Tuesday evening, I decided to hop on my bike and tag along with Joe and Andy on the taco ride from Des Moines to Cumming, Iowa. The weekly ride — in my mind, at least — was starting to reach a legendary status, with all the cool kids in town making the ritual trek. Now that the heat wave has broken, it made for a perfect post-work cruise down the Great Western trail. I’m not 100 percent sure of the history of the Des Moines taco ride, but I’m thinking it was inspired by the ride along the Wabash Trail on Thursday nights in Western Iowa.
I love how the Great Western Trail is a rails to trails project, so it’s pretty flat, and that we saw a spindly legged, spotted fawn and two horses (one of which I’m still halfway convinced was a unicorn) in a meadow, but that in one strange segment riders wind through a golf course. The final destination for us was the Cumming Tap, where Tacopocalypse transforms a small town dive into a popup gourmet experience once a week (it’s only Tuesdays in summer, right, Sam?)
We grabbed a pitcher of Fat Tire and one of each: veggie chorizo, curried pork cheek, braised pork and one other scrumptious selection that I probably ate before I could save to my memory. In retrospect, the only thing I would change about the tacos would have been to order eight instead of four. They’re petite in the authentic way, and you can’t just have one. We shared a table with two random (pretty funny) guys, devoured the food and headed back to town.
There’s something a little dreamlike about leaving the city limits and meeting up with plenty of people you know, in an alternate realm where the golden light makes everyone look more like a movie star, Spandex is a good choice for attire, you know the guy responsible for the creative food, there’s no fuss — and there just maybe a unicorn kneeling in a meadow.
*Yes, that post title was inspired by a mildly inappropriate 2008 Shawn Johnson Ortega commercial.