Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I think we are intermediate now

Since I got my sweet new purple bike, Hubs and I have been riding a lot. We've been spending Saturdays going 20, 30 then 40 miles all leading up to a little bike-cation over the long weekend.

Somehow, in the week leading up to this ride, it never dawned on us to check the weather for Saturday, so we were a little dismayed that as we got ready to roll, the news announced that several other outdoor events were cancelled that day because of rain.


I can say that because Hubs and I persevered, as we tend to do when faced with minor setbacks like a failed inspection or paint that needs four coats to cover.

Between downpours on the way to Martensdale.

Our plan was to coast down the trail that stretched from our house to a little town called Martensdale. From there, we'd be on county roads to St. Mary's and St. Charles and over to Winterset, where we'd stay for the night. All in all, Saturday would be 50 miles.

This route came from the latest Central Iowa Cycling map, which was probably the best $3.99 I've spent in some time.

Sunday we went north on 169 before getting on a rural road and getting back on the trails at Cumming - going just about 39 miles.

I know I wrote that like maybe we didn't stick to the plan, but you know what? We did stick to the plan and if you don't believe me, you can ask my poor hamstrings. They won't lie.

So, Saturday was rainy, but not as bad as I expected it to be and for that, I give all my credit to the two beers I downed at the Cumming Tap, seen here on our return stop, while we waited out the rain.

After that little knock-back, we were off to Martensdale and along the way, we met this guy:

His name is Bishop and even though he was very friendly, he wasn't 100% on board with our my idea of riding in the backpack for the next two days.

Once we hit Martensdale, it was lunch time. I went with a sensible salad and Hubs made another decision.

I suppose when you burn 2500 calories in one day, you really don't need to feel bad about eating a fried tenderloin the size of your face. Hubs sure looks happy.

After lunch, we tried desperately to not be killed by cranky drivers on two busy roads. We weren't doing anything wrong, but clearly the awesomeness of my purple bike threw some pick-up drivers into a blind rage as they loved honking and flying by at 80 on a 55 mph road. 

Luckily, our next stop was soothing and filled with gentle old people from Missouri - the oldest covered bridge in Madison County.

Sadly, things really started going downhill (even more sad, in no way do I mean that literally) after this charming stop. We had to take a detour on a gravel road for about two miles and then we hit the hills. Oh! Did we hit them! And the rain was raining. And we were sad. But the drivers were much nicer.

And soon, we saw this:

The lovely Madison County Winery and Twisted Vine Brewery vineyard and tasting room. We saddled up to the bar and ordered a beer flight ($3 for three samples! Hello, deal!) and a cheese platter while we recovered from a yucky ride. 

While we sat and recharged phones and ate giant chunks of Gouda, the sun was totally out. The owners were harvesting grapes that day and so they (being way smarter than us) got to work while the sun was out. Once we had downed our beers and were ready to go, the sky got dark. 

It is 11 miles from the winery to the bed and breakfast we were staying at and in the rain, that's not really all that fun. Zero fun, in fact. 

As we pulled up to the Heavenly Habitat, I was delirious. I wanted to be off my bike and done pedaling. So when  Steve, the owner, showed me this:

I very nearly fainted on the spot. Then, he showed us a washer and dryer which was hallelujah good news because Hubs and I only packed one pair of bike shorts each since a) that's all we own and b) we were our own UHauls.

Here we are the next day, fully healed from the rainy ride and ready to scoot out!

Sunday was a much quicker ride since there weren't a whole lot of places to stop at. Just lots of this:

One more quick stop at the Cumming Tap and we were practically home!

 It was an awesome ride and we're hoping to make it an annual trip. With my trusty Grown Up Bike, I can do just about anything.

Any other tips for fun weekend rides around these parts?


  1. How fun! We only rode about 15 miles before my bf was ready to call it a day...such a great way to get out and enjoy the weekend though!

  2. Glad to hear you made it home safely and that you enjoyed the clawfoot tub and laundry we offer for the benefit of our guests at Heavenly Habitat. Nancy and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation we had with you and Paul at breakfast on Sunday and you have inspired us to get our bikes out and get moving...


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