Sunday, August 14, 2016

From Waterloo to Coralville, Iowa

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail runs from Evansdale (a suburb or Waterloo) to Hiawatha (a suburb or Cedar Rapids) in Iowa. I rode this trail, and further south through Cedar Rapids and Ely, down to the Coralville (a suburb or Iowa City).

The entire ride included paved trail, lime chip trail, road, and even a little dirt that Google maps routed me onto. It was a good ride of three days: 40 miles, Evansdale to Urbana; 53 miles, Urbana to Sugar Bottom Campground, Lake McBride; and 10 miles, campground to New Pioneer Co-op, Coralville. I was going to continue the 60 miles on home with another day or two or travel, but the weather was threatening (and delivered!) rain . . . and I was familiar with the last leg of the trip home. Therefore, my four-day trip became a three-day trip, and I had my wife, who was shopping at Iowa City Cosco with her daughter, meet me for lunch at New Pi and give me a ride home.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail. Sometimes nice and shady.

CVNT. Sometimes not so shady.

Most of the ride was on the CVNT, a "corridor park" from an old rail line. It's an interesting experience, sometimes seeming deep in prairie trees and then seeing corn and beans to each side when a break in the trees occurs. Good riding time was also spent skirting the Cedar River, and, surprisingly, some of my most fun riding was on the Cedar River Trail the spun me through the Cedar Rapids urban area. It's one thing to see the Quaker Oats mill from the elevated freeway when roaring through the city--and quite another to pass by the mill by bicycle on a quiet bike path with the milling towering overhead.

Crossing the Cedar River. A paved trail runs through town.

Below are some photos of the trip, and you can also go to my Crazy Guy on a Bike (which I use with thousands of other bike tourists) and read my day-to-day journal entries.