Monday, October 19, 2015

Flight to Waukee on the Fast Tandem


Been quite sometime since we put on significant miles on a weekend.  Even longer since we rode our fast tandem.  The only obligation was to attend the State Marching Band Competition and later the Waukee Marching Band Invitational both of which our daughter, Dora, was participating.  Fortunately, both were held at the same location, Waukee HS football field.

We considered taking the touring tandem because it was going to be seasonably colder and that bike has panniers.  But after staring at the forecast it was decided that we would not really need to carry extra clothing.  Besides, I never did get faster tires for this beast and its slowness during Ragbrai still haunts me.  So I pulled the Cannondale RT3000 out of its slumber, cobwebs and all, aired the tires, placed some basic lights on it and called it good.  The plan was that we could return home and add extra lights and warmer clothes if needed.

If there ever was a time to set a speed record through the Clive Greenbelt Saturday would have been it.  The bike carved the turns and curves up like a hot knife through butter!  Such a change of pace from the pre-dawn hours that we ride through here Monday through Friday.  Despite a wonder average speed we were a bit late.

Problem #2 was that forgot to hit the bank.  Of course, my bank and its ATMs have no locations in Waukee, Adel, Dallas Center or anywhere along the Raccoon River Valley Trail.   Being the cheap person I am we rode 6 miles back to West Des Moines and hit my bank.  Then 6 miles back to Waukee and the trail.

$7900 for the VW $3400 for the Chevy

Other business was attended to.  I needed a photo of "something for sale" for the Bicycle Ride and Seek page on FaceBook.  A VW bug with eyelashes and a smile and a "for sale" sign presented itself for that photo.  Needed to visit a coffee shop for the Coffeeneuring Challenge so we stopped at Caribou Coffee right off the trail.  Then a bit of trail riding.

Lincoln HS Marching Rails

With over an hour left until Dora's next performance we stopped at Hy Vee's Market Grille for a beer and a chance to watch some college football.  $3 pints of local craft beer during College GameDay.  Dangerous.  We did witness live the last 10 seconds of the Michigan-Michigan State game and the dropped ball ran in for the game winning touchdown.  And I will say this, ISU was holding their own against TCU while we were watching.

Finally arriving at the band competition we were blessed with a number of very good high school marching bands.  Dora's band, Des Moines Lincoln HS,  played 4 selections from Elton john--Funeral for a Friend, Love Lies Bleeding, Your Song and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting.  She plays a large bass drum and had a triangle solo during your Song.

Riding home proved to be a challenge.  First of all, I only had my prescription sunglasses.  Secondly, only had a crappy AA front light.  The greenbelt would be a dark twisty nightmare.  Needless to say, we took it slow, killed our average speed and perhaps rolled off the trail 3 times.  We never crashed or had to stop but I was glad to reach the lights of the trail near Gray's Lake.  Lesson learned.  Always put on the good lights and always take my regular glasses.

61 miles.  Felt great to ride that bike again.  The last time we had it out was in June.

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