30 Days of Biking - Week Three

I’m turning in my homework late today. It is also incomplete. No doubt my grade will be docked as a result and I understand there are no do-overs. But there’s always an opportunity for extra credit right?

Day 15:  Don’t ask me how many flavors I’ve tried so far, because I’ll just fib and say two.

Day 15: Don’t ask me how many flavors I’ve tried so far, because I’ll just fib and say two.

Day 16:  What you didn’t know this trail went through the alley ways of Iowa?  I didn’t see any moose but there’s rumor of a mountain lion.

Day 16: What you didn’t know this trail went through the alley ways of Iowa? I didn’t see any moose but there’s rumor of a mountain lion.

Day 17:  Marie Kondo would not be happy.

Day 17: Marie Kondo would not be happy.

Day 18:  Feeling self righteous on my transpo choice.

Day 18: Feeling self righteous on my transpo choice.

Day 19: Birds can’t read

Day 19: Birds can’t read

Day 20: I never thought I would ever try (and like) chicken and waffles.  Being wrong can be a fantastic thing. If you ride the Great Western Trail.  Stop here!

Day 20: I never thought I would ever try (and like) chicken and waffles. Being wrong can be a fantastic thing. If you ride the Great Western Trail. Stop here!

Day 21:  This ride was delegated to my son.  Thanks kid!

Day 21: This ride was delegated to my son. Thanks kid!

Day 22: Some random person riding their bike.

Day 22: Some random person riding their bike.

Day 23: Raccoon River Valley Trail

Day 23: Raccoon River Valley Trail

Day 24:  Blue Heron Lake at Raccoon River Park

Day 24: Blue Heron Lake at Raccoon River Park

Day 25:  Trees are great teachers.  I learned how you can be weathered, scarred, scraggly, beautiful and sweet simultaneously.

Day 25: Trees are great teachers. I learned how you can be weathered, scarred, scraggly, beautiful and sweet simultaneously.

Day 26:  Flowering quince. Wish it lived in my yard.

Day 26: Flowering quince. Wish it lived in my yard.

Day 28: Teenager bike gang meet up.

Day 28: Teenager bike gang meet up.

As you can see Day 29 and 30 are missing but quality work doesn’t happen when you’re fisning your homework on the bus ride to school. Hopefully this won’t show up on my permanent record.

Happy Riding!

Leave Your Bike At Home

Taking a relaxing bike ride around Blue Heron Lake can be easier with the handy BCycle kiosk at Raccoon River Park. Or maybe pedal over to Valley Junction for a bit to eat and some shopping? G Migs anyone? Or maybe use a bike on your next birding visit. Such fun!

Had I known about the kiosk I would have left my bike at home. Looks like I’ve really been out of the loop because I later learned it was added last summer! Anyway, according to the map at Des Moines Bcycle it’s West Des Moines first station. Hopefully bike sharing is spreading to the ‘burbs

Iowa-Bike-Rides-Bcycle


30 Days of Biking - Week Two

Sometimes the hardest part of this challenge has nothing to do with riding my bicycle. It’s coming up with a creative and unique snap for the ‘Gram. Maybe, if I do 30 Days of Biking next year, I’ll reduce the pressure and just take the same picture of the same bicycle in the same location, each day. Brilliant! What a creative idea!

What does make taking a picture easier is nature. What makes it even EASIER is your sister coming up with the great idea for the snap.

Day EIGHT - “Princess of the Forest” aka Sycamore. Just off the trail at Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area

Day EIGHT - “Princess of the Forest” aka Sycamore. Just off the trail at Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area

Does it count as a selfie if you’re attempting to look off into the horizon while a trying like mad to not squint but convey “oh look at me looking …out on the trail…pondering the beauty that is a vacant farm field”? Good greif!!

DAY Nine: The first longer ride of 2019. Just outside of Minburn on the RRVT.

DAY Nine: The first longer ride of 2019. Just outside of Minburn on the RRVT.

Day Ten - I need a cowboy hat and some good ideas.

Day Ten - I need a cowboy hat and some good ideas.

Day Eleven - RIP pine tree. You were super cool. My favorite thing about you was your wonky branch.

Day Eleven - RIP pine tree. You were super cool. My favorite thing about you was your wonky branch.

Feel free to scroll right on past this one. Is it me or does looking at this picture give you a headache? The peony, the crocus, the fence, the raspberry. SO MANY LINES. Plus it’s blurry.

Day Twelve - No Words

Day Twelve - No Words

A ride didn’t happen. Does standing next to a bike shop count? Sure!! But only if you’re holding a coffee cup and looking distracted.

Day Thirteen - Sans ride

Day Thirteen - Sans ride

Day Fourteen -Really?? It’s come to THIS? A picture of your shoe and your filthy bike? For shame!

Day Fourteen -Really?? It’s come to THIS? A picture of your shoe and your filthy bike? For shame!

Here’s to week three being more aesthetically pleasing. I’m really digging this same picture idea for 2020.

Happy Riding!

30 Days of Biking - Week One

Holy smokes! This is my 6th year of pledging to ride my bike every…single…day in the ever unpredictable month of April. As the 4,860th person to sign up at 30 Days of Biking I felt a bit tardy to the party. But better late than never right?

Day One - Art installation along Clive Greenbelt Trail. “Trail & Woods Behind My Neighborhood” by Maria Cervantes

Day One - Art installation along Clive Greenbelt Trail. “Trail & Woods Behind My Neighborhood” by Maria Cervantes

Day Two - Lunch break in Waukee.

Day Two - Lunch break in Waukee.

Day Three - The Simpson Barn in Johnston

Day Three - The Simpson Barn in Johnston

Day Four - Waukee’s new Fox Creek Park

Day Four - Waukee’s new Fox Creek Park

Day Five - Country Club Glen Park in Clive

Day Five - Country Club Glen Park in Clive

Day Six - The historical Burr Oak on the campus of Iowa State University. It dwarfs most things. Especially my bicycle.

Day Six - The historical Burr Oak on the campus of Iowa State University. It dwarfs most things. Especially my bicycle.

Day Seven - First library ride of 2019.

Day Seven - First library ride of 2019.

The challenge is off to a good start. With a decent amount of riding my creaky legs are getting ready for more rides this summer.

Happy Riding!

Brenton Arboretum

This outing ended up being pretty funny. I was looking to be outside in the quiet but the crusty coating on the snow made for some pretty loud snowshoeing. CRUNCH!!! CRUNCH!!! CRUNCH!!!! I couldn’t help but laugh. Wildlife out in the cold heard me coming and headed for cover. In order to hear birdsong I had to stop walking. I didn’t get the quiet I was looking for but I’ll find it once the snow’s gone. Hopefully soon!


The  Brenton Arboretum can be found in an unsuspecting location in between farm fields south of Dallas Center. With seven different grass trails and the gravel drive, there are lots of options for getting around the museum of trees.  It is also less than 3 miles from the Raccoon River Valley Trail via gravel roads.

The arboretum was created by the Brenton family using land purchased in 1853 for $1.25 an acre. Over 2,000 trees are included in the collection.  Each are labeled with its botanical name.  Maps of the park and the location of trees are listed on maps available in the kiosk just inside the park.  A playscape and pavilion provide great spots for spending time with the family out in nature.  Lots of events take place throughout the year.  For all the details check out the Brenton Arboretum website.