Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fool's Ride 2014

The photographer of this photo moments earlier endoed his bike when we flagged him down.  Dave.  Not sure how to spell his last name but it was good to see him.  Left to right; Colin, Mikey, Mary, me, and Dave, founding members of Team Mystery Machine.

After a five year absence I returned to one of the best early Spring rides in Iowa, The Fool's Ride.  This ride is held the first Saturday of April, the first Saturday after Aprils Fool's Day.  The ride takes place along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail between the cities of La Porte City and Brandon, Iowa.  Food and entertainment is provided at a place called Phat Albert's.  So 5 of us Mystery Machiners converged on La Porte City to participate along with many people who I did not know plus a few I did know.  Des Moines was also well represented by the presence of BV Heather and KOB, two of the finest baggers in the State.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

Because the trail is not paved, crushed limestone surface, and the snow still exists in ditches and mainly because my list of functioning bicycles with offroad tires is shrinking, we took the Mongoose fatbikes.  This would be the Dolomite's first public outing.  I let Mary ride it because it has gears and brakes.  I rode the Beast, single speed with coaster brakes.  Since replacing the 18T rear cog with a 22T I feel comfortable that I could ride this bike a fair distance with others on normal bikes.  Besides, the lack of racks and bags would limit the amount of beer I could carry and potential trouble I could create.  Colin took a touring bike with wide road tires, Dave a MTB and Mikey was on his road bike.  I was very happy with the Beast and Dolomite, perfect for the ride and trail surface.


I have no clue how many people were on the ride.  Perhaps 200.  No official sign up or roster.  Most rode MTBs and hybrids.  A few Des Moines folks took touring bikes.  I was impressed with the amount of people on the ride.  I was more impressed that they did not begin on time which was a good thing for us since we arrived late.

The Beast was put to good use.  Grocery bag to collect empty bevie containers.  It also carried my cooler and the new lights we needed for the ride back.

Fool's riders are the same as the bikers I hang out with in Des Moines.  They purchase beer in town and stop on bridges.  A large gathering was at the intersection of a former detour the ride took the previous year when a bridge was out.  Just people on bicycles enjoying themselves on a warm early Spring afternoon.

Taking a break.

Phat Albert's was under a Stratocaster and saxaphone attack by Bryce  Janey with special guest Skeeter Lewis.  Good sweet old R&B.  People danced and let loose.  Some girls entered the beer garden dressed as if they hit a tree on their ride to Brandon.    No cover charge and brats and burgers available.

She had a run in with a tree.

It was dark on the way back to La Porte City.  After securing the bikes at the vehicles we went to the PnB Brew Pub for food, libations and the band WAGG.  Once again no cover.  WAGG is a cover band and the singer plays a Strat.  Many and I danced with the others.  Food was mercifully available.

At the end of the night the Designated Driver took us to Cedar Falls where we crashed at Dave's apt.  We watched Ride The Divide on NetFlix before going to sleep.  dave fixed us a wonderful breakfast and after we ate he gave us a ride back to our truck for the journey back to Des Moines.  A very gracious host and excellent cook!

We plan to return.  Perhaps in September when the ride is called the Sloof Ride.  Until then we will smile at the great memories.  Great to be on bikes outside with old friends.  Life does not get much better than that!

SUPPLEMENTAL:  I am always amazed whenever I get to the Cedar River.  Is this Iowa's most beautiful waterway?  I've ridden bikes near it.  Canoed on it.  Stood on hills/bluffs above it.  Its breath taking beauty never ceases to amaze me. 

This cooler is also a backpack!  Strapped it on the bmx bars and secured it with 2 zip ties!  No problems!!

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