So, Tour of the Mississippi River Valley was amazing. It was beautiful and long and challenging and grueling at some points, but always fun and what a great ride - all 204 miles of it. When we woke up on Saturday morning, The Guy asked me if I was ready for an adventure. My answer to that was, "Always." And it was a crazy adventure.
We started riding from Bettendorf, Iowa at 7:22 in the morning. The forecast originally called for sunny and 75 degrees, but what we got was cloudy and misty and about 60 degrees. All the cyclists were terribly under dressed.
The first day was the hardest. It was 107 miles of crazy hills along and across the Mississippi River with a tough head wind for most of the day. We stopped at all the scheduled stops for bathroom, water and food breaks, and then finally stopped in Galena, Illinois for a real break where we ate a real meal and drank some cocktails. By that time, it was about 4 in the afternoon and we really needed it.
We finally crossed back over the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Ia. around 6 and reached our final stop of the day and most importantly, the buffet that came as part of our registration. At one point, The Guy asked me if I wanted to go down to the lounge at our hotel for a drink, but I was so tired, I couldn't get up and walk for one more second. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night.
On Sunday, we only rode around 90 miles, but we were all still tired and sore from the day before. We rode a different route on the way back to Bettendorf. We got a glorious day of 75 degrees and sunny with very little wind.
We ran into these boys raking it in at their lemonade stand. Brilliant.
We found a great small town, Sunday brunch buffet in Preston, Iowa, with all the same kinds of homemade type food you'd find at an Iowa family reunion. We stuffed ourselves and couldn't drink much more than one beer when we went across the street to a bar.
We got separated from our friend Bry and when we hit another small town a few hours later, had to decide if we wanted to just ride the next hour and half and get it over, or stop and have a beer and rest and relax. We chose to stop and I was really glad we did. It was nice to talk to The Guy about how we felt about the ride and what on us was the sorest and meet some of the other cyclists who stopped there..
We made it back into Bettendorf, around 4'ish, and Bry was waiting for us with his camera in hand. He took a great pic of us riding into the parking lot hand in hand and I REALLY want a copy of that, but since he's a guy, he may never get it posted on FB. So, after 204 miles, about 50 bazillion hills, and top speeds of 40 mph, I would say we had one hell of an adventure. I'd do it again in a minute...Well, maybe after my legs heal a little, anyway.