Suppose you are the manager of the Whistlin’ Donkey in Woodward? You are sitting astride The High Trestle Trail, possibly the best bike route in America.Do you wait quietly for riders to find you? Not if you are Scott Bellis, manager of The Donkey. You create a 16-week schedule of weekend rides and events. As an impresario, Bellis may be the Sol Hurok of bike rides. What Hurok was to bringing the Bolshoi Ballet, Bellis is to High Trestle Trail rides and beverage specials.
The concept, Bellis explained, is simple. At trailheads along the route, there are bar and grills nearby. A rider, for example, could have a burger at the Donkey, stop for a cold one at Madrid’s Flat Tire or Slater’s Nite Hawk and finish with a pizza at Ankeny’s Wheelhouse. Thus fortified, the rider makes the return trip, perhaps to hang out for a while and listen to a band. Start anywhere and finish anywhere.
The Sunday Funday rides begin March 30 and run until Oct. 26, said Bellis, who added that the Sunday Funday events are for riders of all ages.
Also available for adult bikers is "Full Moon Rides", on Saturday night, which require helmets and lights on bikes. The Full Moon Rides begin May 10 and run until Nov. 8. They also feature entertainment at The Donkey.
Some of the entertainment is rider-made.
"It’s an incredible sight," said Bellis. "You’ve got hundreds of people all evening long coming down the trail in reflective clothing with their bike lights cutting through the darkness."
The prime location, by consensus, is the half-mile, 13- story former railroad trestle bridge between Woodward and Madrid with its modernistic architecture and electric blue lighting.
Bellis said he plans to add an outdoor "Tiki" bar this summer. While the purpose of the quasi-Polynesian bar area is to sell beverages, Bellis pointed out hot bike riders, in need of a cold drink along the trail, may not want to sit in an air-conditioned room.
Beginning in May, classic car and bike events are also planned for Thursday night, Bellis said.
For more information, visit whistlindonkey.com.