Testing The Fender

Trail: Portions of the Raccoon River Valley and Clive Greenbelt

Trail Map

Clive Greenbelt Trail

Raccoon River Valley Trail

Trail Information

Clive Greenbelt Trail

Raccoon River Valley Trail


Overview

Finally!  I’ve got a rear fender for the Iron Giant. It’s from SKS and easily mounts to the seat post for days when the riding can be sloppy.  Today was the day.  With the temperatures jumping into the 60’s the snow was finally melting and creating lots of puddles.

Unfortunately my schedule for the day didn’t allow the luxury for a longer ride so I headed out from home with plans to bookend a local ride with errands.

Considerations

  • Puddles and street sand put the fender to the test.  It worked like a charm saving my jacket from needing to be laundered when I got home. 

  • Icy patches of trail prompted me to detour my route using city streets.  The tunnel going under SE Boone drive looked extra hazardous.  

  • Spring is pothole season on streets and trails.  Stay alert to avoid any mishaps.

  • The stretch of Raccoon River Valley Trail between Clive and the Waukee trailhead has  lots of street crossings, loud traffic and the aroma of exhaust.  For riders traveling further on the trail, this link is a necessary evil.  Keep your eye open for cars turning into parking lots and intersections and assume motorists are unaware of cyclists.  

Stops

  • My first stop was the Waukee Library to make a return.  I was tempted to go inside and browse, but knew if I did I would end up with a heavy bike bag for the remainder of the ride.

  • I took a little break from the ride and sat in the sun at Campbell Park.  

  • The last stop for the day was the post office.  Exciting stuff!

Sightings

  • Centennial Park in Waukee really doesn’t have a pond, but the sand volleyball pit was doing a great job impersonating one.

  • Despite having ridden this path countless times, I had never noticed the forgotten piece of farm equipment along the trail.  A perfect example of how each ride can be a different experience.

  • The fields of Walnut Creek Baseball had hills of sand waiting to be spread out before the spring season opener.

  • Let’s hope the flood marker by Walnut Creek doesn’t have an opportunity to be used this year.  A super tall cyclist from Team Road Pirates had graced the marker with their team sticker.

  • Abstract  snow sculptures dotted the shoulder of the Raccoon River Valley Trail.  Mother nature was showing off her creative side.

  • The geese have been using the Waukee area for pit stops during their migration north.  I’m not sure what is attracting them to the suburbs.  Most likely it’s a migratory path that was once in the country. Hundreds of them were taking a break in a bit of cornfield just off of Alice’s road.

Treats

  • While enjoying my break in the sun at Campbell Park I snacked on some homemade trail mix.  Eating outside on a beautiful day always seems to make food taste better.

Wrap Up

  • The fender passed the test and will be sure to come in handy again this spring.

  • I’ve ridden this route numerous times.  It’s not a favorite route as I prefer to get away from suburban life when on my bike. But on a day where I don’t have time to visit an Iowa trail, this route will do just fine.  

Happy Riding!