Thursday, February 26, 2015

Des Moines Was Stacking the Chips, Raking Off the Tables, Ringing the Bandit's Bells.

 So, we got hit with ANOTHER blast of Arctic air. I know I sound like a broken record with my, "Blah, blah, too cold, blah, blah, Iowa Winters suck, blah, blah, I've reached my saturation point, blah, blah, " but that's really where I'm at right now. The good thing is that it snowed enough to CX country ski this weekend and I'm excited about that.

 Since more escapism is necessary for me right now, I'll take you back to a happier, warmer place and put up another awesome bike ride post.

 This ride took place in the beautiful Des Moines area. Pshaw! You say? There's nothing beautiful about Des Moines? Well, that's where you're wrong. Des Moines has done an incredible job (with the help of Bike Iowa) at making trails for cycling and walking and running throughout their city and because of that, restaurants and bars have sprung up along them. It all makes for a really fun day of bike riding shenanigans.

I have wanted to ride this trail ever since I heard about it a few years ago. So, when Coadster asked us if we'd help her move from Ames to West Des Moines last July, we told her, "No problem" and brought our bikes with us and as soon as we moved her and took her to Trader Joe's to stock her fridge, we flew to the trails.

The first bar on the trail was a new brewery that just opened a few days before, called Firetrucker. It was a cute little place, but we didn't want to start drinking right away, because we wanted to get a little bit of harder riding in.

So, we took-off and when I'm riding with John, taking-off is going really fast. When we do social rides with our friends, John goes slowly and chats with people and helps slower riders by going their speed. When it's just us, John kicks my butt. I like it, because it makes me work harder and I've conquered my fear of riding someone's wheel that closely, but we were flying down those trails at about 25 mph. We passed a guy with a cool old Ridley bike, and he caught my wheel. He held on as long as he could, but eventually dropped off. He came up to us at the first bar we stopped at on the trail and thanked us for giving him a run for his money. Then we ogled his cool, old bike. Big surprise.

We finally made it to The Trestle Bridge and it was soooo cool. I'm so glad I got to see if for the first time with John and we could have out own little adventure on the trail.

On the way back, we hit the Fat Tire Lounge, which is basically an old quonset hut that sells good beer and fried food. Perfect. While we sat on the deck, I realized a guy I used to work with at an ice cream/coffee shop in Iowa City in the 90's was there with his family. I got to introduce him to John and we all had a good bike geek talk, before John and I headed back on the trail.

When we got to the end of the trail, we hit the Firetrucker Brewery and it was packed. They had a live band playing in the beer garden and someone making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. It really couldn't have been much better.

So, the next time you find yourself in Des Moines, rent a bike and hit the High Trestle Bridge Trail. You won't regret it...Unless you hate bikes, food, beer and fun, in general.

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