Sunday, August 09, 2015

This World is Not My Home, I'm Just a Passin' Through.

Thanks for the photo, Lucie Heck.

So, RAGBRAI was only two days for us and I'll cover both of them in this post.

The place we stayed in Cedar Falls was lovely. The family who lived there was so nice and accommodating and we really appreciated their hospitality. On Thursday we had a 71.9 mile ride ahead of us. My legs weren't super strong after everything we did on our trip to South Dakota, but I was excited to get some riding in...However slow it would be.

We got very lucky with the weather. I have had  heat stroke on RAGBRAI before, but it was nice and mild, in the 80's both days.

It was kind of weird to only ride the two days. I've ridden the whole week for the last 4 years. Sometimes it was kind of nice to only do two days. When I wasn't able to shower the 1st or 2nd night, I knew I'd be home the third night and was sure to get one then.

The towns we ride through are so great. They set-up these fun bikes sculptures and have cool activities and bands and free bacon give aways for us.

My favorite part of RAGBRAI, besides the the beautiful Iowa countryside? Having days and days of highways almost clear of traffic to ride my bike.

I know it sounds weird, but many of our members wear gnome hats on RAGBRAI. They take-off their helmets when we stop and put on the hats. It makes it much easier to find people when we enter a town.

Photo courtesy of D. Gibson.
Our stay in Hiawatha was kind of weird. The people who housed us weren't all that nice or accommodating. They were old coworkers of one of our teammates, but they must not have seen each other in a while. His wife didn't want us to use their bathroom, which, since we were out in the country meant we had to go outside. They finally relented for a few hours in the evening, but they were pretty snotty and rude to us. The pretty much made us feel like we were grubby little street urchins, trespassing and squatting on their property. We even heard them talking about us behind our backs. It was so odd. Most people who let us stay in their yard are so wonderful and lovely. I guess we've been so lucky in the past. The drag is, if they had told us that they didn't want us there, I had an offer from another couple who were so excited to let us stay with them and we would have let that couple stay with us in Iowa City the next night. Oh, well.

The other odd thing, is that the people who housed us, had another group of their close friends staying with them, and those friends had a couple of dangerously drunk 20 something's with them. John and I had put up our tent as far away from the where the group was sitting, so they wouldn't keep us up so late. Unfortunately, that just happened to be next to a trampoline. While we were sleeping, the drunk 20 year olds decided it would be a great idea to jump on the trampoline. They were wrong. One of them landed on our tent and woke us both up. We jumped  up and yelled at them to knock it off. Luckily, they stopped before they killed themselves.

As what can happen sometimes, the next day was amazing and fun in comparison to the bad blood from the night before. There was a threat of thunderstorms that was supposed to lessen the further South we went. We tried to head as far South as we could and made it to Mount Vernon before the rain hit. We holed up in a bar - all 25 of us and had a huge dance party/sing along when "Come On Irene" played on the jukebox. Team work!

Photos from Adam Harris.
Sutliff Bridge wasn't actually on the route, but it was right off of it, so we stopped and had a huge dance-off on the picnic tables on the bridge with another team. We were declared the winner, but because we all had so much fun, we all felt like winners.

We had our big Last Supper at Frida Kahlo's in Solon. There was still one last day of RAGBRAI, but we don't always do it, because it isn't very well supported, and this year especially, we were already home and we opted to do a ride to Kalona instead. It was a great couple of days.

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