Thanks for the info - the West and South routes both seem like good options. I'll ask the shop as well.if the river is under control now, i don't see it getting worse this summer. as for routes, i like west and south from the city, and there are trails out of water works park for both. the southern trail goes 15ish miles, so you can do an out and back for 30 miles. west you can go 60ish some miles to jefferson, which makes it better than a century for an out and back. the nice part of west is usually the wind is at you back on the ride home too. all those routes you can leave and return from your hotel, if you want to drive a bit before you start, the then head north to the saylorville area. i hate riding there from the city, the path has cracks in it that make my whole body hurt after. not bad once you're out of town, but terrible getting there.
my personal fav from a downtown hotel would be ride into water works, hook up with the bill riley trail, go across the bridge, and take a right where the trail crosses the train tracks. from there you will ride a trail up to a pool called ashworth. you're now on a street called 45th. keep heading north from here and you will have a shallow steady climb to grand ave. turn right (east) and head right again on 42nd (south). now you're in rolling hills. 42nd ends in a T, take a left and you will be on a street that more or less follows the river south and east by way of river oaks dr, which turns into lincoln place, and eventually 31st. take 31st north and you have a stead climb back to grand. the intersection on grand is a bit funny, but head north there and then one block later take a left (west) you're on ingersoll. that street has a bike lane, which you can use to get back to 44th, (45th doesn't go south from ingersoll to grand) 44th will almost line up with 45 south to ashworth. take a right and a quick left. you're now heading south to the bike path and pool again. you can find your way home from there