This page is intended to be purely informational, relating cycling info pertinent to those in and around Ames, Iowa.
The best bike shop in town is Skunk River Cycles. They have the best mechanics and the most thoughtful, interested sales people.
Iowa State University has the Iowa State Cycling Club. It's not an official ISU team (like the football team or something) but they do compete together at collegiate races. They also have regular group rides where no one gets dropped. Competitive and non-competitive cyclists are welcome, road and offroad.
RAGBRAI had an overnight stop in Ames in 2008. In 2011, the route will stop for a night in nearby Boone.
Interesting to note: a local cyclist runs Tour Fantasy, a fantasy cycling website. You can create teams for free without having to share your email address or be subjected to ads.
The most popular training loops around Ames tend to keep to the west side of town. 500th Ave and 190th St are popular roads. The most popular route probably heads out to Boone and back (from Ames). A perk of that training loop is in the return trip &mdash you can often fly home riding a gale-force tailwind, as is common between the two towns. A fair number of people take Lincoln Way joining Ames and Nevada, but it's not a pleasant route as there's moderate traffic and the bike lane (yes, there is one) is usually riddled with rocks. After Nevada, the ride to Colo is fairly nice, though. Some people ride from Ames to around the Cambridge area but I'm personally not familiar with that route, so ask around.
Climate & terrain: flat, windy, humid. The winters are long. There are basically no trees.