|Archie likes the box my panniers came in.|
Well, kids. Tomorrow we are leaving to meet up with RAGBRAI. Since it is a Southern route and goes through very small towns, we decided to opt out of the first few days. Instead we made our own route and will take off Monday morning and head to Burlington.
It is all new to us. John bought me some water proof panniers for my birthday, we fixed my old cyclocross bike into a touring bike and John got a little back pack for his bike. We aren't going to camp on the way out. We sent our tent and sleeping bags off to the bus our team has and we'll meet them on the way to Centerville on Wednesday. We chose to go credit card "camping", which means we're renting hotels the first two nights. Imagine the luxury. And because we're 12 years old we chose to stay at the Pizazz in Burlington, where they have go-carts and a water park and a bowling alley.
We'll go to Ottumwa from there. We have our lunch towns all picked out and we went to Trader Joe's when we were in Madison, where we bought plenty of trail mix that I divided up in little baggies and then bought king sized Pay Day's, so we should be good on food in between stops.
Since neither of us had ridden our CX bikes that we're taking in months and months and we're not used to riding with bags, we decided to use this weekend to go on rides and make sure the mechanics were all fine. Man, were we glad we did. My saddle was too high. I lend out this particular bike to my friends who don't have a CX bike and want to ride gravel and the last guy I lent it to was, apparently much taller than me. We, on our 45 mile ride on Saturday, we futzed with my saddle height and John messed with his pack. He also broke a spoke and my peddles weren't working for me. It's a damn good thing we had another day to ride after we fixed all of that.
So, today we rode and before we even left our street I tried to brake and realized that John forgot to hook my brakes back up after he took my wheels off. Oops! I freaked right on out, as I was going down hill and had to blow through the stop sign and turn left and hope for an uphill to slow me down. that may have been the very first time I have ever hoped for an uphill. I finally stopped and we got the brakes all hooked-up again and then John said, "Man. I thought you were going to have a heart attack."
"I almost did. I also wondered if you had just taken a big life insurance policy out on me..."
Luckily, the rest of the ride was uneventful. My new pedals worked, John fixed his spoke, the panniers didn't seem to bother me much at all. Although, I do really miss the momentum I usually get from rolling hills, that the weight of the panniers doesn't give me.
So, I think we're ready to head out tomorrow morning on a completely new adventure. I'm excited and a little nervous. Just the kind of combination that keeps me from getting in ruts.
Besides my asshole cats. I will miss my gardens most of all. I'll be back next Saturday afternoon with oh so many stories from our adventures.
Now, time to play!