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Annual bike ride


This year’s annual summer bicycle ride will be into Dubuque and back on June 17 to 18.
We’ll leave from our house in Iowa City about 8 a.m.
We’ll ride the Heritage Trail. It’s a 26-mile multi-use recreational trail comprised of compacted crushed limestone that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way connecting the Mississippi River town of Dubuque on the west end and to Dyersville on the east.
For this ride, the first official put-in will be in Farley at 10 a.m. This knocks off about five miles of the trail and the small climb from Dyersville. It’s 20 miles gently downhill from here to Dubuque, baby. And it’s a pretty ride, with the Little Maquoketa River on one side and tall bluffs on the other. The feint of heart or loose of leg or boil on butt may want to put in a little closer yet and that’s fine, just coordinate with Sag Mistress Supreme (SMS) Sue.
From the trailhead in Dubuque it’s still another six miles of mostly paved trail to our night’s lodging at the Days Inn. There’s a 200-foot climb from the river’s edge to the motel but SMS Sue will help shuttle if needed. Also, by taking the Fenelon Cable Car, the climb can be reduce to an easier 50 feet. Rooms at the Days Inn go for about $81 and the cable car ride adds a couple of bucks. Note that the Inn has an outdoor pool and bar plus serves a modest breakfast.
The next morning we generally head out about 8 a.m., and meet up with SMS Sue in Graf for brunch, donations accepted. We should be off the trail and gathering at Dirty Ernie’s Pub around noon, the last stop before the designated driver takes us home.
Special guest this year will be Theresa, aka “T”, a regular cyclist who moved from Iowa City to Dubuque years ago. Besides being a happy camper, T is an operator of the Fenelon. Barack Obama was willing to be our celebrity guest rider, but I turned him down as we already had plenty of star power.
Curt, as always, will be on hand to offer free advice.
This is a fun ride in a beautiful setting and plenty of rest stops along the way including but not limited to the Durango Depot, Dubuque Yacht Club and Paul’s Tavern. Everyone and anyone is invited so pass the word. Contact me at briansabrafleck@mac.com for more information or to reserve a spot.
On another note, of late I’ve become a big fan of Pandora Radio. It’s a web service where you can log in and have a radio station built around an artist of your choice. Choose James Taylor, for example, and you’re likely to hear songs by Jackson Brown, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Carole King, etc. Some other artists I like to build stations around include Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Bonnie Raitt and Miranda Lambert.
Bored with the above mixes I typed in Reba McEntire and came across “The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia.” I hadn’t thought about this song in a long time and it fell off my list of all-time dumbest songs. It’s the list that includes such forgettable numbers like “A Horse With No Name,” “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” and “Muskrat Love.” No offense to Lobo, America or The Captain and Tenille, but these are three of the all-time worst songs ever.
But then there’s Night of Georgia. Who tells their friend that his wife is having an affair with that Amos boy Seth, and then tries to cheer him up by allowing that he’s been with her myself? And I get that a little sister can be loyal and rash, but how many would kill two people and let her brother take the rap? And finally, why is it that it’s the judge who has blood stains on his hands?