Mountain Biking: Center Trails
One of the greatest inner-city trail systems is located just half a mile away from Rasmussen Bike Shop. Over 10 miles of twisting single track will give you everything a mountain biker desires. We are proud to be supporters of the Central Iowa Trail Association and are very thankful for all their work on this trail system.
Red lines: paved trail
White lines: off-road trail

Papa John Ride Wednesday Evening~

It’s almost April and that means time for our Wednesday night Papa John ride. Our weekly ride starts THIS Wednesday!!

New in 2009, we’re now leaving from Rasmussen Bike Shop at 5:30pm and heading south of town.

As the map below illustrates, we’ll do a loop which takes us right by Walnut Woods State Park and returns us to the bike shop for approximately 24 miles total. You can also repeat that same 7 mile loop past the state park which will make for a 31 mile ride total. This is a no drop ride and PRC will be there to guide you along the way and ensure that no one is left behind.

We hope you join us this Wednesday!! Tell your friends. Rasmussen Bike Shop is located at 301 Grand Ave. West Des Moines. Questions? Email us at: punk@punkrockcycling.com
*** Parking note: If you are driving to the ride, please park your car in the lot WEST of Charlie’s Filling Station. We do not want to block customer parking for either Rasmussen Bike Shop or the bar next door. Thanks in advance!!

Cycling: Bike Paths

Des Moines boasts one of the greatest series of bicycle paths in the midwest. Below we have selected a few of our favorites. Clicking on these links will bring up a new page with maps and other information.

Clive Greenbelt Trail
Length: 8.5 miles
Surface: asphalt
Hours: year-round, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees: none
Counties: Polk, Dallas
Cities: Clive
Connecting trails: Raccoon River Valley Trail, Jordan Creek Trail, Bill Riley Trail
Uses: walking, nature viewing, biking, cross-country skiing, skating

Bill Riley & Great Western Trails
Length: Great Western Trail, 16.5 miles; Bill Riley Trail, 1.6 miles
Hours: open year-round, sunrise to sunset
Surface: Great Western, asphalt on converted railbed; Bill Riley, asphalt
Fees: none
Counties: Polk and Warren
Cities: Des Moines, Cumming, Churchville and Martensdale
Connecting trails: none
Uses: hiking, nature viewing, biking, cross-country skiing, skating

Neal Smith & John Pat Dorrian Trails
Length: Neal Smith Trail—26 miles; John Pat Dorrian---2.2 miles
Surface: asphalt
Hours: Neal Smith Trail—year-round, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; John Pat Dorrian—year-round (except in snow and ice conditions), no restrictive hours
Fees: none
Counties: Polk
Cities: Des Moines, Polk City
Connecting trails: Inter-Urban Trail
Uses: hiking, nature viewing, biking, cross-country skiing, skating, hunting near some segments

Raccoon River Valley Trail
Length: 56 miles
Surface: asphalt, concrete 4 miles south of Jefferson
Hours: year-round, 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Fees: $2.00/day or $10.00/year for ages 18 and up; trail passes are available at county conservation boards or trailheads.
Counties: Polk, Dallas, Guthrie and Greene
Cities: Waukee, Ortonville, Adel, Redfield, Linden, Panora, Yale, Herndon, Cooper and Jefferson
Connecting trails: Clive Greenbelt Trail
Uses: hiking, nature viewing, biking, cross-country skiing, skating, snowmobiling (minimum of four inches of snow) allowed in Guthrie County only (to Herndon), hunting in some areas

Road Cycling: Donny Quixote's Training Rides
Donny Quixote is a category 2 road cyclist and our resident roadie. Here he has listed his favorite training rides in the Des Moines area. These rides are not for the weak willed but perfect for anyone looking to get themselves into serious cycling shape. Clicking links will open a new window through GMAPS, mapping the route and elevation.

McRea Park
DISTANCE: 0.81 miles, 1.3 kilometers
TIME: DQ's 1 lap record is 96 seconds (30.6mph average)
DESCRIPTION: .4 miles up and .4 miles down, repeat, repeat, repeat.
LOCATION: On the southwest corner of Thomas Beck Road and SW 9th. Just south of downtown Des Moines (5 minutes from my crib).
PERFECT TRAINING FOR any race course that has a series of rolling hill(s). Do this loop in the rain to work on your cornering in the wet.
HOW TO RIDE IT: Traffic on this loop is supposed to run counterclockwise but keep your head up on the descent just in case. After you’re warmed up challenge yourself by attempting to break DQ's 1-lap course record of 96 seconds (30.6mph average). Begin at the top of the hill from a standing start, do not use your brakes on the descent and carry your inertia into the beginning of the climb.

