The First Day of the Rest of my Life
Aug 05, 2010
Mar 01, 2015
Where I stayed
Black Hawk State Park
The day began at my girlfriend's house. I told her I loved her and then kissed her goodbye. Having all the time in the world to get started I still felt the need to race home (in my dad's mini-van) to grab my bike and gear to get started on the ride. D.M.P.D. had a not so warm parting gift, yet another speeding ticket, I don't care to mention the price but I was travelling 17 miles over, so you can guess the rest. I vowed not to get behind the wheel of another motor vehicle, but we will see good intentions die hard. Then I made it home to pick up my stuff, then it was on to my fathers house who would be joining my to ride the first leg of my journey. Since we have both ridden the Des Moines paths hundreds of times, I saw no problem with him driving us out of town a bit to get a little head start. Fittingly enough we got started in Jaimaica, Iowa. Sounds like a great place but theres not much there. Were just about to start riding on the trail when my Dad finds he's got a flat on his road bike. So I road off on the trail while he drove ahead to pick up a tube in the next town and be ready to go there. When I met him there we had a snack and then we were finally ready to start riding together a bit, it was only like 4pm at that point. We road all the way to Carol together, it was great to ride with him one last time, the perfect send off I would have to say. Then I found the trail in Carol that would leed all the way into Black Hawk State Park, thats where we said our goodbyes. Can't begin to describe the feeling I got once the journey alone had truely began, the only word to desribe it would be Sublime. I'm sure the trail threw there is fantastic now, if there done with it, but at the time they were in the midst of finishing it. For some fun reason they opted to do it in many different sections which meant many changes between gravel and nice newly laid pavement. As you will find out, I'm not exactly the most experienced bike rider and very new to my clip in footwear. So when I pulled up to hop up onto the pavement one time I didn't take my left foot out, some things I just gotta learn the hard way, and I toppeled over right onto my left hip, ouch. Then the next time I was being much more cautious but they put a real fun slick layer of stuff on the cement that I hadn't seen before, so my back tire slid and once again bam!, right on my left hip again, I'd be feeling that bruise for a month to come. Then I come accross a truck parked directly in the middle of a wooden bridge. Keep in mind that even with all the constuction the trail was open to the public, so why would they park their truck to block the path. This thing was really in the middle I tried squeezing on both sides but my bags just wouldn't fit. Luckily the keys were in the ignition, so I hopped in and moved it to the side. No matter how hard ya try, ya gotta get behind the wheel the get the darn thing outta your way. Then it was smooth sailing all the way into Black Hawk Park, where theres a nice little lakeside town straight outta the 1950's, I guess the State Park couldn't afford to but all of the water front property. So I pitched my tent for the first night, called up some loved ones to let them know how the day went, then I was fast asleep.