Saturday, May 6, 2017

Riding Along a Different Creek

Yes.  Words to remember.

Been looking forward to this day for weeks.  Warm, no rain and manageable wind.  Just a quick 40 mile round trip to Bondurant and its Reclaimed Rails Brewery.  This has been a goal for a year now. Timing has been an issue.  We usually get there hours before the brewery opens.  Or its too damn windy and we call it quits 10 miles into it or 7 miles into it.  But today all systems were go even if I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a little too much the night before.

Almost all systems go.  There was a launch delay after airing up our tires.  Mary's front tire on her road bike had a sidewall bulge.  No fookin' bueno!  No worries, I've 4 road tires shipping in and they should arrive by next weekend.  So road bikes were stricken off our list and the fast tandem was pulled out of its slumber, aired up and ridden for the first time this year.  Excellent choice!  Launch resumed, all systems go.

We decided to make a loop out of the trip.  We took the traditional way to Bondurant via the Gay Lea Wilson Train all the way into Altoona and then take the new Chichaqua Trail extension back to the Four Mile Creek Trail and rejoin the GLW at Copper Creek.  One thing we noted on both loops is that trail usage has significantly increased over the years.  That's a good thing.  In fact, we saw quite a few bikes on the MLK sidepath on our way to E 30th.

Near the beginning of the Gay Lea Wilson Trail, two gas tanks from automobiles on top of a door.  Photo taken from the bridge on Scott Ave, Pleasant Hill.

I think I may reserve the Altoona route for non-peak outdoorsy seasons.  It was photo day for pee wee baseball and families and small children were all over the trail at the Lions Park.  Secondly, and maybe it was our timing, lots of traffic interfering with our street crossings.  Another change will be to get off the MLK sidepath at 25th and take that to Scott Ave instead of riding north on 30th for a few blocks.  We did this on the return.  E 30th is too narrow and busy plus the road is filthy with rocks, sand, cracks, car parts ect.

But once out of Altoona we enjoyed ourselves.  Today's Special: Goats.  One farm had many goats of all shapes and sizes.  Another house had a goat tied to a tree.  This was on 78th Street near our turn onto 88th Street to get to the Chichaqua Trail.  We merely stopped at the trailhead and took a break before taking the new trail section into Bondurant and Reclaimed Rails.

Well, there was a crosswind...worked nicely!
High Trestle Hefe or as I thought of it Hair of the Dog.
From The Source badge from Untapped.

It was a one and done at the brewery.  Could have been a 4 and some but I knew better.  Mission accomplished, finally made it to this brewery.  For icing on the cake, I was awarded a badge from the Untapped beer ap for this visit.  I had the High Trestle Hefe.  Mary had a Sutliff Cider which I gave her a hard time for doing since it was a "guest" brew not a house brew.  But it is a good cider.

Although we would have enjoyed the tailwind from Bondurant to Altoona, we hated the headwind BTW, we continued west and were rewarded with a favorable crosswind.  Another first was a stop at Mally's Weh-Weh-Neh-Kee Park  in the metropolis of Berwick.  Weird name, eh.  Amenities are a restroom, covered picnic shelter, water fountain and bicycle fixstation.  We need the restroom.  I noticed several cyclists using this as their starting point.  We decided that one could get a group of riders and drink their fill at the brewery or Founders Pub and then ride the 5 miles to this park and sleep on the tabled under the shelter roof.  The park is .7 miles from the western terminus of the Chichaqua Trail and the beginning of the Four Mile Creek Trail.  One could turn north at this point and ride into Ankeny and then deal with the sidepath on Oralabor Rd and either turn north to the High Trestle Trail or south to the Neil Smith Trail.

Bicycle parking and a fixstation!

I found it nice to be riding next to a creek with another name other than Walnut, the stream that I follow to and fro work.  We noticed that there has been a lot of work in stabilizing the bank  We also noticed that someone illegally dumped a couch off at the parking lot just north of Copper Creek Lake. Scored my 43rd GeoCouch!

In the end it was great to get out and ride some miles, 40, with my lovely wife as stoker.  Both of us sunburned but smiling.  I guess our skin has been covered up for 7 or 8 months and is not quite ready for the Sun's deadly rays.  Lesson learned.

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