious and former congressman Mark Souder. Personally, I can think of some better names for the highway. Ronald Reagan has only been to this area once, and that was during the great flood of 1982.

The Maumee River east of New Haven.

Here's the entrance to the Rivergreenway at New Haven. Intersection of Landin Road and Lake Avenue Extended.

Maplecrest Road is being extended across the Maumee River to make a vital connection to New Haven. This will cut travel time for folks on the northeast side of Fort Wayne from 10 minutes to 5 minutes. In the meantime, the Greenway is useless from this point east all the way to Coliseum Boulevard. Why the city doesn't include temporary re-routing plans into the bridge construction is beyond me.

Getting back to the greenway involves riding through many parking lots. It's safer riding on busy Coliseum Blvd., a 6 lane freeway, than it is riding through all of these parking lots.

Ahh, back on the trail along the Maumee.
The filtration plant for Fort Wayne. The city takes river water, cleans it up here, and pumps it throughout the town.

This fellow, a Jesuit Priest who was supposedly the first European in this area, is pointing directly to the confluence of the St. Marys and St Joseph Rivers. Where the meet is the start of the Maumee River.
The St. Marys is there to the far right, behind those bushes. Just before the bridge is the beginning of the Maumee River, the conduit which directs all surface water in this area to Toledo, OH, and Lake Erie.

Here's the location for tomorrow's Polar Bear plunge. No snow, no ice. Should be pleasant.
The dam on the St. Joe just upstream from Johnny Appleseed Park.

Under Coliseum Blvd. to the Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne campus.

Up the hill to Shoaff Park. With quickly waning daylight, I chose to ride faster and not take anymore photos. Still 7 miles to go at this point.

The warm weather was sure welcome. The temperature is dropping slowly now, and will continue to do so until Monday. High temp of 20 on Monday, a normal high.

I hope all of you folks had a great 2010, I really did. My family and friends are healthy, happy, most are employed, although a nephew is Afghanistan and we wish him a safe stay until his return in July.

Be safe out there, and Happy New Year!


rlove2bike said...

Another interesting post with some nice photos. We had some rain here yesterday and today, but it was no where near the 50 mark. As you know, rain here this time of year is rare.

That water will still be cold tomorrow. We wish her luck and have fun with it.

Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

Pondero said...

Way to take advantage of the warmer air. You covered a very wide-variety of surfaces on that ride. Happy New Year!

Chandra said...

Very nice ride you did, Bill!
Happy New Year!!
Peace :)

Apertome said...

Great photos! Looks like a fun ride. I took advantage of the warm weather today too, and suffered against the same wind.

I enjoyed your commentary about the rivers. I didn't know that the two join to form the Maumee ... interesting how that works.

Happy New Year!

jeff said...

Nice ride and nice photos. Thanks for taking us along. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Here in Springfield, our old water treatment plant dates about the same as the one you pictured. What's interesting to me is that both ours and yours are architecturally distinct. Nowadays, the emphasis is on function and style is given a back seat. I love those old buildings that are a work of art in themselves.

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

That looked like a nice ride to finish off the year. I liked your plan to "just follow the front tire". :)