Saturday, April 19, 2008

A little ride today.

I had noticed on Steve's blog that he had TWO group rides planned today. I met Steve when we did the GRAID ride and he is a great guy to ride with and we seem to have similar interests in riding. I do have to live vicariously through his awesome fleet of bikes though! Paula had to work this morning at Panera at 9:00, and Tammy had to be left off at a friends at 8:45 in order to go shopping in Iowa City (remember, we just have 1 car!). So I headed down to the Saturn dealership in order to get some service done to it. The Annual Mayor's Ride was starting at 10:00 and I was just not getting my girls out the door early enough to make it. I got down to Saturn at 9:30 and took off. I tried to find the riders, but didn't have a good idea of the route and I was guessing based on Steve's description of what he believed was the route. This ride had 100's of people, maybe even a 1000 people. It was crazy, there were bikers everywhere once I found the action. This really opened my eyes of why RAGBRAI is the way it is. This was more or less a "party" ride.

I met up with Steve at the finish and we chatted a bit before I headed off to the start of another group ride. This started a few miles away and it was at an east side bar. This ride was to be, I believe 10-15 miles in 5 hours with a lot of bar stops on the way. Clothing was optional. I rolled up and saw 50 dollar Walmart bikes to several thousand dollar trikes. I saw several bob trailers with coolers beer and coolers with built in car stereo's. Being a gravel endurance type of guy I really didn't feel like I fit in too well. I am kinda quiet so I didn't introduce myself to all the people that did seem to know each other. I guess that is the eccentric side of me. With a couple of beers I would have fit right in, but today wasn't the day. Within about a half an hour, I took off for the west side of Des Moines again to pick up my car. With out knowing the entrances to the trails and being blocked into neighborhoods due to railroad tracks and dead ends I put in quite a few miles that I didn't need to, but it sure was fun.

I think I totaled 40-50 miles easily, and maybe a bit more (odometer wasn't working! Gotta fix that!). I was at about 5.5 hours of riding and since a lot of this was on bike paths and being lost, but going in the right direction some of the time!, I certainly didn't take the quickest path. I sure had fun! I don't do urban riding ever so it was a totally new experience.

Time to rest up. TI is coming up!

Happy training!


gpickle said...

Hey Paul, I rode over to Des Moines on Saturday and saw a couple of them packed bars on my way into town, maybe I saw you standing out there, or at least your bike! I thought about stopping and maybe I should have but the bar ride scene is not my thing either. In my youth...

Good luck next weekend and happy resting this week

Steve Fuller said...


Good to talk to you this weekend. Glad you got to sample some of the finer things Des Moines has to offer, like the East side bars, and some of the non-racer bike lifestyle that happens around here. Glad you found your way back to the dealership. See you on Friday. :)