Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bonus Dirt or Commuter-track

I'm not sure what to call it yet, but last week during bike to work week I did some exploring on my way home from the Taco Ride and discovered or, in some cases, rediscovered some dirt trails running along the river between Principal Park and SE 14th (and under SE 14th - how cool is that? the trail goes under the street - ninja). The river-side stuff continues east of 14th until you pop out on Hartford Rd. From there you can cross the street and head up a mongo hill to get behind the new softball fields on one side and Pioneer Park on the other. From Hartford you can see a motocycle/atv path steeply climbing the bad boy hill. I've been eyeballing it for awhile thinking, "I wonder if my rotundness can make it up that?" Last Wednesday I gave it the test. Being a little spent from the morning commute, ride to the Center and about half the Taco route I only gave myself a sportman's chance. There was a nice lady and two motocycle guys (sans motocycles) at the top. Between the spectators, the Slip Knot on my iPod and me being slightly less Chris Farley-esque I was able to make it to the top. The audience was quite impressed. They heaped praise on me, most of which I missed due to the aforementioned Slip Knot. Before I dove into the trailhead on the other side the lady asked me if I had ridden back there before. I told her I had, she said "well, you're gonna find more really steep hills in there." One of the guys scoffed. He said, "I just saw him climb THAT, I think he can handle the stuff in there." The lady quickly agreed. It was one of the nicest compliments I have received in quite awhile.

So on Tuesday this week I brought my camera and did the same dirt route on my way home from work. It was a bit tempting to ride dirt on my way in, but showing up to the office looking like one of the Mud People may not be the best thing for my career (but then again, who cares?)

Da beginning...I hope any River People are friendly



Little brother hill, with Big Bro in the background.



Doesn't look too steep in this picture, but it is. The top isn't even the top. There's 2 more little climbs to the right.


Top-o-the-world, Ma. Well, top of Des Moines anyway. I really think this is one of the highest points in the city. You can see the Altoona water tower in the other direction.



There's not a lot of trail behind Pioneer Park, but the stuff that is there is pretty cool. There's plenty of ups and downs, roots and such to be had.



Clearly motocross goes on back here, although I've never actually seen it in action. It does tend to make me a little nervous, especially when rockin' the headphones.


Even a little creek crossing
Sweet. Workdirt.

1 comment:

Squirrel said...

we used too ride those trails back in the day, hell I used to go there every Sunday with my Trooper and get muddy:) Used to be able to make it all the way too the Pickle Farm, then on out too Runnels all by running along the river...lots of sand in some spots but plenty fun....I need to revisit that area...thanks for reminding me!

Peace