RAGBlog contains text and audio commentary surrounding my participation in RAGBRAI XXXIII, July 24-30, 2005. RAGBRAI, which stands for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, draws about 10,000 bicyclists each year for the weeklong ride. Go back to the July 2005 quotes for daily commentary on the ride.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

DAY 3, Part 2: My Dinner with Mr. Pork Chop

The one-and-only Mr. Pork Chop, a genuine RAGBRAI celebrity, visited us at our camp in Algona.

This report is a continuation of the audio post immediately underneath this one.

The charter company that is taking care of me this week, Pork Belly Ventures, arranged for a dinner with one of RAGBRAI's biggest celebrities, Mr. Pork Chop. He is famous for his huge and tasty pork chops barbecued over a corn cob fire sold at the side of the road during each day of RAGBRAI. Merely a sign reading "Mr. Pork Chop 6 Miles" can send murmurs of anticipation rippling through the peloton.

But mostly he is known for his famous "Pooooooork ... Choooooooooooop!" call that everyone tries to imitate, but no one can quite match. And when he isn't cooking or doing the pork chop call, there's a guy with a guitar at the side of the road singing about pork chops. Only on RAGBRAI, huh?

I've provided a link to Mr. Pork Chop's web site on the right of this page.

Turns out our camp site was next to Mr. Pork Chop's son's house. Both father and son turned out to be genuinely decent fellows. Mr. Pork Chop (who is not a young man) posed for countless photos and probably did more pork chop calls than was good for him. But he apparently had a wonderful time.

A lovely evening.

My favorite campsite during the trip was this one in Algona. We were surrounded by several weathered farm buildings and cornfields.

A correction to my earlier report on the storm in Sheldon: The radio station I heard playing Rush Limbaugh when I was desperately looking for a local weather report was not the Sheldon station. It was apparently from somewhere else. The Sheldon station had been knocked off the air by then because its transmitter was blown down by the storm.

More on the Sheldon storm: A local public official was quoted in the Des Moines Register saying, "There were tents all over town. A lot of tents were stuck to the side of cars." Turns out that those who evacuated were often the ones whose tents uprooted themselves and blew away.

One rider died during the storm. A 27-year-old man was in his tent when a tree fell on him. Said RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz, "It's kind of a miracle there weren't other injuries."

Getting back to Day 3, this was the day when riders were given the option of a century loop. I completed it in reasonably good shape: 104.26 miles


At 9:51 AM, Blogger RAGBRAI's Team Ride to the Right said...

Hey, your blogs on RAGBRAI are great! I enjoyed them!

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Bicycle Tour In VermontSeveral years ago, a friend took me on a bicycle tour in the Sonoma Valley. Ever since that trip, I have been hooked on the idea of active vacationing. I save money every year specifically earmarked for a bicycle tour.Last year, I chose to do my yearly excursion to Vermont. I found a company that specialized in bicycle tours of the villages in Southeast Vermont. I am so glad that I chose this trip. I think that it exceeded my every expectation and was quite possibly the best cycling experience that Ive ever had.Bicycle tours are really great only if the support team is helpful and courteous. The scenery will fade away if the breakfast is bad or the beds are lumpy. It is a lot of work to cycle around to see sights instead of driving around to see them in a rental car. After this bicycle tour, I will recommend the company that ran it to anyone.I think that Vermont may be the prettiest state Ive ever visited. While I was on my bicycle tour, I saw so many lovely villages. There were white churches and picket fences. I saw a brick federalist mansion that took my breath away. I stopped to shop at several craft shops and even a general store.I somehow felt connected to a past I wasnt a part of. There were people sitting on their front porches waving as our bicycle tour pedaled by. I was most surprised by the excellent accommodations that we were provided. We stayed two nights at the Kedron Valley Inn. That inn is 168 years old and has been selected by travel writers as one of the top ten inns in America.The next inn that we stayed at was considerably newer and had a few more amenities than the Kedron Valley Inn. I enjoyed the proprietors so much. They sat on the porch with us after sundown and told stories about various people that had stayed there over the years. I think I could have listened to them for hours, but I was tired from the days riding on the bicycle tour and turned in early.To learn more about everything bicycles vist my site at: BrensMartUSA Bicycles Have a geat day and stay healthy!Brenda Sue


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