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Anyone know about riding in SE Iowa(Fort Madison),W Central.(20 posts)

Anyone know about riding in SE Iowa(Fort Madison),W Central.Aegis_guy
Sep 10, 2002 11:27 AM
Illinois (Quincy), or E Central Missouri( Hannibal)? I may be asked to transfer there soon and I am trying to find out as much about the area as possible. Anything has tob better than Chicago for cycling but I am curious what is out in this area? Thanks
cows and corn? (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 10, 2002 11:45 AM
cows and corn? (nm)Skip
Sep 10, 2002 11:59 AM
Good one. Also pigs and soy beans. Iowa (for the most part) is flat. You can stand on the east side, shoot a .22 towards the west, down I-80, then drive out and pick it up.
Uhh...allow me to dissent somewhat...RhodyRider
Sep 10, 2002 12:06 PM
There are plenty of rolling hills in Iowa, it has a lot more geographical contour than (uninformed?) folks like to think (and joke about.) I lived in Iowa City for 4.5 years, and rode all over Johnson County and a lot of other places in the state, and believe me there are plenty of nice hills to tackle. There are many rivers cutting through the state (Iowa, Cedar, Maquoketa, etc.), and they add a lot of nice terrain for road riding. Seek and ye shall find.
Uhh...allow me to dissent somewhat...Skip
Sep 10, 2002 12:26 PM
Thank you. I'm well aware of Iowa's terrain. I was born in Iowa City, grew up in Grinnell and Carroll, went to college at ISU in Ames, etc., and have traveled the many corners of Iowa many times over. And as Johnny Carson said, it's a great place to be from. But that comment about the .22 is a common Iowa joke; didn't mean to ruffle your corn stalks. Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs, and many other parts of Iowa have plenty hills.
Sorry...I'm being a smart aleck.ColnagoFE
Sep 10, 2002 12:52 PM
I grew up in northwest Iowa (which is pretty flat) and went to school at the U of I which does have a few hills. Have even done Ragbrai a coupla times. It's not all bad, but the riding doesn't compare to Boulder, CO IMO. And there are a lot of cows and corn! :)
When did you graduate, fellow Hawkeye?? (nm)RhodyRider
Sep 11, 2002 4:53 AM
wellColnagoFE
Sep 11, 2002 5:53 AM
I believe it was '92 but I was a non-traditional student so I was only there for a couple of years since I had gone to school before I went there and had some outstanding credits. Got married and headed for Boulder shortly after graduating.
That bad??!!??Aegis_guy
Sep 10, 2002 12:06 PM
Oh man. Is it that much of a small town? Could a citified boy survive? I don't know. I can always say no to the transfer.
Quantum change from Chicago.Spoke Wrench
Sep 10, 2002 12:45 PM
Any of those areas would be a huge change from Chicago. In fact, if you're from Chicago, you will definitely disagree with that guy who said Iowa was flat. If he thinks Iowa is flat, its because he hasn't seen Chicago or northern Indiana.

I think what you would miss most are the ethnic restaurants. There are maybe 100 non hispanic people in Iowa who know how to pronounce fajita and there might not be any at all who can pronounce gyro.

Coming from Chicago, you will be blown away at how polite virtually everybody is. Motorists will smile and wave using all five fingers. People will wait for you at stop signs so that you won't have to unclip from your pedals. It's definitely a different world.
What about the Iowa index finger wave?dzrider
Sep 10, 2002 1:00 PM
Many of the men that have waved to me in Iowa have used a distintive one finger wave with a motion much like nodding your head. Everything else is on the money. The area around Bellevue and Maquoketa (sp?) is almost perfect riding - quiet roads, rolling hills and broad vistas. I don't know much south of Muscatine, but north of it is a great place to be a cyclist!
Quantum change from Chicago.Aegis_guy
Sep 10, 2002 1:00 PM
I like the idea of relaxed cycling without having to worry about empty beer bottles being thrown at me but I grew up in the Chicago burbs so I don't know if small town life is for me. Pretty soon they will get to know that I am the guy doing 75 in a 30 all the time and I am not sure if I can wave with all five fingers. I would really need to decompress if I am going to survive there.

Spoke Wrench- did you live in this area or how do you know about it.
I'm originally a Des Moines boy.Spoke Wrench
Sep 10, 2002 1:15 PM
Went to college at Moo U and continued to live in Ames for a while afterward. I loved the time that my wife and I lived in Iowa. That's been over 30 years and we still have good friends there who we correspond with. We would probably move back, but we've got five kids and three sets of grandkids who have all chosen to live near us in the St. Louis area.
That bad??!!??Skip
Sep 10, 2002 1:01 PM
Seriously,

If you were born an raised in Chicago (I also lived outside Chi-town and in NYC for many years), and are into the finer arts, museums, concerts, jazz, opera, zoos, etc., you will be culturally challenged unless you are close to some of the larger cities.
That bad??!!??Aegis_guy
Sep 10, 2002 1:07 PM
Yeah, I thought about that too. Funny thing is I only attend those things ocassionally since going downtown is often just a pain in the ass with the traffic and parking but I like having it available . It is potentially only a 4-5 year stint. I am definitely spoiled by the accessibility of everything in Chicago. If I did have to take the position the best thing would be never having to take out of town friends/family to the freaking Sears Tower. If I go on that ride up the elevator again. It has got be like the Statue of Liberty for New Yorkers.
re: Anyone know about riding in SE Iowa(Fort Madison),W Central.ridgerider
Sep 10, 2002 1:23 PM
I'm a North Carolinian but have relatives in Fort Madison. There looks to be some nice riding in the area from what I've seen from the car. Once out of town, the area is very rural, lots of corn yes, but also some nice routes along the Mississippi River. IL96 from Niota to Hamilton, for example, has some great views of the river and a historic sidetrip at Nauvoo. RAGBRAI concludes in this neck of the woods once every so often, making cycling a big deal, temporarily at least.
I grew up in Ft. Madison, shoot me an email if you want . . .jefajones
Sep 10, 2002 4:06 PM
as I'm pretty familiar with the entire tri-state area.
jefajones@yahoo.com
Don't pick up hitchhikers-nmfiltersweep
Sep 10, 2002 4:25 PM
from the "Big House", that is!!!!IAmtnbikr
Sep 10, 2002 4:50 PM
funny, I am from Waterloo, but obviously you know where the State Prison is, huh? Did you do any time there? ;o)
It's what you make it....cydswipe
Sep 10, 2002 7:04 PM
I am also a life long Iowan. Grew up in Ne. Iowa, college in Ames, worked in Iowa City, now in Des Moines. There are lots of places to take advantage of. Any type you like. If you like MTB I would give Sugarbottom resivoir in North Liberty a serious look. There are several road rides in the spring, summer, fall months. Even the BRRR ride in Feb. draws a good crowd! There are not as many shops as the Chicago area. However, that doesn't mean that you can't get what you need. Lots of clubs, bike shops, and RAGBRAI is only about 300 days away!!!!