THIS RIDE IS RAMPING UP! Have I told you I love RAGBRAI?
For whatever reason, dehydration, not enough calories (yah, I know that one’s hard to believe) I struggled yesterday on what should have been an easy day. I lacked both energy to ride and inspiration to write. With 99 degrees forecast, an additional 13 miles, and 600 more feet of climb I was worried about today. Another case of don't let your worries paralyze you before you take the first step. It was a great day on RAGBRAI!
Most of us started early with the intent of riding with few stops and punching our tickets before the sun hit its zenith. Approaching the population center of Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, its evident many more people have joined the ride.
The road was a little bumpy at the beginning, but Eeyore is not on this ride, and we are not discussing biker anatomy.
The sky was overcast holding off the heat, the winds were at our back and the hills seemed insignificant. I felt like I could ride all day. We made very quick time.
The plan of few stops was negated by the towns who all did such a great job and thwarted the "I'm not stopping plan." The towns today were Ackley, Austinville, Aplington, Parkersburg, New Hartford, and Janesville. All were Iowa tidy, well prepared, well decorated, with plenty of food and fun to draw you in.
In particular, Ackley, Parkersburg, and New Hartford all knocked it out of the park.
In Ackley what's not to love about Hula Hoopin' seniors and baby goats?
Parkersburg you'll recall is a community who recovered from a devastating F-5 tornado only to have beloved long time football coach Ed Thomas killed by a mentally ill former student. The events are covered in the bestselling book, "The Sacred Acre." Clearly the community spirit is alive and well and they crushed RAGBRAI.
New Hartford had one of the prettiest little parks I've seen. It was pristine with lots of fun things to see and do in a small town.
There are lots of pics and captions today. To be honest I'd still be just out of Iowa Falls if I stopped to take a pic of everything that was fun, beautiful, or interesting.
Tomorrow is the tester for the week, so I'll likely give you a break with few words and pictures. Hope you are enjoying this ride as much as I am. Peddle on!