|The stairway to heaven, Yale, Iowa.|
Seems like it rained all week but somehow I was able to mow the lawn and ride the short distance to work everyday and even venture into downtown on Friday. Usually we are more organized for weekend rides. Mary gave a list of places to avoid do to construction and organized rides and walks/runs. Joe sent a text with a photo of a new bike that needed a test run before we leave for the 523 mile ride along the Missouri River in South Dakota. I suggested that we meet on the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas Center (the Waukee trailhead parking was listed as closed for construction) and ride to Jefferson. Take a right turn at Cooper and then a left on P30 to hook up with Jefferson. The forecasted rain was to appear southeast of our destination. Everyone agreed.
|Joe's new ride. His other one belongs to his daughter and has a noisy BB.|
Late start at home meant no breakfast and Joe was punctual being right behind our vehicle on the Hickman Rd exit. The sky was dark north of us but radar showed nothing. Despite the message that the Waukee Trailhead was closed, it was open and full of vehicles so we parked there and rode from Waukee. Just a quick 6 miles to the Casey's in Dallas Center to choke down some food and fluids before proceeding toward the dark skies up north. Had I not put on sunscreen it would have been sunny. I also used this ride to test out contact lenses and non-prescription sunglasses. Vision was clear and I could read my bike's computer but damn it all to hell that all of us had trouble reading the 50/34 on the crank of Joe's new bike. I managed. What a drag it is getting old!
|Love the old grinder next to this espresso machine.|
|Great drawing inside the coffee shop. I wish I could have moved the tables and trash receptacles before I snapped this shot but that is not my realm. 3D!|
|Bike art outside the Perry Perk|
The trail was dry and not busy. We had a tailwind and stopped at the Perry Perk for espresso. Need to get there before 1 pm! We had hours to spare. Jamaica would be our food stop. Just One More sells a cheeseburger for $5. Then off to Herndon, kybos still gone from the parking lot, and the right turn on the "rough" portion of the trail. I imagine this section of trail, Yale to the Switch will be surfaced as soon as the bridge over the Raccoon River outside Jefferson is fully repaired. Just only so much money for trail work. Such a shame that it cannot be done at the same time that the bridge is closed. After regrouping at Cooper it was decided to avoid my detour route and just head to the bridge for a look. It was here that I suggested that we could have 100 miles for the day with a few extra miles of padding.
|A promising sky north of Cooper and debris on my camera's lens. The red, white and black pillar theme is even in Cooper.|
|End of the road.|
|I felt quite American.|
Along the way we could see that it was raining north of us. By the time we arrived at Winkleman Switch the trail was wet. The descent into the river valley was also quite wet and I viewed this as an opportunity to test the Domane's tires wet surface handling although I restrained myself from going full speed. The bridge was still closed. Construction was apparent. A crane was parked on a spot northwest of the bridge. Steel girders had replaced the original wooden ones. Being the good citizens we are, we did not climb over the barrier to investigate the project. Bridge COULD Reopen in July 2021
After ascent from the valley we now faced a headwind that lasted until we reached Redfield or 32 miles. Good for training. Use those drops! We may have passed 5 pairs of cyclist heading north. Yale would be the next stop with its water and restrooms. A horse show was scheduled to begin in a few hours and two women with a golf cart pulled up to clean the restrooms. Service! We did not go to the bar or store. Time was becoming as issue for Joe. He promised his wife that he would be home by 7 pm.
But it was not always miserable fighting the headwind. The purple haze of Phlox Wild Sweet William flowers along the sides of the trail provided a cheerful hue to an otherwise green and brown landscape covered with a dark gray sky. This was mostly along the northern sections of the trail. Once we reached Redfield these flowers were scarce.
The distraction of the flowers gave way to parting of ways. Joe had to take a shortcut back to Waukee. In Linden he took county highway F51 all the way to Adel before rejoining the trail. It saved him a mile, tops, but lots of time because there was nowhere to stop. We shook hands and said farewell and noted that another rain squall was getting close. I thought we could outrun it. We outrode the cloud but a strong wind from the west carried the rain to our location now 2 miles south of Linden but we had canopy to protect us. 5 minutes of rain and we were wet. It was here where Mary's allergies hit hard. She suffered overactive defensive reactions that plagued the rest of the ride. Breathing is important during cycling. A headache soon followed. Taking a break at Ortonville I offered her some tissue but grabbed the Casey's napkins from my left jersey pocket. Miraculously, they were dry.
The final 10 miles. 3.5 miles to the Waukee Trailhead but that would leave us 7 miles shy of the century mark. So...ride another 3.5 miles toward Dallas Center then turn back. We were not going to let another triple digit ride slip away when it was within reach. For good measure we stopped at Kinship Brewing Co before returning to our vehicle. All I am going to say about this place is that the beer is good but everyone from Waukee that owns a dog or a bicycle or both and little kids is at this place every night, afternoon, evening and weekend. There are plenty of bike racks but they were 4/5ths full. People standing all over the place unaware of people trying to get inside. We managed to get seats at the bar. Honestly, despite this great location and good beer, I would have preferred to have ridden across Hickman and had a cold one at Kenny's Garage.
|Most likely the last time I get the third digit until Friday June 11, 2021, when we ride from Platte to Tyndall, South Dakota (97 official miles but I will get the missing 3).|