Growing up outside of Nevada, Iowa I visited Ames a lot. My favorite things to do were eating Hickory Park, playing at Brookside Park, shopping at North Grand Mall, and rollerskating at J-4 Rollerway. One thing I never did there was ride the bike trails.
While a student at Iowa State University there were study sessions at the Ames Public Library, lunch at Taco Time, and a part time job on campus. But, there was never a bike ride.
True, I've pedaled around around Ada Hayden Park, but for whatever reason it took me decades to finally pull the trigger and plan a ride on the trails. What took so long?
During a recent visit to Ames I carved out some time for a ride. Using Stewart Smith park as my trailhead, I leisurely wound my way north pedaling under Lincoln Highway over to Brookside Park. Some interesting graffiti was painted under the 6th Street bridge. The author certainly wasn't including me in their audience!
Arriving at Brookside Park I checked on the old fire engine, pedaled past the ball diamonds, and admired the inuksuk created by artist Peter Irniq. Leaving the park I continued north passing the aquatic center. Before reaching University Village the trail took me through a protected natural area where the squirrels were scurrying and the wildflowers blooming. After venturing over to over to Ames High I made my way back to Stewart Smith park. But before loading the bike back into the car there was a photo op with Cy and picking up a collection of pamphlets at the ISU Welcome Center.
Now I can say I've ridden my bike on the Ames bike trails. Now I can say I want to do more bike riding in Ames and explore other routes their network of trails offers. Now I can say riding my bike is one of my favorite things to do in Ames.....finally!