Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No trail left behind

I have been a somewhat lazy blogger, but I've been a relatively ambitious biker. You win some, you lose some.

As I mentioned recently, the mileage is certainly adding up, and I am happy to say I've been able to vary my routes — even in spite of recent flooding.

Trail fatigue was a problem for me last year, so that's why I'm patting myself on the back for exploring new trails.

Here's what I would've crossed off my Des Moines biking bucket list, if I had such a thing.

* Great Western Trail, south of Cumming. I was surprised by quite a bit about the Cumming-to-Martensdale portion of this trail.

It's hillier than the north chunk — not truly hilly, but definitely with more inclines. It's in rougher shape, too, despite being so rural.

And man, is it rural. The roads are neither straight, nor on a grid, nor paved. I've definitely become a city slicker.

* Raccoon River Valley Trail complete loop. I'd never been north of Panora or north of Minburn until the BACooN Ride.

Since I'd done large chunks of it before, nothing necessarily surprised me, but I was glad to have conquered the entire loop. (Still unclaimed: the northern stretch from Herndon to Jefferson.)

Especially on a day where I felt pretty blah physically and mentally, and where I seriously feared I'd melt in the humidity. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

* High Trestle Trail. My most recent exploration came when Cory and I rode from Ames back to Des Moines, after returning a truck we borrowed from a buddy who lives there.

After 12 hot, hilly, humid miles, we picked up the High Trestle and did it all — and it was totally worth that first challenging portion!

I don't think photos do the bridge justice (especially not my sweaty smartphone selfie).

Conditions weren't great for lingering over the perfect shot.
I can't wait to go back along that smooth, spacious pavement, maybe take a detour to Snus Hill Winery, and hang out on that overlook ... after putting bug spray on.

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