Monday, July 6, 2020

40oz on the 4th Covid Edition

Our repair spot near Copper Creek.  Derik in the lower left corner.  Paul near the sign.  Chris in right corner.  Others hidden in the shade.

Pandemic be damned!  But early morning start culls riders more than the novel corona virus.  Another successful ride.  No causalities.  Hotternfuk outside.  No, the humidity and high UVs made it miserable.

The Magnificent Seven left the Green Bridge at 830 am and rode to Bondurant, Iowa, and back.  New riders this year were Rex W and Brad O.  Veteran riders, Paul, Derik, Chris M, Mary and myself.  We took the MLK Sidepath to E 25th and then Scott Ave for a mile+ to the Gay Lea Wilson Trailhead in Pleasant Hill, IA.  We we reached the split in the trail we rolled through Copper Creek and onto the Four Mile Creek Trail which led us to the new extension of the Chichaqua Valley Nature Trail near Berwick, IA.  6 miles later we were in Bondurant.  The restrooms and water bottle filling station were open!  And we needed them. Then a quick stop at Casey's for food and electrolytes.  Onward to the new trail section to the original trailhead of the Chichaqua trail which is located next to the new "weddin' barn' ( ) where a lovely couple were gettin' hitched!

Derik fixing his flat.  Not fun on a hot summer day.  Never fun.

Tire sealant spluge.  

We did experience our first flat tire on this ride.  A plug in Derik's bike blew out as we were leaving Copper Creek.  It was hoped the misfortune belonged to the group of cyclists that we encountered at that moment who were going the other way.  Nope.  Found a shady spot and Derik put a tube in knowing that he had to address the situation sometime soon after getting home (tubeless sealant + tube + heat + time makes it a bitch to fix future tire changes.

Back to biking in Bondu...I regret that just moments before I failed to take a photo of Derik and Chris.  Along the new stretch near a new development and the 210 degree turn I looked over my shoulder and saw those two riding with all the vegetation between me and them and I thought "wow, what a great sight and photo op!"  But I kept rolling because stopping and pulling my camera out of my pocket and removing it from its protective Ziploc bag with my sweaty over sanitized fingers would have been an effort at that moment and it felt like we were directly under the sun.  NOTE TO SELF: get helmet mounted camera.

After reaching the trailhead and regrouping it was time to return as we had ridden 20 miles from the Green Bridge.  The route home consisted of empty county roads until we reached the new trail that is located near NW 54th and connects to the Gay Lea Wilson Trail  in Altoona, IA.  Then take that back to the Scott Ave trailhead in Pleasanthill and return to Des Moines.

40oz were purchased at Best Trip, the BP station across from Tumea & Sons.  If this will be part of 2021's ride I will need to contact the liquor manager here and suggest that they stock up.  No Miller 40oz's available but a 42oz of OE was an option that no one chose.  Bud Heavy was the popular choice.

Brad, proprietor of  Fred's Bikes, was gracious and allowed us to consume said beverages inside his bicycle shop so we could get out of the sun and into the a/c.  Thank you very much, Brad.  Maybe next year I will host the finish at our house and grill something to eat.  In years past we have ridden to bars after the 40oz were gone but finding open bars on a holiday and during a pandemic is difficult.  Plus the heat was horrid and hitting the bottle, can or pint pot is really not a good idea with these conditions.  But as we were enjoying our reward my phone rang. Apparently, my adult children needed us home to help them celebrate Independence Day.  We were late.  One and done and then get my grill on!

Another note:  We saw more people out on bicycles this July 4th than all the 40oz rides combined.  The trails were busy.

Another Note:  Thank you Scott S for the "Merica jersey!  Great price and fast delivery!  Bike Iowa!!!

I hope more people can join us in the future.  I realize that it has an early start but that Sun is a mean mother and the humidity in July is oppressive.  Generally we take fast bikes as it is not necessary to carry anything other than a phone, cash and tire repair plus simple tools.  40oz on the 4th should be part of your holiday so you can enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends.  Besides, 40 ounces of beer gets you primed to celebrate 'Merica!!!

Mary went for the wine cooler that tastes like Kool Aid.  Nice choice in colors!