Monday, September 4, 2017

Closing Out the Summer: Labor Day Ride To The High Trestle

The official Summer according to Americans begins on Memorial Day Weekend and ends on Labor Day.  Despite being hot and humid, most people consider this the best time of the year.  We took advantage of these time markers and rode our bicycles to the High Trestle on both occasions.  Kinda our tradition started by Rob, my college debate partner, and friends.  So when the text came I replied 'yes."

I must make amends.  Only one friend asked me to join them on a bicycle ride during the Labor Day weekend.  No surprise.  Most are now gluing themselves to bar stools to watch American football which just started.  Gotta watch em all!  Others have Honey Do lists long ignored because of bicycling and others have family or other commitments.  But only one of you fookers bothered to invite me for a ride.  let it go, I got the ride I wanted with some dear friends.

I would like to say the best place on earth to spend Labor Day Weekend is in Madrid, Iowa.  They have a 4 day celebration complete with car shows, parades and fireworks.  The fireworks we saw from the Trestle last night we spectacular!  honestly, 20 minutes!  We always enjoy Madrid on this holiday.  I cannot recommend it enough.

Mary and I at FireTrucker.  Thank you Dave for the photo!

Simply plan.  meet at Firetrucker Brewery in Ankeny and then ride to the High trestle along the scenic High Trestle Trail.  And back.  Karl said he was going which met that we could opt to hitch a ride to and fro Firetrucker in his truck.  But Mary and decided it would be best to ride to the brewery. We did not ride on Saturday.

14.6 miles to Firetrucker.  We took 6th Ave up from highland Park area after riding to Birdland Marina from home.  This saves time and miles.  Got there with 10 minutes to spare.  Also, we were the first to arrive.  Talked to Dave from team Mate while we waited.  Soon Bill and Rob arrived.  Unfortunately, we waited til almost 7 pm for the others.  Karl was a no show and Jeremy was needed Karl to schlep him there.  Others had other commitments and one had recent hand surgery.  Foursome for the ride tonight.

Bill who rides a wonderful Gunnar.

Rob who wished he wore a jersey because his cargo pants had too much stuff in the pockets.

We hammered to the trestle.  Wish we would have stopped to take a photo of the red sun at sunset. Canadian wildfires greatly increased the particulate matter in our air giving us gorgeous views.  One stop at the trailhead in Madrid for a potty break.  But the trail was PACKED!  This place never loses it's appeal.  Next stop the High Trestle!

Trail was packed and it was dark.  I forgot my headlamp so I had the choice of burning out retinas or being invisible.  I altered.  While we were stopped at the trailhead I opened a Light House box but no lights were available.  Somehow we weaved our way through without hitting, maiming or killing anyone.  Prime time on the Trestle.  Many groups and families.  We stopped at an empty alcove before reaching the Blue Zone.  Time for a PowerBar and a drink.  After a bit and the obligatory photos in the Blue Zone we rode up to the scenic overlook.

Bush Light Trifecta: all three forms of beer--bottle, draft and can.

It seemed less crowded on the way back.  We stopped at the Flat Tire Lounge for a beer and Rob got a pizza from Casey's.  Nice of him.  Mary and I ate about 2 pm and the PowerBar was not enough. While waiting to be served I noticed they had Busch Light bottles and tallboys in the cooler.  Do they have it on tap?????  Yes they do!!!!  "One bottle, can and draft of Busch Light and a Bud Light for me wife, please."  Trifecta time!  This was my third Busch Light Trifecta.  New rule: one one trifecta per establishment unless another of your party is doing one too.

On the trail again.  Empty trail.  Well, one person with a flat tire.  We stopped to help him by providing light and offering a pump to inflate the tube before he used CO2.  He lives in Slater and must have been a few miles out.  We never saw him again.  Night Hawk for the last round.

Should be mentioned that the wind was from the south west.  And said wind never let up.  I think it increased.  Favorable cross wind on the way up.  But we made it to the Oasis at 1:19 am for a final break.  Mary and I would be parting ways with Bill and Rob at Irvingdale Ave, our normal route.

The avenue was empty so we elected to take the road instead of the sidepath/trail.  Then we decided to take the trail, NST, home instead of 6th Ave.  There could be cars and cars out this late are likely to be driven by drunks.  But we really were not all that safe.  Despite the lack of other cyclists or pedestrians or furry animals our tiredness was the danger.  Had to work at keeping awake.  We did and were back in Des Moines soon.

It should be noted that Robert Ray Rd near the Women of Achievement Bridge was very active when we rode through after 3 am.  Lots of cars parked and people on the trail.  Some passenger in a white car had the door open and appeared to be RESC (rapidly emptying stomach contents).  we did not stay around.  plenty of people to help.  End of their summer, too.

It was 345 am when we entered our home.  Ironic since it is the time the alarm goes off Monday through Friday.  Fritz was glad to see us and so was the cat.  Glad it was not time to go to work!

So ends the summer.  Fare thee well and thank you.  With autumn and winter the trail will thin out and perhaps we will return to the Trestle.  Since the days are shorter and nights longer we can get there earlier and return home before midnight.  then again, it probably will be another late ride!

75 miles from our home to the High trestle and back.  We took our road bikes.  For the Memorial Day ride we rode our fast tandem.

At the Night Hawk, Slater, Iowa.

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