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Old 10-13-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
KTM Mike OP
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Iowa riding

My son is considering attending Iowa State in Ames for his Phd program (evidently they have a great biomechanics program). I'm looking for some insight from those familiar with the state and area.

Being from Michigan, he grew up in the trees - not the open flat land most of us Michiganders (wrongly?) think of being all there is in Iowa. He's doing his masters in Laramie Wyoming - yes its out in the high plains, but not far from the mountains. He loves riding the twisties, and is now a ADV wanna be.

So the big question is - what's is there for riding in Iowa? I've been telling him about the Great River Road - but he wants more. He is also into back country backpacking, or at a minimum camping of some sort. I want him to base a decision primarily on the academics, but understand why he wants to live in an area that offers a lifestyle he will enjoy. His other top pick is University of Oregon - he loves the idea of the area, but feels the Iowa program is a better fit with his research interests.

Any input appreciated!
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
TRZ Charlie
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A great place to hike and camp near ISU is Ledges State Park. It is a gem on the plains. Also Whiterock Conservancy south and East of Coon Rapids on Highway 30. Great hiking, bird viewing there. Carlson Recreation Area west of Stratford Iowa. Hiking there as well. Also check out Loess Hills State Park south of Sioux City, on highway 29 and county K45. Swan Lake State Park near Carroll Iowa at (or near) the junctions of Highway 30 & Highway 71. Most of these are camping, and hiking. As I recall there were quite a few trails near Ledges SP but it's been 15 years since I've ridden there.

There are endless gravel roads in Iowa near the University too. Most of the straight and flat. But you will find little gems of hidden woodlands dotted along the gravel roads. He just needs to get out and explore. Hope I helped some.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:07 AM   #3
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
mattoid1
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I second the Loess Hills suggestion, they run from north of Sioux City down to south of I80,at least. A ways from Ames, but well worth the trip.
If he is a fan of British iron he should check out Baxter Triumph in Marne, south of 80 at exit 51. Randy Baxter may have some excellent suggestions for rides, also.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:49 AM   #5
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In my opinion the best riding in the State is in the Northeastern Corner.
Towns like Decorah, McGregor, Marquette, Elkader, Elgin and Lansing to name a few.
In addition these towns are close to Wisconsin milk roads and Mississippi River Roads.
Good times
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
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WL, good suggestions also. I had forgotten about that area. Strawberry Point to Elkader and on to Prairie du Chien is a great ride. Stop at Gunder and have a Gunder Burger, one pound!
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
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another thread

You can always have him join this thread http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...67543&page=395
and just read back for good riding suggestions or keep up with upcoming planned events or group rides

Plus i think many of us just pull up google maps and turn on the satellite view, pick a destination, and look for brown rds (level B / minimal maintenance roads) to find the most exciting way to get there.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #8
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+1 ne Iowa. Rolling hills, pretty scenery, picturesque little towns. Some curvy roads. Go to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. Worth it.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobiker View Post
South West Wisconsin. Rolling hills, pretty scenery, picturesque little towns. all the roads are curvy!..

Fixed it for you.

Just a few hours away is the Mindoro cut, Wildcat MTN., Alphabet soup and any road with coulee, an animal, or valley in the name.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:32 PM   #10
Rickboss
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Lived in Decorah for 4 1/2 years. Great riding around there and Hwy 16 north of there in MN is a dream.

Like a previous rider said, lots of gravel but straight lines. Winds can get intense around Ames and western Iowa.

ISU is a really good school for certain things. Veisha has been shut down though
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:33 PM   #11
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My back yard.....

come visit sometime.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:34 PM   #12
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again the loess hills are awesome. Lots of b service roads out and about too that you can tear up. I have grandparents who live in the hills and there are plenty of good folks around that are cool to talk to as well.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:08 PM   #13
KTM Mike OP
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Thanks for all the replies! I'm sending him a link to this thread. He's an inmate here, but never posts - maybe this will draw him out!
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Northern Michigan home on 40 wooded acres for sale. Located on MCCT, ride direct to over 200 miles of ORV trails. 4 miles of trails on the property. PM me for more info
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #14
ZLTFUL
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Brad (Orangecicle), Jaime (Scooter Noob) and myself are in central Iowa (DSM) as are several that I am not forgetting...just forgot the names...lol.

We tend to ride B (minimum maintenance dirt roads) on a weekly basis and can definitely show him around the area.

There are also several OHV parks in Iowa. The closest to Ames is Gypsum City OHV Park up in Ft Dodge that recently added a bunch more trails. There is no admission cost but you do have to purchase a DNR "pass" which is only like $15 for the year.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:38 PM   #15
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Gravel road bicycle racing is becoming very trendy and they look for the hilliest and most remote roads possible. Here are a couple of IA examples.

http://24hoursofcumming.com/

http://transiowa.blogspot.com/
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