Alternative title: FakeCoon Ride
Since 1984, every Saturday morning 6 am to 9 am breakfast has been served at the American Legion hall in Redfield, Iowa. It is an "all you can eat" event featuring sausage, bacon, pancakes, blueberry pancakes, eggs, biscuits, potatoes, coffee ect for $7. Just get in line, hand over your cash and someone will take your order down on a ticket and hand you a number. They will deliver it to your table.
We have known about this for years but never have taken the time to ride bicycles to Redfield for this meal. That changed yesterday when Craig and Mary and myself met at Colby Park in Windsor Heights about 530 am and headed to the Legion. It was Craig's idea. So on a rare Saturday our alarm went off and we got out of bed about the same time we would have been up on a work day. This time for breakfast!
Just two mishaps almost marred the ride. First, no communication about what bikes we were going to ride. Mary and I chose to ride fast bikes. Just a 70 miler, no need to carry anything but tire repair, phones, a PowerBar or two and cash. Craig chose his touring bike with 4 panniers and soda bottles full of sand for extra weight. He has not been on his roadie since last year. I thought about my 520 but I hate the heavy tires on it. As usual, I will not ride that bike fully loaded until I leave for the Ragbrai. Craig had to work harder and Mary and work less to stay together as a group. But we appreciate his role as "support." Mary and were free to chase down and punish those asking for it!
Despite someone oversleeping we met at the park almost on time. A text alerted us to this issue and that allowed Mary and I stop at McDonald's on Grand for an emergency restroom visit (me) and a pre-ride breakfast sandwich. The perils of no easily consumable food at home, sacrifice breakfast for sleep. We did carry PowerBars for an emergency. We beat Craig to the IP by 2 minutes. This brings up a good point, always go to the agreed meeting place. If we would have ridden to his home, this was considered, we might have missed him since he had two options for the ride to Colby Park.
Very little traffic on the Greenbelt. The climb up Hickman was frustrating for Craig and I almost felt guilty. We noticed a lot of cars carrying road bikes westward. Where's the ride I wondered. Must be awful to live so far away from the trail you want to ride on. BaCoon Ride! The trailhead in Waukee was busy but I managed to get into the restroom. A runner asked Mary what was going on and when told he said "Been here every day (or weekend) and never seen this place so busy. FORGET THIS SHIT I'M GOING THE OTHER WAY!" I did not think it was that bad, yet. People must have parked in Adel because we encountered them heading east. Then again I am not into hyper crowdediness on narrow multipurpose trails. The BaCoon Ride is for a good causes, support for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and the Dream Team among others.
|1st stop, Brickyard Park, Adel, Iowa.|
Our first stop was at Brickyard Park across from the trail from Adel's Brickyard and next to the Brickyard Burger and Brew. To help Craig lighten his load we emptied some 12oz canned fluids. It rained briefly but we rolled on. Rained for about a minute very lightly.
|Bike rack near the American Legion, Redfield, Iowa. The red bike belonged to woman having a pre-ride breakfast.|
The American Legion is located on Thomas St or across the street from the bar and next to the library. Easy to find, just turn right after passing the depot and left the main business section. We got there with a 1/2 hour to spare. Time to fuel up. Sorry no photos of the food. I had two giant biscuits, two eggs over easy and two sausages plus 1 blueberry pancake for dessert. I made sausage egg sandwiches with said ingredients. All very good. They've done this a few times, 33 years, and have everything running smoothly.
Another lost photo op was the quilt they are raffling off. On this quilt are t-shirts on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Many of these have a map of the trail and the year. Great piece of history as one can see in 1994 that Yale was the end of the line. I think 2001 had Jefferson on it. And the Clive connection to Waukee on some. We purchased some tickets. Don't know what we would do with it. It really should be in a museum for the trail.
|Post-breakfast beers. Doing our part in lowering the weight Craig had to haul.|
We delayed our departure from Redfield with a diversion to the Casey's. Craig purchased a 18 pack of Busch Light which was carried to the depot and we helped lighten this load underneath the fabric awning over the table. By now riders were starting to appear. Mostly older people and triathletes. Speaking of which, one woman on a tri-bike was at the Legion but she was dropped off and ate with her crew (husband?). A local asked her if she was on the BaCoon Ride and she said "No, I'm trying to avoid them!" Her bike is in one of the photos I posted.
Off to the BrickYard. One stop on the way there to lighten the load. It took some time and a few false stops to get there but we stopped at the "L" bridge or as I always remember it as the Team Rage bridge. A long long time ago Team Rage tagged the trail at that bridge with spray paint. Also a long long time ago Anders Olson and I stopped here. The bridge spans Panther Creek. There are benches on both sides of the bridge and it is 4 miles or so from Adel not the 1 mile that Craig told and elderly BaCoon Rider on a tri-bike. Essentially, it is half way between Adel and Redfield. Craig used this opportunity to dump sand out of bottles to lighten the load. He kept the bottles for future weight.
|L Bridge aka Team Rage Bridge|
The Brickyard was our next stop conveniently located across the trail from the brick plant and next to Brickyard Park. 20 beers on tap. We had two or three and then a Busch Light Tallboy as dessert. The place was STAFFED for the BaCoon Ride. They also were busy fencing off the outside for a beer garden in anticipation of the riders. The beer was cold and the a/c excellent. Good stop. I highly recommend this place. Great specials. Some day I plan to try the food. I hope they got busy. A few sweaty riders came in before we left.
|At the Brickyard|
The rest of the way on the RRVT was noticeably busier. More riders. I passed a man who complained about leg cramps. He aimed his water bottle on his legs and doused them with water. Damn, never seen that trick before. I just maintain proper nutrition, training and hydration. It was at this point that I realized I had not taking a single sip from either of my two water bottles. 57 or 54 miles into the ride and no one bike hydration. The idiot in me said "go for, complete the ride without taking a drink from your bottles." So I did. I up shifted and flew past leg cramp man. Our next "hydration" stop would be in Clive on the bridge connecting the Greenbelt to the RRVT, mostly downhill from Waukee.
In the middle of the connection between the trails is a bridge. Wide and spacious spanning a clear water creek below and home to fish. we finished off the 18 pack and called ourselves good. A quick stop at Charlie's Filling Station to wish Liz a happy birthday and then home. A lot of people were there and plans were being made to hang out at another bridge. It's always bridges, isn't it? I had had my fill and needed to get home and eat.
Mary and I parted ways at Charlie's. Her college sorority was having a reunion in Des Moines this week and this was her best opportunity to see her old friends. I merely rode home with only one burst of energy to pass someone. of course during the last mile the phone rings, Dora, "when will you be home? Dinner?" 5 minutes. We ordered Northern Lights pizza. I was home and wanted to stay.
Shower, eat, fall asleep on the couch, wake up to a Nicholas Cage vampire move, see Mary return and go to bed. It was a great day and a great ride. 71.5 miles. Maybe a little excessive on the beer consumption but I never felt drunk nor acted that way. Oh yeah, I never hit the water bottles! That experiment is over. Guess I needed to show Craig that I too carry dead weight on the bike!
We will do this again sometime. It would make a great Fall or Spring ride. Completing the loop would be icing on this cake. A great century it would make as long as there were not 3000 others on the trail at the same time. But for those that are not crazy, just ride to Redfield and enjoy a great breakfast.