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 4: Easy Ridin'

Mild, dry weather and a flat route made this an easy and enjoyable day. Here we are in the morning when the riders are more bunched together than we are later in the day.

This was a beautiful day to be on a bicycle in Iowa. It was cool in the morning, and gently warmed to the high 70s by the afternoon. There were some puffy white clouds in the sky and no hint of rain.

Team Loon was out, 22 strong. They wore what looked like black ducks on their helmets and broke out into loon calls when greeting one another.

"Isn't the loon the state bird of Minnesota?" I asked one Loonhead (her term, not mine).

"You betcha," she replied.

The RAGBRAI airborne entry is back in the sky. There is an ultralight airplane following the route this week. I didn't see it after the Sheldon storm, but now it is back in the air.

Sign spotted along the route: "Don't be a Crackhead. Wear a Helmet."

Got in a big peloton led by a fellow with a bike trailer containing a boombox that cranked out classic rock tunes. People joined in by singing along whenever they felt like it (although they usually didn't feel like it while going up a hill). The boombox was powered by a marine battery, which is like towing a concrete block across Iowa.

Speaking of concrete blocks, there is another guy towing a trailer containing an imposing-looking concrete block. Or is it a styrofoam fake? I guess RAGBRAI should have its little mysteries.

People drive American cars in Iowa. I counted 50 cars and trucks (business and government vehicles were not counted) and the results were 48 American cars, 2 imports (a Mini and a Lexus). I got the feeling that both of the imports were from outside the area.

Thompson, about 50 miles into the ride, was hopping with live entertainment, mardi gras beads for all, sunflower seed spitting contests, and a whole lot of energy.

The Air Force Team led a nice paceline today. When they pulled off, they were thanked profusely.

We flooded into Thompson, but the town was ready for us with plenty of food, games, entertainment and energy.

I went to dinner after today's ride with Frank and Richard from the same charter group that I am with. Frank, a RAGBRAI veteran, suggested the Methodist Church buffet. It was a good call, for $6 there was plenty of food, lemonade, and pie. Frank asked a church lady how many people they had prepared for. About a thousand people for dinner, she said.

84.83 miles


At 2:21 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

I'm a student at Iowa State and am writing a paper for a creative writing class about RAGBRAI and decided to search some blogs. I ran across yours. I rode RAGBRAI for a couple days this year and I think I recognize a couple people in your Day 4 picture- the two in the bright jackets on the far right. I rode with my dad and his middle-aged friends. Anyway, just thought I'd leave a post and say how cool it is to hear about people from far and wide love RAGBRAI. Believe it or not, some people have no idea about it, even some in Iowa!


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