Tootling Around Ankeny

Trail: Ankeny urban trails and side streets; High Trestle Trail    

Location:  North central  Ankeny and DMACC campus

Ride Length:  Moderate

Surface:  Asphalt trails and concrete city streets

Terrain:  Flat

Date:    1-12-14

Time:    1:00

Weather: 40’s/Cloudy/Breezy

Starting Point: Residential neighborhood North of Faith Bible College

Ride Map


Overview

  • To celebrate the departure of the Polar Vortex (good riddance!!!) my sister and I decided to cruise around her hometown of Ankeny.  She conveniently lives close to the High Trestle Trail (lucky her!).

  • My sister has a bike which is a former friend of mine.  I bought Mr. McFeely back in 1997.  This past summer he relocated to Ankeny to get more rides in and not have to compete with the Iron Giant.  If you haven’t already guessed, this Trek got it’s name from a character from the television show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  Riding it always reminded me of the bike Mr. McFeely used.  “Speedy Delivery!” Ding! Ding! 

  • Snow + warmer weather = puddles.  There were lots of them on our bike ride, but we didn’t mind a bit.  It was wonderful being outside on our bikes.  We saw a couple of other cyclists who, based on the big grins on their faces, were thinking the same thing.

  • From the northern part of central Ankeny we biked south to the DMACC campus where an asphalt trail circles their pond.  It was funny seeing their sign with the phrase “Where are you going?” since at that point our ride was turning into an somewhat of an exploration.

Considerations

  • When riding a bike without fenders on a route littered with puddles be prepared to use the stain remover when you get home.  I had a big splattered streak of grime up the back of my jacket.  

  • With over 73 miles of paved trails, Ankeny has lots of bike riding options for days where riding a rural trail isn’t conducive.  It's also a great community for cruising around town.  

Sightings

  • Ankeny has several Little Free Library locations.  These “take a book, leave a book” mini libraries are built by residents wanting to foster the love of reading.  The library we rode past had been designed and built by a young man for his service project for the Boy Scouts of America.  

  • Not only was it a good day for a winter ride, it apparently was a good day for ice fishing.  All around town we spotted men out on the ice trying their luck at catching fish.  The DMACC pond was a popular spot along with the pond at the corner of NW State Street and NW 18th Street.  

  • The High Trestle Trail starts/stops at West 1st Street in Ankeny.  The city will be developing this area into Ankeny Market and Pavillion which will include two pavilions, restrooms and parking.  There are also plans to eventually connect the High Trestle Trail to the Gay Lea Wilson trail.  

  • What a tease!  Opening the summer of 2014 is Firetrucker Brewery, located in a former fire station conveniently located south of the planned Ankeny Market and Pavillion.  They have put a sign up on a portion of their building to help folks keep them in mind until their arrival.  It will be exciting to have another location in the DesMoines area for craft beer.  

  • How could someone lose their hand knitted Cyclone colored scarf!  Were they upset with their loss to Oklahoma and tossed it into a puddle?  It has found it’s way to the home of a fan who’s not so “fair weather”.

  • We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw a Woolly Bear Caterpillar on the trail!  It was alive and moving...very...slowly.  How it escaped the deadly polar vortex we’ll never know.

Stops

Towards the end of our ride we decided to stop at Wheelhouse Pizza and Pub, for a beverage.  Outside are convenient, and creative, spots to park your bicycle.  Inside, the artwork behind the bar and table top designs are tributes to the High Trestle Trail.

Treats

At Wheelhouse we savored beer from Exile Brewing in Des Moines.  I had the Ruthie while my sister chose the Betty.  Great conversation and flavorful beer made a lovely treat.  

Wrap Up

I’ll tootle around Ankeny any day.  It’s easy to navigate around town on bike trails and quiet side streets.  It can’t get much better than going on a bike ride with my sister!

Happy Riding!


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