Minburn - What's New

My favorite stretch of the Raccoon River Valley Trail is from Dallas Center to Minburn. It’s quiet, still pretty (aka not littered with urban construction projects) and I can typically count on hearing pheasant, quail, and other birdsong. Plus it’s nice and flat. Perfect for an easy pedal.

Minburn is a tiny town and takes only a minute or two to mosey through. Despite it’s size the community has done a lot of work to add interesting elements along the bike trail. Residents are doing a great job of being “A Small Town with a Big Heart”.

On a recent ride I took a few pictures of the latest additions:

Soon to be Dallas County’s Freedom Rock is this ginormous stone. Practically every county in Iowa has an 60+ ton boulder painted yearly by the artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen as a way to say thank you to veterans for their service. Minburn’s American Legion is overseeing the project.


Bike breaks along the trail can now be an educational opportunity thanks to the new signs. How cool is it that you can pedal on a bit of Iowa history?


Does anyone even roller skate anymore? It was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. It was even more popular back in the ‘50’s. This metal skate pays tribute to the town’s love of skating and the musical “Singing Wheels” the community performed on wheels.


I think it’s pretty special how this tiny community has put big effort into supporting the bike trail by providing interesting things to learn and admire while passing through.

Happy Riding!

The Rides of Summer

Summer vacation starts today with a morning bike ride on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

Twelve Miles 'Til Tea Time

With a few extra hours in my day and weather uncharacteristic to February, I packed the handlebar bag and set out for Minburn.  It's one of the sleepier towns along the Raccoon River Valley trail with a handful of houses, a grain elevator (of course) and a tiny "downtown".  A bit of planning is required if choosing Minburn as a stopping point as trail amenities are scarce. 

The ride was as lovely as the weather.  Spring technically isn't here yet but hearing a Meadow Lark sing and seeing a turtle sunning itself in the warm sunshine indicated otherwise.  

The Iron Giant cruised along nicely.  I have been very happy with the change of handlebars I made late last year.  Recently I removed the pedal cages and so far have been pleased with that decision as well.  I suspect the next downsizing will involve the bike computer.  I find it unnecessary to be constantly reminded of my slow speeds.  The only useful information it does relay is how many miles until break time.  In this instance, it was twelve 'til tea.  

Yorkshire tea and Voortman Almond Krunch cookies were enjoyed at the Minburn town square. The trail mix ended up making the return trip home. 

Happy Riding!

Winter Riding Wimp

Rides have few and far between this winter.  A lack of snowfall has kept trails clean so my only excuse for ignoring my bike has been cold temperatures.  I've turned into a winter riding wimp!    

Maybe it was the sunshine and lack of wind.  It could it have been seeing cars parked at the trailhead.  Perhaps it was guilt for the lack of riding.  Regardless, I found myself bundled up and riding towards Dallas Center.

Noteworthy observations were a recently installed bench, a bald eagle resting in a tree, and additional stickers on the John Cisar memorial.  The most significant thing was me having ditched my library book, cozy blanket, and cup of tea for a cold winter ride.

Halfway to Dallas Center I turned the bike around.  Because it seems winter riding wimps are easily swayed by thoughts of books, blankets, and teacups. 

Happy Riding!