Putting Turkey On The Map In Ankeny

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When Dre Fornasiero saw the ROTE Turkey Roll route he said “This is the best thing ever!” Dre manages Riding On The Edge, a bike shop in Uptown Ankeny. Marketing Director Janice Peterson, who is married to my boss, created the route as a way to have outdoor fun around a Thanksgiving holiday that most of us won’t celebrate the way we have in the past.

Many cyclists, and others who enjoy outdoor activities, use tracking apps to record their rides, hikes or runs. When they are finished the app shows them, on a map, where they’ve been. Some routes look like states or animals or other things in much the same way you can see things in clouds. Sports guy Mark Freund claims he sometimes runs the outline of Minnesota. Peterson’s creation resembles a turkey with a Pilgram style hat.

The Turkey Roll resides on the free Komoot app. Once the app is downloaded you’ll need to register, then search for Turkey Roll. The route can be downloaded and transferred to other apps that do turn-by-turn directions.

The route twists and turns through Ankeny for about 15 miles. I gave it a try Thursday (yes, I got paid to ride my bike) and found the directions pretty easy to follow, as long as you have the volume turned up and there isn’t a garbage truck next to you. The route is flat and the busiest streets are crossed or have wide bike paths along them. It can be ridden easily in a couple hours. I made a couple wrong turns and still ended up with a decent looking turkey, which can be seen at the end of the video at the top of this page.

Fornasiero hopes riders share their maps on social media with the tag #roteturkeyroll so others can find them. And Christmas may bring another map, in the shape of a tree this time.

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