The Not Long and Wine-ding Road
This route was scouted by: TJ Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI director
Length: 40 miles
Surface: Paved roads and trails
Parking and restrooms: High Trestle Trail, Ankeny
Enjoy the sights of the best of Iowa agriculture: corn, soybeans, and – believe it or not – grapes on this easy 40-mile ride. Begin on the High Trestle Trail in Ankeny near the water tower and fire station. As you make your way north, the landscape transitions quickly from rows of homes to rows of corn and soybeans; look for a pair of buffalo grazing on the west side of trail at 118th. Midway to Sheldahl, take a break at the Oasis, one of the nicest rest stops around (restroom and water bubbler). In Slater, refuel at the bike-friendly Take Down Bar, a Thursday evening destination for local riders (try the $6 Italian sausage sandwich).
Return heading south on R38 (becomes NW 44 St.) and east on NW 142nd Ave. Locals gather at the Elkhart Pub on Main Street. The White Oak Winery near Elkhart features live music on summer evenings. White Oak is one of the few central Iowa wineries on a paved road. Enjoy the vineyards tucked between the fields of corn and soybeans.
Side trips: if you get this close, you shouldn’t miss the High Trestle Trail bridge between Madrid and Slater, the showpiece of Central Iowa Trails. It’s just 9 miles west of Slater.
Where to Stay: Two Bears Lodge (515-795-3880)
T.J. Juskiewicz is the director of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, best known as RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI is the oldest, longest and largest recreational bicycle tour in the world. His Wine-Ding Road loop is a favorite training ride from his home in Ankeny. T.J. is the former president of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. Before moving to Iowa, he was director of Bike Florida and a coordinator for Bike South 2000, a 2,000-mile, 30-day, bicycle tour of six southern states.