It happens every year. We just get a good rhythm on Ragbrai, everyone’s hindquarters are beginning to toughen up, and here we find ourselves in the last town =(.
Today was a little challenging, as Ragbrai days go. We started out today’s 62 miles in a mild drizzle. That turned into a soft rain. That turned into a downpour. That was constant. I don’t like riding in the heat, so I’ll take the rain (or a headwind – which comes later) over the heat any day, but I will admit that it was a bit on the brisk side with a saturated rain jacket and 30K speeds! The worst part about bad weather is that the riders tend to put our heads down, leaving the townspeople with those hundreds of pies and rice krispie treats left over. I stopped in the breakfast town and bought a cinnamon roll I didn’t really want, and 2 slices of lemon pound cake which was the best I’ve ever tasted.
The worst part for me was the first half hour when the rain washed all my sunscreen (I was optimistic) into my eyes and mouth. About the time I was losing my good humor about the whole thing, the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and it turned into a fabulous day – the high was about 80, and although we had a headwind headed into the town of Manchester, it was just so pretty, it didn’t matter much. I rode into town with Jesse and Sam, who gave me a boost or two on the last couple of hills (Sam, not Jesse – Sam told me he had been pushing Jesse before they caught up with me!)
In celebration of our last night, Ben and Kirsten cooked dinner – salad, pasta, bread – fabulous after a long day’s ride. Dustin chimed in with salmon cakes that were out of this world. We are now hoping to go toward the square for Glenda’s last night of performance.
One more exciting note: today Aden learned to ride his bike without training wheels! I’m not suggesting he’s Ragbrai ready, but he did great on his Transformers bike and was really proud of himself. What a memory to have – I dropped my training wheels on Ragbrai! He’s also a hula-hooping champion, and works the crowd while Glenda prepares to fire hoop.
All in all, a phenomenal Ragbrai. We were so glad to have Aden with us, and so look forward to next year!
Check back for pics and as always, thanks for reading!