Thursday, September 07, 2017

Right, Wrong. I Just Can't Stop It.

On the third day, we were finally going to catch up with RAGBRAI. First, we had to get John's wheel situation rectified. He called the bike shop in Clear Lake and they said they could help him. So, he rode out to them and they set him up with a new wheel and we were ready to go.

We only had about 56 miles or so to ride, which seemed like nothing after the last couple of days, but the shorter distance was welcomed by all of us after the treacherous day before.

The biggest problem for me, was that I was getting a migraine. I tried to take some Advil to see if that would help, to no avail. We stopped at a Casey's in a small town that had lush grass and lovely shade trees behind it. I told the gang that I needed to take migraine meds and rest a little while. They were very sweet and just fine with it. After about an hour, I felt much better. The meds meant I couldn't ride very fast for the next 24 hours, but at least my head wasn't splitting.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. We met our RAGBRAI group in a little town called Algona.

Our RAGBRAI friends are lovably goofy. In the photo above, Bry forgot his helmet and picked up an alternative one....

I was so exhausted from migraine and my meds, so I basically ate and went to sleep.

The next day we were in full-on RAGBRAI. It meant that we wouldn't have to hitch rides if anything happened to our bikes, there would be tons of stuff to do, but we would be surrounded by thousands of people all day. Sigh.

I was still pretty weak from my migraine meds, but I had a good time and the beer tent sold root beer as well. So, I was happy.

We rode and ate and played and made it to Clear Lake. It was only a 54 mile day, so we had enough energy to hang at the show at night.

The Wailers played. Of course, it wasn't the real Wailers. I saw Bunny Wailer in 1986 at the Oakland Coliseum. This may have been a grandson or just people who sounded like the Wailers. The music was good, but after a while I started to feel that bad vibe. You know, the one where people are getting too drunk and pushing people in the crowd and it just starts to feel weird?...So, I asked John if he wanted to take off and we headed to the lake where we could still hear the music, but weren't engulfed by drunk people.

It was supposed to storm the next morning. Which meant a lot of riders got up really early in the morning to try to out ride it, or didn't ride at all. We didn't worry about it. We got up at the normal time and headed to Charles City.

The clouds started to roll in early on our ride, so we thought we'd try to make it to a breakfast burrito and coffee place and "ride" out the storm at the farm there.

It started raining just about the minute we got our food and coffee. We holed-up in a dilapidated barn with some other riders.

When the storm started to let-up, the farmer who's barn we were hanging out in, walked past us and said, "Yeah. That's a pig barn..." and pointed back to the clean, dry, garage where several other riders were waiting out the storm. Oops!

It sprinkled here and there, but we decided to ride on to the next town where we saw several of our group. The photo above is of John and one of his best friends since high school. They have been doing RAGBRAI for 20 years together.

The coolest thing about the bad weather, was that there were hardly any people riding that late in the day, so there were very few lines and we didn't even have to get off our bikes and walk through towns like we normally do. Best of all, there was a cool pond swing.

We talked my brother into doing it (which wasn't hard at all). Then when it was his turn to get up to the platform we all chanted, "Uncle Bill! Uncle Bill! Uncle Bill!" The guy who was talking to people and getting them set up on the swing said to my brother, "Okay, Uncle Bill. Here's how it's gonna go..." Hilarious.

What I did discover that day was that I must have done a lousy job of washing my legs at that splash pad on the 2nd day of OOBRAI, because the weird itchy blisters were all over me. They have left some nice scars after the blisters cleared up. So, there's that...

We met up with some of our team and were riding through a town, when we spotted two other teammates sitting on a bench with a 12 pack of PBR. I guess that meant we were stopping.

It was actually a good thing we did. We found hula hoops and the boys played a game where they handed each other beer and tried not to mess with their hula hooping. None of them seemed very good at it.

When we finally got back on the road, we passed a woman who rode with her dog on her back the entire week. His name was Zazoo and he seemed to love the experience.

Our last stop of the day was at the Craft Brew tent. They had bags (corn hole, if you're from Iowa) and sting rays (why?) in these tubs for people to look at and beer, of course.

We all played frisbee and because our friends are assholes, it all degenerated into some kind of tackle game where you try to keep your friends from catching the frisbee. Apparently, we play a lot of weird games.

We did finally make it to Charles City and stayed with some lovely people. As I've said before, there are parts of RAGBRAI that can be hard for me, but the fun adventure days always make up for those things.