Day 1. 53 miles. Great day for riding. Felt great to get on the bike. Sporting the Tennessee Cycling Gear.
So, when you think of Iowa you probably think that the terrain is flat, farmland with only windmills and water towers to break up the horizon. You are only partially correct. You are thinking of the northern portion of the state, the southern side is hilly. “Hilly” might seem too small of a word to describe the hills that roll along the Iowa country. With that said, the ride was a blast, hilly, but absolutely a blast.
Being from Tennessee people claim that I am used to these hills, I laugh half-heatedly. Some hills feel good but some are still a task. But I love the thrill of conquering a hill, I grunt, laugh, tell jokes, yell a “yee-haw”; anything to get my mind over the hill before my bike does.
After the riding we pitched our tents in center field of the local softball field. A local convenient store offered to deliver beer and refreshments so we took them up on the offer and they showed up an hour and a half later with our “Happy Hour.” At this time we stretch out unwind and share experiences of the day. Simple but a staple of a RAGBRAI experience.
There are several groups of riders that form team for this ride. These teams consists of a clad of people from all over the states wearing the same jersey and causing a ruckus anywhere they go. Some are more successful then others. The ride consists of over a thousand teams. One of them is the LiveStrong Team apart of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Most of the team membershave been directly affected by cancer and have used the foundation to over come and give awareness to research for a cure. This team has a bus that camped near us witha flat panel TV bolted to the side with only one thing on, Le Tour de France.
On a ride withover 10k riders biking 445 miles across a state, you could say we are all obsessed with the Tour, and how Lance is doing. I wandered over to the bus and began to watch the 15th stage of Tour de France. It was awesome to sit, relax and watch. In short, Lance Armstrong’s teammate Alberto Contidor won the stage and is in first place (he is amazingly awesome) while Lance is in second overall. We will see if Lance can do it again.
After the tour update it was shower time. Yes! The Joy of spending five bucks to get all the sweat and grease off of your sore body is marvelous! This shower was at a high school, and it was warm. The best RAGBRAI shower I have had in the five years I have ridden. The feel of cotton on your skin after a day of lycra is beyond words. I love the ride but the wash afterward just as much.
Clean, check. Hungry, check. My dad, friends, and I hitched a ride (never do that in the “real-world”) to the best & only mexican place in town. A burrito that was so stuffed that you had to eat it with a fork found me there. Stuffed, clean, and sore I slept hard and fast.
Truly one of the best RAGBRAI days I have ever had, all-in-all.
Thanks for keeping up with me.