SIDE NOTE: Monona Ave. (just northeast of McCrea Park is the steepest paved street in Des Moines. Finish your MacRea Park intervals with a gut busting, 1 block sprint up this greater than 20% climb.

Tuesday Night World Championships
DISTANCE: 47 miles, 75 kilometers
TIME: An average speed of 26mph gets it done in 1:48
DESCRIPTION: A few gradual ascents otherwise flat. Leaving Des Moines riding through Ankeny, Slater, Polk City, and Johnston.
LOCATION: Do this ride on Tuesdays between April and October. As you may have guessed by the title this is central Iowa’s hardest and most unforgiving group ride. Start at Merle Hay Road and Urbandale Ave, and be ready to ride at 5:30pm sharp.
PERFECT TRAINING FOR just about anything that requires sustained zone 3-4 efforts or 100% sprints.
HOW TO RIDE IT: This ride is the closest thing you’ll get to a race simulation. Many attendees will even say it is more intense than most Iowa races. Come prepared with spare tubes, tools, and water. If you get dropped on this ride there is a good chance no one will be waiting for you.

South Loop (Cumming, Winterset, St. Mary's)
DISTANCE: 79 miles, 127 kilometers
TIME: 4:15 if you average 18.5mph
DESCRIPTION: Rolling hills in beautiful Iowa country. From Cumming to Winterset to St. Mary’s to Martensdale to Norwalk, and back to Cumming.
LOCATION: Start at the trailhead for Great Western Trail at the intersection of George Flagg Parkway and Park Ave, just south of Waterworks Park. Take the Great Western Trail 11 miles south to Cumming (not shown on the GMAP). From Cumming head west, following County Highway G4R as it staircases southwest into Winterset. From there…what am I doing, just look at the map!
PERFECT TRAINING FOR getting those early spring base miles and road races.
HOW TO RIDE IT: This is a perfect ride for a group of buddies. Once you’re done with the ride cruise into Orlando’s on Park Ave (in Des Moines) and grab yourself a pitcher barley and hop flavored water and a greasy pizza.

SIDENOTE: The short jog on 169 south into Winterset can get a bit heavy with traffic, be safe. If you want to cut it short, veer off in Martensdale and hop on the Great Western Trail north to Des Moines.

Crazy Hill Intervals
DISTANCE: 1.3 miles, 2 kilometers
TIME: A 5 minute loop is 15.6mph average. 4 minutes is 19.5mph and 3 minutes is 26mph.
DESCRIPTION: Two short but very steep climbs mixed with two brick road descents.
LOCATION: Follow 28th St. just south of Grand Ave into the residential neighborhood and you’re there. The homes in the area are grandiose but you probably won’t notice as your eyes are rolled back into your skull.
PERFECT TRAINING FOR Snake Alley, Stillwater, Seven Oaks MTB races, or giving birth to 20lbs triplets.
HOW TO RIDE IT: Go clockwise, and go all-out or don’t go at all. This is not a course to be done in zone 3 or below. How many laps can you do all-out before you collapse in tears?

SIDENOTE: There are some blind corners on this loop. Traffic is usually very light, but I would be cautious if riding 7-9am or 5-6pm when people are making their work commute.

West Loop (Grimes, Minburn, Adel, Van Meter, Booneville)
DISTANCE: 52 miles, 83 kilometers
TIME: I usually get this done in under 2:30 (21mph average)
DESCRIPTION: More of Iowa’s best. Two lane highways, small towns, and cornfields that inspired the utmost brilliance in men like Bill Bryson, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Seger.
LOCATION: Start at Java Gs on 60th and University in West Des Moines (the cranberry scones are amazing). Then head north through Grimes and Granger, south through Dallas Center and Van Meter, and back through the hills north of Booneville.
PERFECT TRAINING FOR almost any Midwestern road race. This latter part of the loop gives you some fierce rollers that can challenge you if you hit them hard.
HOW TO RIDE IT: This is a great course to do when the temperature climbs above 85 degrees. All the towns along the route make water bottle refills and pit stops easy. Aim for negative splits on this loop too, doing the latter third or quarter of the loop faster than the parts before.

301 Grand Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Map Us -- eMail Us
In Season Hours
M-F: 10-6
Sat: 9-4:30
Sun: 12-4
Out of Season Hours
M-F: 10-6
Sat: 9-4:30
Sun: Closed