Thursday, December 17, 2020

A Wonder Ride in Winter

The "spot light" on the trail through Gray's Station.  Photo shows my winter bike.

Christmas is next week.  2020 is coming to an end.  Not soon enough for most of us but I hate to say this but 2021 is not going to be an automatic improvement.  I'm still riding.  27*F and I have returned to riding the Single Speed after Saturday's snow put me on the Winter Bike for most of the week.

It was a simple short ride.  One and a half miles to Hy Vee for ice cream and booze.  I have no idea what to get my adult except stupid whiskey sets with glasses or Christmas ornaments.  Seems appropriate as the world could literally end tomorrow.  Chocolate ice cream for Mary and I and half and half for my coffee.  Simple pleasures.  Take the long way home via the wonderful trail system of Des Moines.  MLK sidepath to Gray's Lake Station and then around Gray's Lake itself.

Gray's Lake Station was wonderful tonight.  A light fog engulfed the new residential neighborhood and trail.  Really made me appreciate what a wonderful city I live in.  The closer I got to the lake itself I could hear the sound of air being sucked into jet engines, mixed with glorified kerosene, compressed and ignited and blown out the  rear of turbo engines.  Someone is going somewhere while I ride my bicycle on an asphalt ribbon between fields of snow.  Tonight all the lights are on.

I am a little disappointed that the lights on the Rainbow Bridge are covered by the snow the plow pushed to the side.  Tonight they are green but one needs to be on the bridge to see them.  Yeah, I need to bring a shovel....

Apparently this is the only decent photo I have of the Rainbow Bridge.  New phone and new computer and lost memories...

But from that bridge I saw something spectacular.  A pink glow from the tunnel connecting the lake park to Water Works Park.  The lights of the tunnel have been dark for about a week or so.  I thought it was from the original issue of the wrong solar charging system initially installed when the tunnel was completed.  Nope.  The same lights used on the bridge are now operating in the tunnel.  I stop for a few photos and then continue my journey home.  Although it is below freezing it is not cold enough for ice cream.  The bridge that crosses the lake is another beautiful sight at night.

The Winter Bike on the bridge crossing Gray's Lake.  These are the magic moments.

During warmer times if the sun and the clouds are in the right position one can experience this.

The people of Des Moines are very fortunate to live here.  Other cities may have better infrastructure for commuting but we have the ability to disappear for the ugliness of urban environments.  Even in winter.


  1. Thanks for the pictures. Live and ride in Indianola but have made some of the Des Moines Trails and Gray's Lake very nice.

  2. Thanks for the pictures. Live and ride in Indianola but have made some of the Des Moines Trails and Gray's Lake very nice.

  3. Both the tunnel and bridge lights really cool.

  4. Nice shots. I wish Iowa City had better and more bike paths.