The day that will tell if you will have a fun/enjoyable ride or a painful/miserable ride is the second day. This is when your body reacts to the first dose of cycling, your muscles try to regroup to their normal state, and your butt doesn’t know what to think.
For me, when I got on the saddle for the 74 mile day I felt good. Nothing hurt too bad, especially my butt. It is all about the butt.
As the day starts we (humans as well as cyclists) are hungry so the first town we come to we stop for breakfast, always. On RAGBARI (or the Rug-a-Boo) there is a wild assortment of options, ranging from the homemade cookies, muffins, and pies, to the breakfast burritos, biscuit-n-gravy, or pancakes. One icon experience of the ride is to visit Chris’ Cakes for pancakes in the morning. Chris’ operation of serving thousands of hungry cyclist is superb. The cooking skillet is as long as two folding tables and double as wide. A vat of batter rolls over the skillet dropping the perfect amount of pancake goop on the scolding hot surface. He flips the cakes in an accurate yet artful way all the way down the line, by the time he reaches the end the first ones are done. Then the hungry cyclist comes in, Chris’ takes his spatula underneath one pancake and flips it at you. The fluffy pancake does 2-3 back flips before landing (hopefully) on your plate. This is repeated 3 times. Some paper-plate holding feasters pass with flying colors and some fail miserably. And when you bite into those pancakes, you are blissfully happy.
A majority of the towns in Iowa are from Scandinavian descent. The host of towns today where mostly Swedish which was fun to see because I spent one summer over in Sweden my Sophomore summer (wow, that is odd to say.) The “breakfast” town was Swedish and they prided themselves in their two water towers. The oldest water tower was shaped as a Coffee Pot while the newest one was was shaped as a cup on a saucer. Crazy Iowans.
Then it started to rain. The precipitation started out slow, just “spittin'” then slowly progressed to a drizzle, just-plain-out-rain, and finally down pour. Earlier today, I looked up at the sky right after I put my bag on the truck preventing me from having my rain coat available when needed. So the Teasdale family improvised with trash bags. $1.79 for 10 trash bags, was a great way to stay dry-er then normal. One cut for the head and two for the arms and we were all set. We were gunna get wet, no doubt about it, but if you can slow the process and try to keep as much of your body heat as possible, your are gunna make it.
We made it into camp, drenched, but we made it. The worst part for me was the moment that my shoes became instantly soaked from the spray of my front wheel when zipping along a down hill. With two water-logged feet and a couple of trash bags, I pitched the tent. Boy, did it feel great to get that 7 person tent up and just stand in a dry place. I felt even better putting on dry cloths, nothing better.
This was the fateful night that I tried to catch yall up on the progress at the Iowa Telecom trailer when it decided to play games with me.
After a couple of slices of pizza that we got after hitching a ride with a high-schooler, who my brother was trying to hit, our whole group called it a day a lil after 10pm.
74 miles wasn’t bad, the rain took your mind off of the distance but the next day was a different story. 77 miles.
Thanks for keeping up with me.