There And Back

I did the ride to Des Moines on Saturday to attend the Iowa Bicycle Coalition annual face-off board meeting. This is when we all get together in one room rather than conference calling which is what we do most months because we live all over the state.

I left Cody and home at around 6:15 in the morning and had high hopes of making it over with time to get lunch and even a shower before the meeting at 3. I had only done this ride in one shot once before so I thought I could do it in 7 or 8 hours. Oh the folly of me! Certain factors came to play that would see me walk into the meeting at 3:30 still mostly salty from the effort. Numero uno, it was windy and it was going in the wrong direction for my needs. It was not a strong wind but it was steady and just felt like a hand on my chest pushing me backwards. Second, I was riding the Touring Townie and it is heavy. To add to the challenge I had panniers which caught even more wind and on

the way out of Iowa City I found these huge and heavy bolts in a bike lane so I picked them up and threw them on the rack for good measure.

So We have headwind plus heavy plus 100 miles or so and then, as I approached the East side of Des Moines where I can hit gravel to avoid miles on a big highway I found yet another reason I should have left earlier, the gravel is wet and slow and my loaded bike and tired me were not up for miles of it. I detoured back onto the big scary road. I was trucking along and still going to make it by 3 when I see one more reason come over the horizon. My side was shut down for a bridge replacement. You know the drill, all traffic funneled onto one side for a spell of two way travel. I stayed on the shut down side because there was no way I was going to go ride in a construction zone. I got to the missing bridge and, as they were constructing, the ground was oozy-clumpy-mud and I was not sure I could carry my loaded bike across without dropping it in the goop and I did not want to shuttle bike then bags across the wasteland so I crossed the median and waited until there were no cars visible behind me and then sprinted across the bridge and golly if there was not a paved road headed south right on the other side so I took it and found my way into Des Moines from there. Much nicer!

There were a couple of rides on in Des Moines, the Mayors ride and a bar ride so there were lots of bikes out and I passed two bars full of the RAGBRAI crowd on my way in and it was tempting to stop and see if my long ride over would garner me the pleasantries of any free beers but I had not come to party so I kept rolling and made it to the meeting after a quick bathroom sponge bath at 3:30. Not bad, considering, and when I was able to stay awake through the meeting and not get all crampy or anything I felt really good about the ride as an indicator of my ability to ride for a long time.

Speaking of which, Dirty Kanza 200 is looming at the end of May and after the last week of riding I am feeling confident about it. Here is an edgy video of some of the Kansas crowd pre-riding this years course.

Had some quality Kim West time after the meeting and Sunday morning we townied down to Zanzibar’s for great coffee and breakfast before I was whisked home once again by Todd and the Team Skin-Mobile. I worked the afternoon away at the part time gig and then had dinner and a beer or two with Cody at the Mill.

The TT bike did well, I am not sure when but I am going to switch the bars, I am just

not a moustache man. I need to find a longer crank, the 170 did not please me. I also wish Crank Bros made a single side clip / platform pedal for my touring townie lifestyle. Other than that the bike was great and I look forward to more long loaded rides with it. Hopefully with no appointments!


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    rocky topper and buck naked on the set of their newest direct-to-dvd hit, “little frat house on the prairie #23”

    “i love a clean shaven man…”

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