Raccoon River Bicycle Trail

Not too far from Des Moines, Iowa is the Raccoon River Bicycle Trail,  79 miles of paved bicycle trail, through multiple landscapes.

Our group went there summer of 2017 and stayed at the Hotel Patee.

For our taste the hotel was kind of kitchy.  All the rooms have themes.  Many people in the group really liked the idea, however.

Food is a bit of a problem.  Breakfast at the hotel was less than stellar, the one lunch was fine and dinner was a mixed bag.  Unfortunately, there are not too many places to eat in Perry, other than fast food.

The riding, however, was quite nice, if you like bike trails that go on forever, with little to no foot traffic.   The terrain and views do change every couple of miles and you do run in to several towns where there are places to eat.

On day one, we all took an out and back ride, on the trail,  west from the hotel.

On day two, we all took a longer out and back ride, heading south then west.

Out view and back views are similar but different.

The High Trestle Trail, is close by, but you will need to ferry bikes there as the only paved road all the way through is the highway.  There are plans to connect the two, however.

All in all it was a nice getaway.










Cycling Niagara Falls, Well, Not Really The Falls Itself

The road trip of the summer of 2017 involved a northern route from KC through Canada, to Niagara Falls, upstate NY then down to Long Island, NY .  Family and friends were along the route.

Part of the plan was to ride along the Niagara River.

The ride we took was good, however, we missed one important item.

There is good riding on the Canadian side and the New York side, and I the entire loop is only 40 miles.  However, you must carry your passport with you as you will be leaving and entering the two countries.  The route is approximate, but is about 45 miles, with the only real altitude gain on the bridges.

We forgot our passports, so we did an out and back on the Canadian side.


You cannot ride on the multi use path in the falls area, on either side, so you do need to get on the local roads to get to and from your hotel.

We rode down on the bicycle trail, part of which is hidden from the road,  most of which is parallel to the road, but constantly insight of the the Niagara River.

We rode back on the road, which was nice as we had a tail wind and no stop lights.





Erie Canal and Genesee River Way To Lake Ontario

It has been a summer of riding in different places or repeat remote starts.  Aside from the Erie Canal,  I will post on Niagara Falls (actually the river trail as riding over the falls itself is not encouraged) and the Racoon River Valley Trail in Perry, Iowa (near Des Moines)

Back to Rochester NY:

Yes, it was a cloudy, damp and cool day in upstate NY, but I needed explore another part of the Erie Canal Bike Trail, anyway.

My brother-in-law and his family live in Brighton,  a suburb of Rochester.  Although I have ridden the trail before there were still sections I had not explored by bicycle.

I started this ride at the Canal Park Lock 33, Edgewood Road, Brighton.
There is parking and an outhouse here.

It is also a lock along canal.

It was about 40 miles, all paved, all the way to Lake Ontario.  There was a deli, ice cream palor and outside sitting area on the lake.

The ride went along the canal and through unpopulated and well populated areas.

Took the Erie Canal Barge path west to the Genesee River Trail north.  This photo part of the Genesse Trail.

Both trail sections are fully paved and mostly flat.

Once you turn north towards Lake Ontario, you will be in some populated areas from time time.

At the lake there is a deli and and ice cream palor, as well as this view.






A Sunday Afternoon Ride

Family obligations meant no riding on Saturday May 20, but they ended late Sunday morning.

We generally ride in the am, but this was THAT kind of day, blue sky without clouds, temperatures in the 60s and 70s, not too much wind.

The kids were gone, the grand kids with them. It was quiet.

How could we not get on our bicycles.

The route hardly mattered, the day was that good.
We rode through the uncrowded streets of suburban Kansas and Missouri, outside of Kansas City.
We rode through the woods in Swope Park and on Blue River Road.
We rode through the suburb of Martin City, stopped for a coffee, and rode home.

It was one of those rides that meant nothing, but meant everything.

Sometimes that just happens.


Where Paved Roads Invented For Bicycles?

The Good Roads Movement  (Wikipedia) occurred in the United States between the late 1870s and the 1920s. Advocates for improved roads led by bicyclists turned local agitation into a national political movement.

Outside cities, roads were dirt or gravel; mud in the winter and dust in the summer. Early organizers cited Europe where road construction and maintenance was supported by national and local governments. In its early years, the main goal of the movement was education for road building in rural areas between cities and to help rural populations gain the social and economic benefits enjoyed by cities where citizens benefited from railroads, trolleys and paved streets. Even more than traditional vehicles, the newly invented bicycles could benefit from good country roads.

Different But Similar

Susan and I spend about half the riding season in the greater Kansas City area and the other half on Long Island, NY.

There are significant differences.
The KC area has less traffic (even in most parts of KC itself), more hills and country riding not to far away.

Long Island has many rides (or parts) along the shoreline and delis and bagel shops for breaks in the ride.

Many of the areas we ride in are similar, however.  Look at the photos below and see if you tell which are KC area and which are LI.  Answers are a scroll down from the last photo.

    sunset drive kc 1…










2…brookville ny











blue river road mo









4…prairie village ks










great neck ny










6…pine barrens LI









Scroll down for answers




























1 Sunset Road, KC, MO
2 Wheatley Road, LI, NY
3 Blue River Road,  KC, MO
4 Delmar Rd. Prairie Village, KS
5 Somewhere in Great Neck, LI, NY
6. North Street, Pine Barrens, Manorville, LI NY




When Is A Sweep More Than A Sweep

Obviously, when there is a broom on the back of the bike. 
I couldn’t resist.

There is a back story to this, however.  Some of the riders were off to clean off a section
of road that has had broken glass on it for quite a awhile.


Mishigas II

To recap,   my mother-in-law had a pet phrase to deal with people’s behavior that was strange to her:  “Everyone has their own mishigas (craziness).”

Cyclists are no exception.

  • A cycling buddy who tends to round up a 46 mile ride to 50 miles by going out for another 4 miles.
  • Another cycling friend who will ride his cyclometer to a mileage ending in 5 or 0 for every ride.
  • The attack and die person, who dashes up hills ahead of everyone else, only to lose steam and get passed further up the hill.
  • The EMT guy we knew who kept one water bottle filled the bandages and ointments among other supplies.
  • A new cycling friend who owns multiple bicycles and color coordinates his cycling outfit to match the his bicycle or each ride.
  • The rider (me) who rode an older, heavier bike early last season, then switched to the newer lighter bike to be faster for a brief week.

Glad to see we are a normal as everyone else.



The new Lynskey, Part II

Well, Susan and I have had our new bikes for awhile now and for me, it has provided me with the opportunity to be a little crazy as  my season winds down.

The bicycle is 3.5 lbs lighter than my old bike, I have pedals with a bigger platform which seem to give me more power and I seem to gear better with my compact with the 11/32 cassette, than I did with my old triple.