Monday, July 18, 2011

Dawgs on Wheels - Day 4

Day 4 - Boone to Altoona - 56.1 miles, 1147 feet of climb
This is the day we are looking forward to the most - short, flat and FUN!!  We will be camping at my sister’s place south and west of Boone the night before, and the county road she lives on just happens to lead straight down to Woodward and the trailhead of Iowa’s newest biking attraction, the High Trestle Trail.  Rumor has it that up to 6,000 riders are expected to go off route that day... and I say if you can’t beat ‘em...join ‘em!  
From the trailhead in Woodward, it’s a mere 3 miles to the bridge that crosses the Des Moines River.  If you haven’t seen it yet, have your camera ready.  It will take your breath away.  After your photo ops, it’s just another 3 miles to the Flat Tire Lounge, just steps off the trail.

Flat Tire Lounge, on the High Trestle Trail in Madrid
I read about Flat Tire the week of its opening and made it my mission to get Hair of the Dawg in there.  It just looked like our kind of place.  So we paid a visit and hit it off with Scott, Mandy and all the other owners.  This bar, a converted quonset hut, is bicyclists’ heaven.  Look up when you go in... up on a balcony there are two mannequins sporting team jerseys that change each day (or more often when an organized ride is going by).  If you’ve sent one of yours to them (there’s still time!) and it happens to be on one of the mannequins when you stop in, you’ll get a discount on your beer!

The Radish of Des Moines will be catering Breakfast Burritos and Biscuits & Gravy in the morning, and for lunch - pork chops on a stick, cold sandwiches and wraps and pasta bar.  Though you can get almost any of our mixes there, Flat Tire will have a $4 Bloody Mary special, and $3 Screwdrivers.  A DJ will be spinning tunes all day to pump up the Flat Tire!
The Crossroads Tavern, Kelley Corner (between Luther and Slater)
Once you get to Slater, it’s worth backtracking on the official route five miles north to the Crossroads Tavern on the Kelley Corner.  What the heck... it's a short day!  The Crossroads, a former gas station/convenience store, sits on a huge corner lot with plenty of room for bikes, sand volleyball and dancing to some DJ tunes.  You can fill up there on a breakfast burrito and a Hair of the Dawg Bloody Mary.
Elkhart Pub, 127 E. Main St. in Elkhart
In the growing town of Elkhart, you’ll want to go “where everybody knows your name.”  That’s just the kind of feel the Elkhart Pub has.  In fact, we had a little trouble getting out of there when we were scouting the route, we were having such great conversations with the other patrons.  We’ll see Gallagher there again, and you can get a $3 beer, $1 soda or a Hair of the Dawg Margarita in their beer garden.
Cory’s Irish Pub, 110 1st St. SE in Bondurant
This bedroom community to the Des Moines metro area has doubled its population in the last ten years.  One of its newer additions is Cory’s Irish Pub.  The pub features Cory’s Irish Cream - their own secret recipe.  Cory’s will be offering steak sandwiches and grinders, Hair of the Dawg Margaritas and Mojitos, and live music.

Every year I start feeling sad about Day 4, because a week of nothin' but Bicycles, Bloodies and Beer is too quickly coming to an end.  So I'm off to find a box of tissues, and will be back tomorrow with Day 5's lineup!

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