Monday, May 29, 2017

Late Night at the High Trestle

That white speck in the upper right corner is the moon.

Not that late, really, but our first visit to it at night this year.  Rode our tandem there from our home in Des Moines.  Met some friends at FireTrucker Brewery in Ankeny and got to The Bridge just after darkness fell.  Got home late!  It was Rob's idea, his Memorial Day Weekend Ride.  This year he had his largest turnout, 6 people.  No rain!

Mary and I took our fast tandem because I feared that our lights would die on us on the way back if we rode our fast singles.  So we carried an extra light that we did not need.  It was our second tandem ride of the year and the bike is now 2 for 2 in stopping at breweries for 2017!

In the past it has been 40 miles from our home to the center of the High Trestle.  This time 37+ to the glorious blue lights.  We rode through downtown (ATM raid) and East Village, rolled past Captain Roy's and instead of turning on the trail we went forward on Cornell St which tuns into NE 3rd St all the way to NE 60th in which we had a crisis of confidence.  Original plan was to take 6th Ave north and we lost our bearings and had to look at Google Maps while enjoying the shade at Hamilton's Funeral Home.  Take a left not the right, cross 2nd and turn right on NW 6th Dr and roll through Saylor Township and into Ankeny and ending up on the sidepath at the Git n Go on the corner of Irvinedale Ave and Oralabor Rd.  Normally we would have gone north here and intercept the trail on the west side of Ankeny but we headed east to rendezvous at the brewery.

Crazy Man #1  At our turn on the sidepath across form Hy Vee we encountered a man with a bright orange cardboard sign.  My first impression was that he was advertising $5 pizzas for Little Caesar's. Nope.  REPENT!!  The light could not change quickly enough.  I told him the real sinners were those in their the shiny metal climate changers destroying God's Creation by driving on such a beautiful day.  He had no answer except REPENT!  His Shakespearean accented voice, though subtle, gave him away as a fraud.  Kicked out of the drama club, eh Jordan?

Hydrant pale Ale in the glass.  Rob got a 4 pack of Burnout Brown.  He almost got the Brigade until he saw that it was a golden lager and subsequently exchange it.  Barkeep not impressed!

We got to FireTrucker about the same time, Rob, Bill, Carl and Jeff arrived.  There would be 6 of us riding.  The place was busy and the barkeeps were overwhelmed and Rob asked dumb questions that confused everyone.  Eventually, we all were served and we purchased 2 4 packs to go.  Bridge beers as we called them.  4 Burnout Browns and 4 Uptown IPAs.  Ready, set go!

The wind!  It was a strong bastard from the west.  We would be blasted by the cross wind while riding to Slater and did not look forward to the head wind when we would turn west at that town.  But we carried on and did not complain.

Mary, Bill, Jeff and Rob.  Once again Carl is missing.

Crazy Man #2  We regrouped at the Oasis.  Jeff was not the fastest on his hybrid.  Rob rode a Trek carbon roadie, Bill a Gunnar touring bike with flat bars (neck issues), Carl a Torker with drops and disc brakes and Mary and I the Cannondale tandem with 700x25 Gatorskins.  We were complimented by our pace.  but at the Oasis a man with one of those yellow brim sun blockers added to his helmet and a Trek Discovery OCLV approached us and said that one cannot be a Christian and work for the Federal government.  Christ, what is up with people today?  4 of us went to Church this morning and did not hear anything so crazy!  Walk away.  Fill bottles, urinate and roll on.

Our intention was not to have a beer at the Night Hawk but we did and it was the best decision we made on the ride.  One and done and the wind disappeared during that time!  No evil head wind to battle on the way to the High Trestle.  Hallelujah thank you Jesus!  We thought it would die when we turned around to go home but this was a gift.  One more stop at the Flat Tire, which was void of bicycles, to empty our bladders and then the bridge itself.  NOTE, no water available at the restroom building across from the Flat Tire.  It was not on.

Using the selfie camera I took this while rolling at 19 mph.  The trick is to get in front of everyone in case playing with the phone while riding leads to operator error i.e. crash.

One of us was a virgin to the High Trestle at night so it was special.  As usual, the trail was crowded with all sorts of people walking and biking with and without lights.  We managed to find an empty alcove near the lights to enjoy our refreshments.  While we were standing there several of us witnessed meteor and its green streak in the eastern sky for a few seconds.  Until last night I have never seen a shooting star from the High Trestle.  So special, so fantastic!  I wonder if it survived to become a meteorite.  I'd like to have it if it is so.

Cheers!  Breaking the law, breaking the law!!

Then off to the overlook.  The new trick is too stick your camera into the binoculars to get a photo. This takes a lot of time and I never mastered it.  Carl did.  Time for the jackets we packed.  I gave my gloves to Mary.

Lack of food.  Stopped at the Flat Tire on the way back.  Tried calling Casey's for a pizza.  Phone busy.  Tried calling Casey's in Slater.  no answer.  Called the Night Hawk and queried about food.  No food after 10 or 11 pm.  We were SOL.  I did pack two protein bars and a caffeinated chocolate bar for just this sort of occasion.  I ate both of the Cliff protein bars in separate settings.

Appreciated!  Thank you Night Hawk!

No beer for us at the Night Hawk, just water.  Now the long 5 mile stretch to the Oasis.  I announced that we would depart the group at Irvinedale Rd and head home.  A little while later at a regrouping stop Rob said that Carl had a truck and could give us a ride home since we lived in the same vicinity.  Yes, we'd take that ride.  It was 2 am when we got home.  Fritz was glad to see us.

60 miles

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