The clock reads 4 p.m. That means it’s time to shut down and meet your friends for a drink to wash down the troubles of the day. It’s Bike Month, so you probably rode your bike to work (right?). Well, the Des Moines Bicycle Collective wants to reward your efforts with Handlebar Happy Hour, an after-work ride to a predetermined bar each Friday afternoon. We decided to ride to GoodSons Martini and Panini in Beaverdale, where the May 11 event was hosted.
How you get to the bar is up to you. Since we at Juice are located downtown, we rode to el Bait Shop, 200 S.W. Second St., for a few craft brews with chips and salsa before hopping on the Inter-Urban Trail and heading toward Beaverdale. The gentle, flat and winding trail took us along the edge of the Des Moines River, by the Botanical Center and pagoda, on what used to be an electric streetcar railbed. We stopped on an old trestle bridge for a short rest and to wave at a pontoon boat that was floating by as we enjoyed the scenery, then continued on our way.
The ride from el Bait Shop to GoodSons was about seven miles, and took us about 40 minutes. When the trail reaches Urbandale Avenue, we continued on designated bike lanes until we reached our destination. Outside, dozens of bikes lined the sidewalk and the patio was crowded with cyclists. Handlebar Happy Hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m., giving everyone time to get there before the sun goes down. The patio was full, so we grabbed a spot inside and sipped a couple Bud Light draws while watching the crowd grow and shrink with arriving and departing groups.
Afterward, we stopped at Saints Pub and Patio in Beaverdale, just a block down the road at 4041 Urbandale Ave., for another drink on the patio before heading back toward the trail. It took us another 40 minutes to pedal back to el Bait Shop — we returned about 7:30 p.m.
Handlebar Happy Hour turned out to be a great way to burn off steam after work, get a little exercise and enjoy a tour through Des Moines — with cold beers waiting at the end of our journey. This week, Handlebar Happy Hour ends at el Bait Shop.
We’ll be there.
GoodSons Martini and Panini
Find it: 2815 Beaver Ave.
How to get there: If you’re coming from downtown, hop on the Inter-Urban Trail going northwest.
What you need to know: Arrive to GoodSons early for happy hour, which includes $2.50 domestics, $3 wells and $3.50 imports from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Find the next Handlebar Happy Hour rides at www.bikeiowa.com.