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Discussion in 'Sports' started by k7, Sep 9, 2015.
awesome !! way to take and on and conquer the century
This is probably my favorite picture of the trip. As we were entering one of the pass through towns one morning, we saw a sign in front of a dilapidated home that read "Eggs 4 for $2" With a a bare chested crazy old man cooking and 3 cute helpers, how could we refuse? Cheryl and I split 4 scrambled eggs and ordered two bottles of water. After a little bit of contemplation, the oldest girl Abbey announced that our total was $4. I had been given a $2 bill as change the evening before. I reckoned that Abbey would appreciate the novelty of it, so I gave it to her for a tip. The way her face lit up with wonderment was alone enough to make my RAGBRAI worthwhile.
It took a few days for it to finally sink in, but I came to realize that RAGBRAI is so much more than a massive bike ride and social event. It is a HUGE deal to the communities and the people in those communities. It's a carnival atmosphere in every pass through town and more so in each stop over town. I was humbled to have been but a small piece of such a big part of the lives of the locals.
The southern and western parts of Iowa can be fairly economically depressed. That pic looks fairly typical. Tough to run into bad people anywhere in the state though.
I took time to BS with some of the locals who were kind enough to allow vendors to set up on their property. On college jersey day (I don't own any bicycle jerseys) The Iowa folks were out in force. I fit right in with the black and gold bird of prey crowd. Well, sort of.
This lady built a patriotic float for the special veterans day celebration. As fate would have it the Coast Guard and Marines flags were flying on the front.
The small Iowa towns and the rural countryside are all quite picturesque.
As much as Iowa is a corn state, it is also a pig state.
Cheryl held this cute little piglet.
Mr Pork Chop is a RAGBRAI Icon. He cooks his chops over corn cobs. He'll probably serve Cheryl's piglet next year.
The lucky pigs make it to stud service like this 900 pound boar. At least 70 pounds of that is nuts.
People went to great lengths to dress up.
And to dress their bikes up. This guy brought everything including the kitchen sink. He rode with a guy that had a large functional bbq grill on the back of his bike.
It was hard to complain about the feeling that someone had sanded my ass with 40 grit sandpaper and poured hot sauce on it when there were people who were overcoming much greater hardships.
Center for the Performing Arts?
The ride was a series of encounters with other riders. There were times I didn't have the lung capacity to talk, but I made a point to chat with as many people as possible. I have a tandem bike. Riding a tandem uphill is a special kind of workout. I have immense respect for those who made the ride on a tandem. When I encountered tandem riders I struck up conversations with them. The person who steers a tandem is the captain and the person on the back seat is the stoker. I pulled alongside two men on a tandem, greeting them with a friendly good morning. They enthusiastically reciprocated the greeting. Then the captain told me that he really liked my bike. I told him I had built it myself. At that point he told me his stoker was totally blind, saying that he lost his vision when he was in his 30's. The captain said "I really think my stoker would enjoy hearing about your bike, do you mind describing it to him." I happily indulged. I went to great lengths to describe in detail all of the things that make my bike unique (and patriotic) in order to give him as vivid an image as possible. When I was finished the stoker thanked me and told me he thought my bike was beautiful.
I have always been the kind of person who wants to empathize with others. I asked the stoker if he minded telling me how he experienced the ride. He said that he obviously relies on his other senses. He said he enjoys the sounds. He listens to parts of the other riders conversations. He mentioned that he really likes it when the bikes with music come by. He said he also smells the food and the fresh cut grass. I said "I'll bet you know it when we pass a pig farm too." We all got a laugh out of that. More than anything else these encounters defined my ride. Here's a pic of my bike for what it's worth. I had quite a few people compliment me on it.
I asked one of the corn farmers to explain how the massive farm machinery worked. A few highlights are that it can harvest an acre in about 8 minutes. It is air conditioned, has a great stereo system and even a fridge for the operator's food and beverages. It cost a quarter million dollars and needs 2 different 80K implements to do its job.
I'm terribly, terribly sorry I missed you on my exit, Paul.
I just came in from a super light recovery ride. It feels downright bizarre to be the only bicycle on the road.
Did anyone see us pharmacy people on the ride handing out free otc's and butt cream?
No worries. Things were a bit crazy. I literally have friction burns on my ass over my sit bones (i can post pics if you'd like.) I am glad I didn't let y'all talk me into swimming. That last 30 miles without chamois cream would have been bad.
Each day I passed a booth offering free OTC meds.
Home at noon - no phone/'net/tv services....all is well otherwise except for being tired.
The miles driven was 3,563 and the RDX returned 30.4 mpg (V6, 274 hp). Very pleased with it.
More to follow in a few days but the highlight for me was hanging out with Paul, Chip & Cheryl. Second was the pie consumed at various churches. I am an ecumenical, serial pie consumer.
You found us! And by us, I mean not me, but most of my team. They all sagged ahead while a couple of us rode. That's one of my team walking away from you...
Sorry I didn't get a chance to catch up with you guys. We were really only close to or significantly ahead of RAGBRAI for a couple hours on Monday. And it's a good thing I didn't see k7's post with a detailed map to you campsite in Ottumwa. If I would have found it after they kicked us out of the bars at 2AM I'd have thought it a good idea to drop by and say 'hi'. "Hey. HEY. HEY YOU GUYS! WAKE UP! ANYBODY KNOW WHERE MY IMAGINARY INTERNET MOTORCYCLE FRIENDS ARE?!"
Will post more when I get synced back up with real life and/or the statute of limitations has expired.
That was a different guy called the medicine man. Not sure what his qualifications are for handing out meds.
Most of the fuddy-duddies in camp would've been bullshit. But...if you'd shown up with cold frosties, you'd have likely conjured me from my tent.
I'm pretty positive I'd have heard a southern "shut the fuck up".
Nah dude, those non fun having, stuffy cyclist types. And that lady that brought her own pee bucket to the kybo line every morning.
Besides, I said MOST, not ALL.
I'm really enjoying the stories. Very similar to my feelings on all my riding these days. When I strike up a conversation, I match speed and we talk as we can. Sometimes stopping for water and a rest. I think it is one of the best parts of cycling. Meeting new people from everywhere.
My short vacation and multi-day higher than normal in hotter than normal weather netted me some wear where it is not wonderful to have wear.
I used a first surface mirror I had in the garage to check the damage. Found I looked as if I'd been marched in a stiff boot with no sock. I had none of my usual snake oils or flimflam creme's. So, I used some hand lotion. Many, many years ago I had a reaction to EDM oil on my hands and underside of my forearms. My family doctor gave me some very expensive cream for it that did pretty much nothing other than numb it up.
I was dying of itching and burning skin that was dry and cracking. Also off work. In desperation I turned to a bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion. Just wiping it on made the rash disappear. The itching and burning followed. I had to go back to the doc for a note to go back to work. I told him what I'd done, and he nodded and said sometimes it goes like that. I kept a bottle of that lotion in my tool box the rest of my years as a machinist and later as a mechanic.
Something to remember for the road.
Again guys. I sure wished I'd been there heat and butt sore and all.
I didn't see the Kybo woman. That's unfortunate.