Thursday, July 26, 2012

No More Pace Lines


I quit looking for pace lines. I noticed that most days I rode faster than just about everyone which hopefully isn't as arrogant as it sounds. On the few occasions I was passed it was usually by a pace line and often I caught them later.

I started to jump into a line but halfway back was a rider who pedaled fast, then braked, then coasted. Repeat. I felt the advantage from riding in a pace line was not worth the risk of a crash. It was easier to ride by myself.

Tractor parked at one of the farm vendor stands

RAGBRAI brings out all kinds of riders and probably less than the average number of serious riders. I passed amputees with one leg. I passed tons of recumbent riders including three wheel ones for paraplegics using hand cranks. Well done my friends! There were families towing kids, either in trailers or on tandems. Which, in the heat, I think they should be charged with child neglect. Children's bodies cannot regulate the 100 degree heat for 10-12 hours.

I have no idea what a Fugawee is
(but is apparently a cycling group in Iowa)

There was a banana boat crew - a tandem recumbent that looked like a boat, in yellow, with five wheels. There was a couple who had a tandem painted in the black and white pattern of a cow. And they wore cow costumes. There was even an older lady who dressed up as the tooth fairy.

I was resigned to enjoying the ride when I rolled into Vinton which may have been the first signs of a city we saw since leaving Sioux Center. A guy advertising Pizza Hut was spinning his sign as I rolled by a reminded him we didn't come to RAGBRAI to eat at Pizza Hut. I went by and stopped --- at Subway. It was so inviting.

Air conditioning. And free refills. It hit the spot.

Once out on the road I caught or was caught by Cindi and Ken Hart. We then rode together to Cedar Rapids. We could talk about cancer and most importantly, Jake the Hero. I also talked about the 4K for Cancer, a group of college students cycling 4,000 miles across the U.S. to raise awareness and money in the fight against cancer. My "Pedal pal" on this trip is Patrick Sheridan.

Near Cedar Rapids we pulled over for some free water supplied by Jerry Ask, a cyclist and multi-RAGBRAI rider. I asked him about a local ride, since 82 miles wouldn't be enough. 

Jerry sent me in a direction to "Czech Town" although it is marked as Czech Village. I wondered if that was a derisive term the locals use for it. But I found the path along the Cedar River he recommended and followed it to Ely, Iowa.

At the camp site, next to a swimming pool / water park, the decision was which showers to use. The pool had $5 showers, actually free showers with a pool admission while the shower trailer, next to Pork Belly Ventures, was six dollars. I had heard there was standing water in the pool showers, they were cold, and were spring loaded for only a few seconds of water at a time. I opted for the trailers.

Brancel Charters' North American Van Lines Cargo Van

Showers on RAGBRAI usually meant a 20-40 minute wait, especially on the men's side. The women had it better because there were far fewer of them on RAGBRAI.

Dinner was at a church nearby - prepaid when I registered. RAGBRAI campers were spread out through Cedar Rapids. We were camped next to a swimming pool / water park but there were no close by eateries. But there was a church close that served dinner which was presented to us an an attractive option. They served chicken breasts and corn. It was pretty good actually.

Mileage: 115 (First 60 miles were recorded on yesterday's route). It was my fourth century in four days.

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