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Discussion in 'Sports' started by k7, Sep 9, 2015.
Damn guys. Ride safe!!
We're all good. No @Askel sightings yet, but clearly he's on a different schedule.
There was a fatality on day one, some cat reportedly went out on his own (off route) to go dip his wheel and didn't make it back. That's all I know, as I said, att doesn't work here, and there's real limited wifi that gets overloaded real fast as people show up.
This event is a pretty new experience for me, in terms of scale (which I way underestimated) and just about everything else. Lots of people. Lots of unpredictability with all kinds of different riders of all skill levels and styles.
And it's pretty warm.
Very flat too.
I noticed you climbed 5246' today. So how big are those flat Iowa rollers?
Found some wifi at the local library. We hucked (not sure what Gerry did) a glorious century with a fantastic swim spot at mile 70 complete with free beer.
haven't spotted any of you guys yet.... then again no clue who I'm looking for.... as for me I am pretty much always wesring a Sea To Sea jersey and look for the tan fedora on the back of the bike.... hehehe
And we're done. Good experience all the way around.
Well that was anticlimactic
We're all scattering like cocroaches. I'll have a colorful assessment when I arrive and get settled.
I was in Ottumwa for work when ragbrai rolled in. Plenty of chunky locals milling about
Headed back to Des Moines for a real shower and bed.
Will post some pics when I get back. We had a swell time.
In Kansas - great time, photos to follow once home. 50 miles cycling, 400 driven today, 600 tomorrow and then 550 on Monday. Or something like that.
Here's a little beagle I met a few days ago:
And ice cream makers driven by hit and miss engines :
Oh.... And Pie!
I made it to work, safe and sound.
Rippers gotta rip.
Now, for a shower and shave, bust out a bunch of stuff real quick and cross my fingers the bells and lights don't come on so I can close my eyes. Fuckin' A.
Glad you're home safely , I decided to drive straight through today. It's about 1165 miles to go.
I expect you'll let us know you made it safely, mister.
Tldr: ragbrai has something for ANYONE that rides a bike. It can be anything you want it to be.
Day1: was an exercise in patience. I had to stifle my kill everyone and keep telling myself that we were all on our own brand of vacation. Once that sinks in, the fun starts. It did take all day though.
There's nobody in this pic. A ragbrai rarity.
Day2: this was the toughest day for me, physically. I went out early and HARD with one of the other character from camp. So fast I could almost hear people calling us assholes over the wind noise. But even in vac mode I'm a man with a purpose, and that was to get out ahead of thousands and buy breffis burritos for my homies and have them waiting by the time they showed up. In that 10 or so minutes, the line had grown to at least 10x what it was when I got there. And being a New Englander, the staff wasn't moving too fast by my standards.
That took its toll and I came unglued 6 very hilly miles before the lunch town. I spent a few whiles eating and recovering and had a good strong finish though.
It was also military jersey day and k7, my main man, came through and delivered a gift for me. I sported the proper attire all because of him. Class act, that dude, despite riding a couch bike.
Day3: this where it all came together for me. I crushed this ride in my own way, and got to the IOWA CRAFT BEER TENT real early. I spent all afternoon there drinking and hob-bobbing with various cats, including a bunch of gravel dudes from Kansas. (Yes, this contact will come in handy james)
Cell cervix was nearly non existent for me, so it was a good long while before I got in touch with Paul and Cheryl who had meandered and found this hipster girl playing various tunes with a piano, a uke, and a guitar. I did what any ripper would do and rode back out to find them, and smell the roses. Hipster chic was really talented, and it was pretty unexpected (for me) which made it that much better.
Day4: was a century if'n you wanted. I had slashed a tire the night before getting into town so I spent all my cash getting a new sneaker. I figured I'd pass by a gas station and grab some $ and get some snacks for the ride. It was 62miles (no fucking shit) before I came across a place that took a card. I had $1 left, so at mile 40ish I bought a piece of watermelon and discovered I had a real bad wobble on my rear wheel (that I ignored when changing the tire and had gotten way worse) and no $ still. The kind of wobble that stops the wheel dead with the cam open on the caliper on both brake pads. Dude hooked it up and with some specific instructions (because I didn't want him to just tighten the spokes and over tension it because I'd start shooting laser spokes at people) I was on my way. Like I said, 62 miles to get real food and drink.
On to the patch stop for my century trinket badge. This spot was at a lake resort.
