Birds & Bees Bike Tour
On the Wabash Trace
The Dates: This long-weekend ride begins in Council Bluffs on Friday, May 21. We ride to Malvern for an overnight, then ride Saturday to Shenandoah, our southern turnaround point. On Sunday, we pedal north again to Malvern, and on Monday, we return to Council Bluffs.
The Vibe: It happens right when spring blooms on the Wabash Trace, and this ride is all about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. We love nothing more than sharing our favorite trail with new friends, and the only thing you’ll love more than the Wabash itself is the friendly small towns along the way. We’ll work with eateries in our overnight towns and great musicians, too, but after resting up in camp—hot shower, great massage, a cold beverage--you’ll be blocks from the lively little downtown, the eateries, groceries, breweries that can’t wait to welcome you.
The Towns: Malvern, population 1100, is the artiest little town in Iowa, and we’ll have to stay here twice to appreciate it all. Sculptures and murals enliven the downtown. Restaurants feature the work of artists and artisans. There’s even an Art Church—a beautiful old church turned gallery. Shenandoah, our Saturday night stay, is a town of 5000, full of entrepreneurs, gardens, art, and friendly people. You’ll roll directly off the Trace and into our campsite, a lovely city park. Shen is known as the home of the Everly Brothers (All I Have To Do Is Dream), the Earl May Garden Center, and KMA Radio, founded by Earl E. May. In addition to these “big” overnight towns, you’ll ride through several little towns, like Mineola, Silver City, and Imogene, all with distinct personalities and fun places to eat and drink. (Silver City has a bike shop right on the trail.)
The Cycling: Point-to-point, this ride is 20 to 30 miles each day. The Wabash is a rail-trail, meaning that the terrain is very gentle, with slight inclines (not too tough), and slight declines (a total cruise). This is an easy ride, but for those who want a greater challenge, remember that gravel roads intersect the trail frequently, and you’ll have many opportunities to go gallivanting, if you want extra miles. (On Saturday, you don’t have to stop in Shenandoah. Keep going all the way to the Missouri State Line, if you like!)
· You can bring your tent or rent ours.
· We will offer PHAT rooms (motel rooms on semi-trailers) at a sweet price.
· If your friend or partner isn’t riding, bring an RV if you like--we'll find out more about the electrical hook-ups in our campsites and update this information.
· Non-riders are welcome to bring a car and stay with us in the overnight towns. (Of course, cars are not allowed on the actual trail, but you can meet up with riders in pass-through towns.)
· If there's a demand for an Omaha airport shuttle before and after, we'll make that happen.
More to come on the entry fee, inclusions, food and drink in the towns, the exact daily mileage, some special guests, and some great musicians on stage.