Professor and former WQAD-TV reporter Alan Sivell is biking RAGBRAI and blogging for LMQC about it this year. You can follow his adventure right here!
People are moving a lot slower today as they come back into camp and seek showers, food and shade. The mileage for the day was back up, the sun came out and danced around whatever clouds were in the sky and the hills of Iowa reappeared.
Remember the shining city on a HILL? Well, we didn’t see any of those today. Or on this trip for that matter. Iowa towns and cities are buried at the bottom of gulleys, in my opinion. It makes for a glorious ride into town. But a torturous one out.
Especially if you stop to fuel up on the typical fare that is serve on RAGBRAI. It’s like a rolling county fair: Pork, meats on a stick, lemon shakeups, fried dough, pie (of course), bacon (and bacon dipped in chocolate) and any other bad thing your parents never let you eat but once a year at the fair.
I spotted Davenport’s Kaye LeBeau grabbing some free bacon in Hudson. This is Kaye’s 19th RAGBRAI. She likes to ride alone so she can go at her own pace and occasionally chat with people who pedal alongside her. Kaye’s late husband, Carter, was honored at last year’s RAGBRAI.
Donna and Jeff Young of Davenport joined me for pie in Laporte this morning. Donna is the owner and sculptor at Isabel Bloom and Jeff has a sign company, Young Art and Sign.
Dave Rebman of Davenport was testing out his two partial knee replacements. Dave recently retired from Central Telephone Company in Eldridge and decided to try RAGBRAI for the first time for “something to do.”
No matter how tough the ride is, though, the scenery is spectacular. This morning, I looked to my left – into the rising sun – and saw a thick cloud of dew gently blanketing the corn. Then I looked right – away from the sun – and the golden tips of those 14-foot high cornstalks sparkling.
But late in the ride, with spectacular scenery all around me, my head was down, just trying to make it in to Hiawatha. The heat, the hills and the mileage had taken their toll.