So I get my patch and meander about finishing my snacks and lunch. I head down to some docks where they rent pontoon boats and jetskis and its dead. I jump in. On my way back up to tell the other 5000 people up there I run into some more friendly faces and go back down. I spent 3 hours there swimming and Paul hooked us up and we got free beer from some peeps in one of these pontoon boats and generally having the time of my life. Gravel dudes came down and hung out, but not too many more. Literally in the 3 hours I was there, there were probably 40 people to swim out of an easy few thousand that came through the resort. On to the craft beer tent to finish the day, and then into town later in the afternoon.(because getting t o tent wasteland early wasn't part of my program at this point, it's hot there)
Day5: had me swimming again behind some farm where mr pork chop (ragbrai celebrity) was set up, and also the best lemonade slushie I've ever had.
I was thrilled to feel good the day after a century and still be able to screw around. On to the beer tent.
Day6: was overcast. Unbeknownst to me, I'd fucked my knee up earlier in the week, unclipping one foot and skating through one of the towns, which took a few minutes. I stretched some tendons in a bad way, and the demons surfaced. More lemonade was had. There was a winery on the tail end of the loop. So you know the plan was put in motion to check that out.
Cheryl and I met up, shared a bottle of wine and some lunch, and had a fucking hell of a time hamming it up with these other 2 random dudes at the table. It got dirty fast, and the British lesbian couple that was sitting with us vacated quickly. Some other couple sat down with AMPLE warning and were absolutely stone faced. Hysterics ensued.
From there it was a quick ride the beer tent, and then into town. Totally worthy of note and to add to the excitement, Cheryl's sister was about to have a baby. Like now. So, as it worked out, her brother in law was on his way by where we were and was gonna pick her up to share in this experience. Being along for that ride, and her excitement to be able to make it, and do her sisterly part was the icing on the cake of my favorite day of the ride. The joy was electric. The wine helped.
The only disappointment was filling the empty bottle of wine with some water and sticking it in my jersey pocket. It did not whistle the whole way to the beer tent.
Day7: turn and burn. I beat the baggage truck to the finish, was rinsed and ready when it showed up. Threw my shorts on, and managed to find k7 to thank for his hospitality and gift, and I booked it the fuck out of town. I was gonna have to play it tight to not have to take another day off from work and it came together.
iowa bike rack...and yes, toilet too.
limeade. Not the lemonade slushie, but equally distinct and worthy.
Typical town stop...people everywhere. Don't unclip one foot and skate through this. It'll bite back later. I finished pretty well, but my knee is going to need some time.
Double secret rainbow. What does it all mean?
looks like a damn good time !
Thanks for the pictures and write up ripper.
That was great ripper! Looking forward to reading the next one.
I was in CO all week were it was calm, no humidity and perfection conditions. So did you guys get any of the big storms?
Nothing. A passing sprinkle that's it. I think all the crazy humidity broke and gave us a same near picture perfect week. All that nasty crap was on the eastern seaboard.
I have quite a few stories I want to share. So many I don't know where to start.
The ride/event was everything I had hoped for and more. I guess I'll go into a little bit about what the ride was like for me, then get into the important stuff. Prior to this event, the furthest I had ever ridden was 75 miles. I had never done back to back days of more than 35 miles. I ride for the fun of it and am not fast by any stretch of the imagination. I have had 3 left knee surgeries and it is very arthritic. I found out a month or so ago that I have two different kinds of cysts in my right knee and a 10mm meniscal tear. It needs surgery. I also need right shoulder replacement surgery. On top of that I have degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my back. Being from New Orleans I couldn't train in hills either. I knew the ride would be a challenge. My only goal was to have fun and finish.
I achieved my goal! I wasn't planning on doing the optional century, but at the 60 mile turn-off point I made a last minute decision to do it. My ass was burning pretty badly and I was feeling drained. I told myself I'd tackle the remaining 40 miles as a series of 10 mile rides with butt breaks in between. I stopped at about mile 64 where I downed a Snickers bar, an energy drink and a half Gatorade. That gave me a massive boost. It dawned on me that I still need to learn how to hydrate and nourish during longer rides. At mile 70 we stopped at a lodge to pick up our century patches. I ate a brisket sandwich and drank more Gatorade. Cheryl and Chip went swimming. I didn't want to wash the chamois cream out of my shorts so I abstained and left out on my own. The last 30 miles were incredibly strong by my standards. I was not passed by a single person who I didn't pass back on the uphills. Those riders I call cannon balls can get serious downhill momentum! They are easy to reel in on the climbs though. I feel like, despite not having any hills to climb, that I am a decent climber. I was thrilled to have finished my first century. On balance I had some good days and some so-so days from a strength standpoint. I enjoyed every day.
The only lingering effects are that I have what might best be described as burns on the tissue over my sit bones. That despite using generous amounts of chamois cream. What can I say, I have a tender ass. It has always been the most limiting factor. I have tried countless saddles and brands of shorts without completely satisfactory results.
It was great meeting Chip and Gerry. They are good peeps. I was also grateful that Chip kept Cheryl company out on the town each night while I stayed at the camp and bullshat with the other riders.