There is nothing quite so fun as ending a (short) bike ride with a nice, cold, refreshing drink. There is no bike ride quite as fun as High Trestle Trail in Madrid, Iowa. So, it makes sense that Flat Tire Lounge would be there just a couple of miles away from the east end of the High Trestle Bridge right next to the bike and horse trail waiting for thirsty riders to park their carbon, aluminum, alloy, and heavy steel bicycles so that they can quench that thirst and reverse any unintended weight loss with a dash or two of beer or booze.
First, a short note about the trail. The trail is part of an ever-expanding 25-mile trail that passes through (heading east) Woodward, Madrid, Slater, Sheldahl, and Ankeny. The trail links up with some additional trails as well. Because this is rails to trails line, there is no real grade, causing some of my hard-core bike maniac friends to refuse to give it a try. But it isn’t the trail itself that is the attraction but the fantastic views afforded by the bridge, which lies between Madrid and Woodward. Be warned that this part of the trail is heavily populated with wobbly kid bikes and even more wobbly seniors escaping from the Madrid old folks home, so this usually isn’t a place to wind it up to 20 mph. The bridge offers fantastic views up and down the Des Moines River valley. The scenes are amazing all year long. The bridge has also received major upgrades from its days as a Chicago and Northwestern Railway bridge. The steel trusses are gone and have been replaced with concrete. Walls are part of the structure and are high enough that there is no risk of a bike losing control and hurtling the rider hundreds of feet to the bottom.
Flat Tire Lounge is in what appears to be a Second World War Quonset hut. The soldiers are gone and in their place are ranks of thirsty trail riders. Flat Tire Lounge offers Peacetree and New Belgium beers, along with some Boulevard beer and the ubiquitous rice beers. The bartenders can also serve cocktails, martinis and other spirits. The crowds tend to thin out as the sun goes down and riders race off to their cars but there is usually a crowd when the weather is favorable.
On certain days and evenings food is served from the Radish Express walk-up stand outside the building. This stand is run by the folks at The Radish in Grimes. A number of sandwiches and sides are available. I tried the fried almond chicken fingers ($8) and shared them with my group. They were quite tasty. I would have ordered more but we had a reservation for dinner downtown.
Sat & Sun: 8a-2a
304 South Madison St
Madrid, IA 50156