Saturday, May 7, 2016

In Which Future Plans Involves Screams

MMU Bike Club pre-ride selife Friday.

You scream, I scream, we all scream…

For ice cream! When she speaks about the Mount Mercy University Bike Club, MMU President Laurie Hamen is likely to note the club’s “candy ride,” in which we ride our bikes along the trail to downtown Cedar Rapids, and then visit a candy store there that is next to TCR.

Oh, but wait. There’s more.

I am sure it must be my sleep-deprived brain that hatches these schemes. But it occurred to me, before Friday’s Bike Club Ride, that we want “destination” rides and what president Mark calls “incentive” rides. And right along the Cedar River Trail, there are destinations that can provide incentives, at least for those who are lactose tolerant.

Ride the trail north from MMU. When you get to Hiawatha, it’s a short diversion to Culver’s. Eat ice cream. Continue north a ways, maybe about 3 ½ miles where the trail comes to a parking lot that is a convenient mark for a turn-around point (not sure the club ready to go 7 miles to Lafayette, but that’s another option if we want a slightly longer ride).

Ride back. Stop at Dairy Queen. Eat ice cream. Ride south, loop once around Cedar Lake and head north to 42nd Street.

Where Parlor City—another ice cream eatery—is located. You get the picture.

I suppose there are lots of names we could give this ride: Scream Cycle. The Lactose Loop

But the original name, the one I told Mark that he’s starting using, too, is “Tour de Scoop.” Watch out, candy ride. A longer, more decadent journey is in the planning. Maybe we should make it even fancier by calling it “Le Tour de Scoop.” Mark, what do you think?

My original idea was that LTdS would take place in the fall. It might , but it may be sooner, because the scouting ride yesterday went well, and bike club members seemed to like the idea of the tour sooner rather than later.

Friday was a perfect day for a ride—the first time our warm spring sun gave us a taste of upcoming summer. The temperature was in the mid 80s, with little wind. I did a fair amount of cycling Friday—I had a concert at a nursing home across town, and them cycled back to campus to quickly change into biking togs.

Then, just before 4, I pedaled Argent up the hill to Lundy. There, three women were removing bikes from the racks. “Is this a private ride, or are you going with the bike club?” I asked.

“Private ride,” one of them answered. “I have to get back.” Technically, that’s always been the attitude of the bike club, too—so far, we have always come back. But I understood, three friends were going to go on a short ride together as one needed to return soon.

One of the riders, a nursing student named Rachel, had to tease me a little about my blogs. So there, Rachel, you made the blog. You are a blog star.

After the three women rolled down the hill, the merry band of the Bike Club showed up—four students, our president, VP, secretary and a new rider.

Near turn-around point in Hiawatha.

We chatted about the Le Tour de Scoop idea, and Mark seemed keen on DQ as a place to stop at to check on our plans—a Le Tour de Scoop scouting ride.

We snapped the traditional club pre-ride selfie and headed off to the trail. The students were in high spirits, as befitted the day. As we headed north, we passed under one street, and some tunnel war whoops were heard.

We passed DQ, but decided to keep going. At the Hiawatha trail head, one member who hadn’t brought a water bottle stopped for a drink. Another member had to be back on campus by 5:30, so we turned around. And then we stopped, of course, at Dairy Queen, where omens for the future Tour turned surprisingly positive.

The women asserted they did not need ice cream, and turned down the VP’s gallant offer to buy some for them. The men all ordered something; I got a small turtle blizzard. As we headed outside, it turned out the women were not quite so self-denying—somehow, they had acquired spoons inside DQ, and were planning to “taste.”

We were enjoying our treats on the sunny outdoor eating area of DQ, when an employee passed by with a large chocolate and vanilla cone. He circled around the area, asking at each cluster if the cone was one of ours. After his circuit, he noted that nobody inside claimed the cone either.

“Can we have it?” Mark asked.

“If you want it,” the employee answered. And handed it over. There were ice cream screams as the women realized their spoons were no longer merely for mooching off the men. If DQ ice cream tastes good, the thing that apparently tastes even better is free DQ ice cream.

The DQ Cone of Fortune shows up. Club reacts, top, and Sarah, the club secretary, has carved a temporary self portrait in it.

I think the club ride was about 10 miles or so. I forget to zero my computer before we were well underway, so I’m estimating from the 8 miles that were recorded. That means, with my commute and the side trip to my concert, Friday was about a 30-mile day.

I am getting reading for summer, indeed. And, I hope to see you on the MMU Le Tour de Scoop!

Bike Club crosses bridge on trail on way back to MMU campus. We, too, have to be back.

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