So, normally my friends and I go on this thing we call the Monday Night Ride. It's our way of trying to get some of our other friends into riding their bikes, by making it fun and easy and adding alcohol. It has actually been pretty successful. I think the alcohol is a big motivator.
Generally, we do the same route every week, weather permitting. We meet at The Dublin Underground in downtown Iowa City and then ride a very flat, 10 mile route to another bar called Old 218 Tap in a little town called Hills (ironic that there are no Hills in Hills, isn't it?).
Old 218 is a cute little bar, and definitely caters to cyclists, which is one of the big reasons we go there. The only problem is they really only serve fairly unimaginative pub grub and even the "healthy" salad options are made with rusty chunks of iceberg lettuce. Yeah, yeah. I realize I've surpassed first world problems girl and headed straight on to snobby bitch, but it is hard to eat dinner at the same place almost once a week that doesn't have the food you like.Especially, when there are all kinds of new establishments in small towns around us that have these great brew pubs that serve wood fired pizzas and other menu items made with ingredients from organic farms around our area.
Because I wasn't the only person in our group to feel this way about the food, last Monday, I suggested we check out the new place in Coralville called 30Hop. It boasted 30 tap beers and a rooftop bar, along with really good food. Everyone was happy to give it a try.
|When you are old and forget your reading glasses, your friends have to help hold the bill out far enough, so you can see how much you owe.|
Of course, the big issue for rides, is figuring out how to get to a place. Will the trail they say is finished on Google maps, just disappear into a creek or busy street, or will the road you choose end up being gravel? We did some off-road riding here and there on our way and found a cool metal trail around wetlands and bird sanctuary to extend our route a tad. Then we couldn't find the restaurant and took a couple of wrong turns, which is always good for extending a route.
Since the place just opened and was full of novelty, it was packed. They had a great system of taking your name and you phone number, sending you upstairs to the rooftop bar for a drink and then texting you when your table was ready. Very nice.
We all tried different, lovely things on the menu and loved what we ate. John sprang for both our meals and later told me the food was a bit on the pricey side. So, maybe not something we'll do all the time, but I will definitely be back again...For food AND drink.
We could easily have headed straight to the Coralville Strip and ridden home on a nice, paved trail, but someone in the group decided we should take a "shortcut". We ended up riding on gravel, next to railroad tracks and through muddy construction sites in the dark with only a full moon and our bike lights with which to see by. It was so amazing and fun.
This is what my shoe looked like when I got home. Guess I better clean those up before the roadrace tomorrow, huh?