Today’s route was shorter at 67.5 miles. It began with mostly manageable rolling hills then flattened out. There was only 1097 feet of climb. We passed through the towns of Lytton, Yetter, Lake City, Rinard, Callender, and Moorland.
Somewhere along the way I missed the goat yoga, I sure hope there is going to be professional wrestling again, and pumpkin shooting was really fun in 2019. I skipped the gigantic slip and slide today.
I was beginning to wonder if the pandemic was making people permanently serious. There did not seem to be as many contraptions, costumes, and helmet toppers. The best one I saw today was a lady in full Dutch traditional costume with a paneer full of tulips. Two years ago I met a man from the Netherlands. He was tall and blond as you might imagine. He was doing the entire ride in wooden shoes replete with peddle clips. In 2018 I saw Santa Claus. Apparently, Rudolph was laid off because he was on a bike. When I asked if people offered him milk and cookies along the way he said, "yes, they actually do." The craziest thing I saw though today was a biker without a helmet. Four RAGBRAI's and that is a first!
There is a wide variety of food options. Some of the staples for bikers are bananas, pork chops, pasta, pie and pickle juice. You have to eat at Mr. Pork Chop and I did. He is usually at a farmyard early in the ride. Pork chops, it's what's for breakfast. He told me that they serve about 800 a day. I have not developed a taste for pickle juice, apparently it prevents cramping. As always see the pics and captions for more of the story.
Today was "First Responders Day" on the ride, and they are everywhere. They are thanked profusely, police, deputies, highway patrol, EMT's and fireman.
I was also beginning to wonder if that Dutch lady was sweeping the streets. I saw my first roadkill at 160 miles in. It is RAGBRAI tradition to mark the carcass with beads. I would have stopped to snap a picture but with 8000 people on my tail, it's not safe and I don't think I'd look good in beads.
You will never hear a veteran RAGBRAIer look for a porta pot. I'll tell you why another day. Always the conscientious bunch, occasionally RAGBRAIers under pressure will water or fertilize the cornfields. Yah, that may have happened today.
Well I'm in Ft. Dodge and need to check it out some. It's our biggest community so far at 26,000. It was established in 1850 and named after Wisconsin Governor Henry Dodge. Iowa was part of Wisconsin territory at the time. Gypsum mining is the biggest industry here and all the major drywall producers have a big presence.
Once again, I have so much more to tell you about RAGBRAI. Since all of you are going to join me out here next year, one of these days I'm going to give you RAGBRAI 101. Feeling great and loving this. Assuming you or I do not tire of this, more tomorrow.