Scandinavians and The Skunk
This route was scouted by: Jeff Bock, Jeffrey Bock Custom Frames
Length: 49 miles
Surface: Paved Roads
Parking: Riverside Park, Ames
By the time you loop around this portion of Story County, you’ll no doubt meet up with at least a couple Scandinavians with roots deep in this county. From Riverside Park, head east on bike lanes to 13th Street, then north on Dayton Avenue. Follow E29 east, then north on R77 (600th Avenue) to Roland. After refueling at Casey’s, continue north on R77. At D65 turn west, then south on R61 to Story City. Enjoy nice views of the Skunk River and its greenbelt. Story City celebrates Scandinavian Days every year (first weekend in June). Take a spin on the hand-carved wooden animals of the 1913 Herschell-Spillman Antique Carousel, whirling to the tunes of the 1936 Wurlitzer Military Band Organ. Saddle up to ride south on R61 (Grand Avenue). At the edge of town, turn east (left) to First Street for a couple of blocks, staying on R61. Pedal west on E18 to the intersection of R38, then turn south. Follow Cameron School, Dakota, and 13th streets back to Ames.
Side trip: Book a personalized group tour in Story City that includes the history of the restoration of the carousel, making kringla (a Scandinavian pastry), and storytelling at the Story Theatre.
Where to stay: MonteBello B&B Inn (515-296-2181)
Meet your route scout: Jeff Bock, Jeffrey Bock Custom Frames
Jeff received his first bicycle on his fourth birthday. Thus began a life-long passion. In addition to riding for fun and recreation, Jeff enjoys cycle touring and commuting. He has ridden RAGBRAI numerous times. Recently, he’s completed self-supported tours in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. (Photo includes Jeff and his wife, Pat.) Jeff, who started working on bicycles professionally in Cedar Falls (Europa Cycles), has built custom bicycle frames in the Ames for the past 32 years. Due to his time working at Europa and Michael’s, both Raleigh dealers, Jeff has acquired a great affection and appreciation (his friends claim it’s an affliction) for Sturmey-Archer hubs and classic English 3-speed bicycles. While Jeff is quick to point out he does NOT approve of thievery, he completely understands Flann O’Brien’s sentiment: “Why would anybody steal a watch, when he could steal a bicycle instead?”