Riding days: 10 SHOWS: 7 total mileage: 364 miles elevation gain: 10,206 feet Flat tires: 1
Leaving Ames was hard- so many friends made over the last two years, such a wonderful community, lots of great memories. We were happy to have an entourage of friends accompany us for the first few days to ease us into the idea of departing on this tour! Thanks so much to those who rode with us, and a special thanks to those who helped us move out of our apartment as they waited patiently to start the ride...
Our first week and a half on the road consisted of shows at Mustard Seed Farm near Ames, the Hotel Pattee, Clarion Sage Farm in Waukee, the Iowa Food Cooperative in Des Moines, a house show in Cedar Falls, the University of Iowa in Iowa CIty, and Draco Hill Farm outside of West Branch, IA. Each and every show has had a strong feeling of community, and the music has felt right at home in the tranquility of the outdoors. A big thanks to those who helped set up these shows, to those who hosted us, and to those who attended!
Biking in Iowa has been sometimes arduous, but generally quite an enjoyable endeavor. We've seen rain and wind, had a flat tire, and found that Iowa, quite surprisingly, is not very flat at all. We've climbed a little over 1/3 the height of Mount Everest in 10 days, but we're still at basically the same elevation as when we started. We've once again become accustomed to riding fully loaded bikes every day. It's funny how something you knew so well at a previous time must be rediscovered and understood. Lots of yoga, stretching and daily icing has kept us in good shape.
To find our routes, we've been relying on previous experience, the Iowa 2012 Transportation Map for Bicyclists (free!), and google maps bicycle routes. We've ridden on everything from gravel roads and a flooded B road to fairly busy paved roads. Even with a GPS and an iphone, we've taken a fair number of unexpected detours due to bridges and roads being closed. Summer is construction season, after all!
This is the first tour that we've attempted to tackle while keeping a vegetarian, gluten-free diet, so we've gotten a little creative with our cuisine. We're also packing some beautiful coffee making equipment, a frying pan, and more photo and video gear than ever before...now we just need to make sure we make good use of it! We'll be posting some recipes and gear reviews along the way, so let us know you want to hear how any of our gear in particular is working for us.
There is a lot more to tell, and more photos and videos to sort through. We'll leave you with some of our favorite pictures for now, and share more as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading and supporting,
Paul and Jen
Riding the Heart of Iowa Trail, happily away from the noise of cars.
Iowa Food Cooperative show- a fun, festival vibe!
You know you're in for some wind when these are looming out of the mist...
Firefly Alcove Campground. No reservation needed.
Draco Hill Farm show, after a walking tour of the farm.
We found a long lost friend upon arriving in Iowa City!