I just wanted to drop in and write about the charity bike ride I went on today! I have volunteered at the ARL a couple of times, but this time I was an attendee! If you’re familiar with the Des Moines area, you probably know the bike trail well. We started at Mad Meatball and made stops at Confluence Brewery, Jasper Winery, Orlando’s, and Cumming Tap. It’s a 26.2 mile ride round trip, and the longest ride I’ve ever been on.
There was rain in the forecast all day, and we really didn’t know for sure if the event would still happen. When I say there was rain in the forecast, I’m talking 70% chance of thunderstorms from 1:00 – 7:00 pm. I wouldn’t have thought twice about a little rain, but a thunderstorm is a different story when you’re on a bike and 20+ miles from home (or your car).
About 11:30 this morning, we decided to load up the bikes and head downtown. We figured it couldn’t hurt to check in and see what was happening. It was $25.00 to register for the ride; the money was going to a good cause whether we ended up participating or not.
It. Was. Humid.
Humid to the point that, 12 years ago, my pubescent self would have run home immediately for some anti-frizz hairspray…
And some extra strength antiperspirant…
And an extra shirt…
And maybe an extra pair of underwear.
You could tell it was going to rain something fierce. I do think a lot of people decided not to show up because of the nasty weather we were supposed to get, but it didn’t stop those of us that were there!
(Side note, I don’t blame anyone who didn’t attend. We got caught in a torrential downpour!)
We rode the few miles from Mad Meatball to Confluence, the first stop. The clouds were getting darker, the wind was picking up and getting cooler… All signs of an impending storm. As we were sitting at the brewery, we started to feel raindrops. Everyone pulled out their phones to check the radar, and, sure enough, the storm was coming right for us. There wasn’t enough coverage from the rain at Confluence, so we hopped on our bikes and booked it to Jasper Winery. Thankfully, they had a tent outside.
We sat in that tent as the rain pounded down for over an hour. It hadn’t finished raining when we finally left the vineyard, but we couldn’t wait forever! A few miles down the trail was Orlando’s, and the rain had completely cleared up by the time we got there. Now that we all had raindrop-stained sunglasses and mud splatters all up the back of our shirts, we were golden. We sat at Orlando’s long enough to have a slice of pizza and a beer, and then we headed for Cumming Tap.
This was the long stretch of trail. I think the only reason we ended up even doing this part of the ride was because nobody wanted to be the one to bow out first; nobody wanted to admit to being tired and ready to go home!
I’m that person. I will freeze to death at a baseball game in Minnesota in April before I will admit to being cold and wanting to go home. I am that stubborn of a person…
I am a Taurus, after all.
Brian and I had been riding with a few people we knew so far. We hadn’t really planned on riding with them; it just kind of happened when we all got there. At this point, Brian and I took off for Cumming Tap on our own (silently wanting to go home). We did the eight-or-so miles, stayed long enough to use the restroom and get a drink of water, and then we turned right around and rode back to our car.
My Fitbit told me that the last leg, the return, was just over 13 miles.
Now, it’s 9:45 on Saturday night, and I’m in bed writing about it.
Even though I don’t think my ass will ever get used to being on a bike seat, this is truly the life I’ve always wanted.