We decided to do things a little differently on “RAGBRAI week”. There are lots of trails, bike shops and breweries in Iowa that we have never been to, so we took this week to do a little BIKEIOWA Road Trip.
We also wanted to hit some less-known trails and destinations around Iowa.
We packed up the RV, loaded up the touring bikes and Fat bike and headed out for the week. We had identified some points of interest and had a general direction where we were going, but nothing was set in stone.
As it stands, we stopped at 14 bike shops, 16 trails and 9 new breweries/bars. We met a lot of new people and saw lots of new sites.
Did we miss RAGBRAI? You bet we did, but this trip was something different and a different kind of fun. It shows there is PLENTY to do in Iowa on your bicycle close to home.
2014 BIKEIOWA Road Trip Stops
- Raccoon River Valley Trail
- Sauk Rail Trail - Breda, Carnarvon, Carroll, Lake View, Maple River
- The Three Rivers Trail - Rolfe, Bradgate, Rutland, Humboldt, Dakota City, Thor and Eagle Grove
- Big Woods Lake Trail – Cedar Falls
- Cedar Valley Nature Trail – Cedar Falls
- George Wyth State Park – Cedar Falls
- Cedar Valley Lakes Trail – Cedar Falls
- Lone Tree Road Trail – Cedar Falls
- South Riverside Trail – Cedar Falls
- Cedar Prairie Trail – Cedar Falls
- Greenhill Trail – Cedar Falls
- Kewash Nature Trail - Washington,West Chester,Keota
- Fairfield Loop Trail – Fairfield
- The Ottumwa Levee Trail - Ottumwa
- Cinder Path Trail – Chariton
- Volksweg Trail – Lake Red Rock - Pella
Shops with (*) have BIKEIOWA swag – stop in and get some!
The Cedar Falls Visitor Center also has swag (*)
- Bike Tech – Cedar Falls (*)
- Europa Cycle –Cedar Falls (*)
- Northtowne Cycling – Cedar Rapids (*)
- Hall Bicycle Company – Cedar Rapids (*)
- Broken Spoke - Iowa City (*)
- World of Bikes - Iowa City (*)
- Geoff’s Bike & Ski - Iowa City (*)
- 30th Century Bicycle - Iowa City (*)
- AJs Bicycle Shop - Fairfield (*)
- Riverside Cyclery - Ottumwa
- Connecticut Yankee Pedaler – Chariton (*)
- Iowa Bike & Fitness – Pella (*)
- MoJo Cycling - Newton (*)
- Rasmussen Bike Shop – Altoona (*)
Breweries / Bars
- Single Speed Brewing Company – Cedar Falls
- Mulligan’s Brick Oven Grill – Cedar Falls
- Volks Haus – Waterloo
- La Calle Latin American Bistro - Cedar Falls
- Albia Brewing Company – Albia
- Brick Street Pub & Eatery – Albia
- Peace Tree Brewing Company – Knoxville
- Brewhouse No. 25 - Altoona
- Founder’s Irish Pub – Bondurant
We took a bunch of Road Trip photos. Anything from trails to breweries to store fronts to food, bikes and friends. There are almost 200 photos. click through the gallery below, or you can view the entire gallery here
This gallery starts with Day 5.
Fri & Sat - July 18 & 19th RAGBRAI spiritRead Review
Tue - July 22nd - Day 1
Wed July 23rd - Day 2Read Review
Thu July 24th - Day 3Read Review
Fri July 25th - Day 4
Sat –July 26th – Day 5
I got up early and took the loaded touring bike from our campground for a little exploring on the Volksweg Trail into Pella, but first I cruised around several of the spur trails into the various campgrounds taking in the sites and enjoying riding the winding trail. Once I got close to Pella, it was a steady climb into town. There was a really cool windmill made of bicycle parts at a home along the trail. Pella is home to Central College, the Dirty Wooden Shoe Cyclocross Race, Iowa Bike & Fitness. We knew Marty Doane, the owner of Iowa Bike & Fitness, would be on RAGBRAI, but we were close by and wanted to drop off some swag. I got there about 15 minutes before the shop opened at 9am so I cruised around Main Street. Local business owners were getting set up for a street sale and I rode to Caseys for some Chocolate mile and a banana. When I stopped back, the shop was open and bikes were already outside. I believe I spoke with Francisco, who thanked me for stopping in, and for the BIKEIOWA swag I left. I rode part of the trail back, then hopped on a county rode just not to backtrack any. Once I got back to the campgrounds, I headed off the other direction and rode until I reached a portion of the trail that was under water. I turned around and rode back to the RV to shower and seek out our next destination.
Mojo Cycling in Newton. They were “out to lunch” when we stopped by, but we chatted with the owner of the dentist’s office next door. She had just ridden her first RAGBRAI and was gonna thank the owner of Mojo for getting here started. We left the BIKEIOWA swag with her and continued our road trip. On our way out of town they had the Buffalo Wild Wings Race Car truck set up in a parking lot. I snapped a quick photo.
Rasmussen Bike Shop in Altoona on 8thStreet SW – We talked about the permanent cyclocross course that Altoona is building and actually how bicycle-friendly Altoona is becoming. Vern Wiley and Aaron Putnam have been working hard to put Altoona on the map for a cycling destination through trails, rides and destination. We dropped off some BIKEIOWA swag and two employees claimed cozies and ran outside to put BIKEIOWA stickers on their cars. Look for Rasmussen Bike Shop in Altoona to become a BIKEIOWA sponsor in the near future.
Brewhouse No. 25 in Altoona sets right beside the Four Mile Creek Greenway Trail. They opened in March, and have been really bike-friendly place ever since. The large patio, live music and craft beers make it a great place to hang out. They are very active with their social media as well. Follow them on Twitter: @Thebrewhouse25 or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brewhouse25. We’ll be sure to ride back here soon.
Founder’s Irish Pub in Bondurant became a Premier BIKEIOWA sponsor in June 2014. They are two-eheel friendly for sure! They host “Friday Night Bikes” where they offer special for anything on two wheels every Friday night and will soon host a Fat Tire Fun Ride on August 16th. We had the chicken Quesadilla and a couple of beers before moving on. The Quesadilla was the size and thickness of a large pizza! The bike trail is right around the corner and the patio is large enough for any crew you’ll ride there with. There are 12 beers on tap with many more bottled beers and tons of liquors to choose from.
We wanted to stop by FireTrucker Brewery on our way home, but felt guilty for driving there. Plus we wanted to get the RV cleaned out before dark.
The Volksweg Trail reminded me of the Neal Smith Trail – windy, rolling and scenic. It is a short jaunt from the Des Moines area for a day or a weekend getaway. Check it out if you have not yet.
PROs -Both Founder’s Irish Pub and Brewhouse No. 25 will be good future cycling destinations for us. Those in the area already know these places are good places to hang out.
CONs -Did not get to step inside Mojo Cycling in Newton. It is close enough to home and we will be back. We did not make it to Bike To You in Grinnell. Next time.
Road Trip Complete
Well – There you have it. The 2014 BIKEIOWA Road Trip is in the books! 14 bike trails, 16 Bike Shops and 9 breweries/ bars in 5 days. Was it long enough? Heck No! We made a good dent, but there are still plenty of places on our list that we did not get to, but will on the next road trip!
Where do YOU BIKE IOWA?