Tag Archives: on my bike

We ride

Tackling the Tuesday night taco ride to Cumming is too tricky with a 10-month old, but we didn’t want to miss out on all of the fun on a gorgeous Earth Day. So we packed up the Burley and started peddling for pizza.


Orlondo’s is the first stop for a lot of the cyclists who plan to ride the Great Western Trail out to the Cumming Tap for Sam Auen’s famous tacos. (Of course you can now pop over to Tacopocalypse any time over lunch, but I think they taste best when they’re a reward for a good workout and after your lungs have been filled with fresh, evening air.) There was already quite a crowd by the time we got out there at about 6, but the slices weren’t ready until just before we had to leave.


Helmet-clad trio! E was the only baby at the bar.


I had to head back to work for an event, so we rode up the gravel shortcut that pops out in the neighborhood south of Grand Avenue with lots of amazing architecture and a steeeeep hill. I’m kind of obsessed with this little house.

20140422_184027Even though it basically has train tracks running through the front yard, it backs up to Waterworks and is wedged between two horse stables. The light was hitting it just right and I had a daydream about raising llamas there for something that helped distract me from the climb.

It felt great to get out on a week night and do something fun/athletic. Our evenings lately have mostly been dinnertime, bathtime, baby-crying-instead-of-sleeping time.

Did you spend any part of Earth Day outside?


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Filed under I love Des Moines

Red bicycle love (for a short woman!)

I’ve never felt confident on a road bike before. The hunched over posture felt awkward, the tendency for the pedals to have stirrups freaked me out and, since I stand tall at 5’2″, all of the frames I’ve tried made me feel like I was being stretched on some torture rack from the dark ages.

But Saturday the magical combination of a Bike World Warehouse sale, some knowledgable friends and a penchant for cherry-colored-sassiness-on-wheels changed all that! Meet “Lady G,” my new-to-me Terry Prism from the dawn of the 90s:

I’m smitten. This sweet ride feels different. If you look closely, you might notice that the front and back tires are two different sizes. We’ll get to that soon!

I lucked out because my friend Jake was working the sale and he let me know I should be looking in the 50 cm sizes, due to me height. (This ruled out the hot pink Bianchi, unfortunately.) Then in walked in my friend Lauren, who’s ridden RAGBRAI and knows a thing or two about bikes. She saw me checking out the Terry and gave me a little feminist cycling history lesson. Apparently this brand is the first designed by women, for women — and particularly for us petite cyclists! Feminist bike? Yes, please.

Before I allowed myself to commit, Joe and I stopped downtown to the Des Moines Bicycle Collective to see if they had anything else my size for comparison sake. But after taking a pretty nice Cannondale for a test ride, I knew we needed to go back for the Terry. (DO check out the Collective sometime, though!)

Luckily, no other shortie had snatched up my sweet bike! Jake helped me negotiate an even better deal by paying cash and Joe popped “Lady G” in the trunk. I was able to take her for a quick first ride on the Great Western Trail that afternoon — snow patches, be damned.

As far as accessorizing my new bike, this red bicycle print dress is going on the top of my birthday wish list!

(It must be meant to be, because they even make it in petite sizes!)

Now, back to this bikes for short women business. I think the front 24″ wheel is the secret for comfort. First thing when we got home, Joe started researching Terry bicycles and found this video, in which the company founder, Georgina Terry, explains the frame design and logic behind the two wheel sizes.

I watched the video, but also gravitated toward the stylish cycling clothes and cool Terry community. They’re even on Pinterest!

Their newer bikes are easy on the eyes, too. Isn’t this Terry Commuter “Burlington” fun?

I can’t wait for a Cumming Tap Taco Ride, or to hit the High Trestle Trail again some evening. Hurry up, spring!

OH! And speaking of cycling awesomeness, my amazing cousin Kelley just started a 6-month bike tour of South America with her boyfriend. How cool is that? You can follow their adventures on their blog.


Filed under I love Des Moines

Pitch black on the High Trestle Trail

My, my, this blog is becoming a little bike trip log, now isn’t it?!

Aside from getting to eat more of my buffalo chicken strata than expected, another plus of missing the tailgate on Saturday was the fact that we were able to conserve energy for a night ride across the High Trestle Trail. Joe and Andy rode from Des Moines (they got a bit lost, but the one-way was about 40 miles) and Ellen, Miss Caroline and I drove up to Madrid, where there’s a good checkpoint. (And a bar called the Flat Tire Lounge, which I did not experience this time around.)

One thing I’ve noticed about my more frequent rides is that they tickle my sense of smell in a way that makes the seasons more vivid. You forget in a windows-rolled-up kind of world what autumn smells like. The darkness also sharpens the other senses, with only your bike lights and the moon to guide you. It was pretty crowded on the trail on Saturday and although the point of the full moon ride is obviously to experience the moon, next time I’ll definitely go before dusk so I can see the valley underneath the bridge.

Aren’t these lights trippy? It’s like riding into a time warp. I half expected to launch into hyperspeed and end up in the year 2087 or something.

There are so many cool shots of the bridge on Flickr: here and here and here (what a cute bike bump!).

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Filed under Iowa adventures