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.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

DAY 6: Hills in Iowa

Today, there were some rolling hills. Some withstood them more gracefully than others.

Those Midwestern riders who were so strong on the flats, so stoic in storms, so accepting of stiff headwinds began to gripe when a few hills came up. Riders who had flown by me on the flats struggled going up the hills. Some of the weaker riders walked the tougher hills. "That last one must have been a mile long," one rider groaned about a not particularly tough hill.

The stuff they fill in the cracks with on these Iowa roads is slippery when your tires are parallel to the crack. After a while you learn to steer around the cracks.

The ultralight crashed yesterday. A two-person crew had been flying over RAGBRAI to shoot a documentary about the ride. There were only minor injuries. No word on whether this dooms the documentary.

Team TP was out. Their signature look? A toilet paper roll on a spindle on top of the helmet. Bizarre, yet functional. And yet another example of RAGBRAI engineering (See the audio post below).

Team TP's motto is "We Give a Sheet."

The Donner Party of Truckee, California was having no problem with the hills. Their motto: "We Eat the Slow Ones." Better watch it, Donners, you are what you eat.

Team Road Kill has swung into action. This group of RAGBRAI riders adorns road kill with club stickers and Mardi Gras beads. Disturbing, yet, um, disturbing.

Spillville did an exceptional job as a pass-through town. Among its other attractions, Spillville had had a petting zoo where city types could hold baby chicks or a squealing piglet.

Games included butt darts (don't ask!) and a frozen tshirt contest. For the latter, they had a CO2 tank, so those tshirts were seriously frozen.

Houses in these small Iowa towns almost never have fences. Back yards tend to run together and create a large common area.

The last two evenings I put my TurboCat headlights on the bike and explored the towns of Cresco and West Union after dark. I found that on festive occasions like these, a Trek 520 can be ridden short distances while wearing flip flops.

West Union had a big turnout for its evening entertainment.


Post a Comment

<< Home