Charles City, Iowa. Halfway day.
Weather is flawless. It got a little warm yesterday, but then a storm front came through last night (soaking the tents), and we woke up to much cooler temps today, with even a low of 57 degrees tonight!
Our resident cook, Dustin, has offered to prepare dinner for us tonight – steak and salmon, fresh Iowa corn, squash, salad, and everyone’s choice of beverage (lemonade/vodka for yours truly).
Today was Amy’s first day to drive the bus, and she did a great job. We have yet to find a designated driver for that bad boy, so we all take turns. Gayle on Sunday, Ben on Monday, Sam on Tuesday, Amy on Wednesday, and then it starts over. (Big Jesse gets to do every mile on the bike since he’s done his bus time in the weeks before the ride). She did get pulled over by the Iowa State Patrol (on the 75th anniversary day), but I’ll let you ask her about that in person.
Since I last blogged, we have had a great time. The team is solid with 19, including Aden, but not Uga and Boo – they are their own entities. They are the bus mascots and garner more than their fair share of attention every evening. We’ve been incredibly lucky with our “campsites” in each town. We’ve parked close enough to the square for Glenda to walk in to do her evening shows. She does about 3 sets (regular hoop, LED hoop, fire hoop), lays open the tip box, and has come home with a high count of $220. For an hour’s work. You read that right. There are 18 of us pimping her to do more, but she’s right when she says it’s exhausting. She’s been a huge hit, especially with nephew Aden doing his own hooping while she prepares her fire hoop. O. M. G. Wait til you see the video. All to come when I get home the patch cord.
Last night we stayed in Clear Lake, Iowa. Ring a bell? It would have to Bobby Moss. In the history of rock and roll, the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa holds a significant place. It’s where the music died. It’s the club where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (and the Bopper Richardson, who I don’t know) played their last show on Feb 2, 1959, before boarding an airplane and dying in that plane crash the next day. The ballroom has been preserved in all its retro glory and we thoroughly enjoyed our tour, touched as it was with bittersweet thoughts of our boy.
I’m sorry I don’t have pics – they’ll all come in a rush when we get home. Today Aden both fed and rode an elephant (please don’t ask me why there’s an elephant in Central Iowa, because I can’t answer). Our rookies are killing the ride and except for a little minor road rash, we’ve all stayed safe and healthy. This morning was team picture morning, which I always dread, but that went particularly well, in part because I dragged out everyone’s team jersey and rode them on my bike to the laundromat and back.
The bus has held up well, considering the abuse we put it through, and not an evening goes by that we don’t do at least one tour through it to show off Jesse’s handiwork. We think we have the coolest bus here – and we look closely at everyone else’s.
If your significant person told you they would call regularly, it’s not because they are not trying. These 20,000 cyclists simply overwhelm the network, and it’s so tough to get through. Know that everyone is well and is having a blast.
Internet is slow and sketchy; I’ve been trying to blog the past 2 days and even now am not confident of the connection.
Sorry about the lack of pics – go to http://www.ragbrai.org for general shots, and I’ll put mine up soon!
Thanks for reading!!