If you want to get some serious miles in, The "Raccoon" is the perfect trail. Trailside towns are less than 10 miles apart and provide good options for where to start/stop a ride or to take a break. There is a variety of scenery ranging from open farmland to wooded areas flanking rivers and creeks. Riders 18 and up are required to a user fee of $2 a day or $10 for a year. Strong boxes are located at trailheads for purchasing trail permits.
It's a rare thing in Iowa when the wind isn't blowing. Absent winds make for great bike riding opportunities. Unfortunately, they can make for a bug filled bike ride.
This season gnats have been congregating in droves along river trails. Clouds of them wait for cyclists to pedal through to later find themselves covered in black flecks. Eye wear is a must along with remembering to keep the mouth closed and the jersey zipped shut.
Bugs be dammed I took advantage of the nice weather and rode from Waukee to Redfield. The ride was relatively uneventful and the trail quiet. New signs at intersections along the Highway 6 have been posted as a result of the Avian Flu.
Passing through Adel around 5:00 I waited several minutes where the trail crosses Kinnick Drive. Cars, cars, cars! Looks like Adel could use another stop light. Next to Adel City Hall I saw a large boulder that looked to be in the process of being painted as a type of memorial.
Reaching the Redfield trailhead I refilled my water bottle inside the depot and noticed a charging station. What a great idea! This is just one of the handy amenities cyclists can find along Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Outside the depot I took a break to enjoy the sandwich I packed and ended up discussing the virtues of PB&J with a gentelman there. We decided there's a science to making them and how no matter how old you are, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always good, and even better when you can eat them outside.
Gnats galore on the ride back! Maybe that's why the trail was so quiet.