7/23/12 Day #2 RAGBRAI – 62 miles
I woke in the middle of the night to a brief thunderstorm. 2 nights in a row where it rained. I was just joking when I made the comment about it raining in drought areas because I pitched my tent. If it happens again tonight I will start really believing it.
I was able to finally hook up with Glada’s friend who brought my clothes. There are so many riders in RAGBRAI that the cell service is pretty much overloaded at all times and unavailable. I am having trouble calling home or sending/receiving e-mails. I went straight from picking up my clothes to the post office to mail some stuff home, I.e. my cold weather gear and a few clothes. Certainly don’t need cold weather gear any more. Since I had to wait for the post office to open, we got off to a later start than usual, which was unfortunate because it was such a hot day. The ride itself wasn’t bad. Nice smooth roads and the crowd seems to have thinned out a bit. Not much in the way of a headwind. One of the highlights of the day was coming across fields with the giant windmills.
We made it to the lunch town easily, and I had a pork chop (an Iowa specialty), corn ( another Iowa specialty) and 2 strawberry smoothies. We went to the bus and I dried out my tent in the sun and drank tons of water. Then we headed out for the final 35 miles of the day. By then it was full blown hot. I must have drunk 2 gallons of water today. The problem is that the water gets hot really fast, and what you are craving is cold water. During normal non-RAGBRAI touring, we often pull into convenience stores and can fill our water bottles with ice and fresh cold water. Here, of course, they want you to buy cold water. Occasionally you will come across a fire hydrant or place where they will let you use a water hose, but no ice and you buy cold water. Randy and I decided today to go with Gatorade tomorrow because at least it tastes good warm.
The last 10 miles or so were brutal because it was so hot. About 6 miles out I just had to stop and take a break off the bike. There was a vendor set up at this cemetery and I bought some water, then took a short nap. Then on to the final few miles to Lake View. A friend of one of the group owns a little house on the water, and everyone went swimming in the lake to cool off. The problem was as soon as you got out of the water, you started sweating again.
Randy and I biked into town to have a lasagna dinner at the Episcopal Church. There were so any people you had to buy a ticket and sit in the sanctuary for 20-30 minutes for your turn to eat. The A/C came off the floor outside the aisles, so we ended up sitting on the floor next to the pews to cool off a little. It was still hot. The dinner was pretty good, all in all.
After dinner, we biked back to the house/camping spot. I was dripping sweat again. Pretty miserable. I pulled out my maps and started looking for alternative routes out of RAGBRAI. Unfortunately, the options at this point are slim to none, and no matter where you go it will be hot. I kept thinking if I could re-route through some larger towns or cities, I could maybe find a motel occasionally to get out of the heat.
Tomorrow is 81 – count’em 81 miles to Webster City. I told Randy I want to get out by 5 or 5:30 to try and make as many miles as possible by noon, when it really starts getting hot. We’ll see how we do. Although it is only the 2nd day of RAGBRAI and the jury is still out, I am still of the opinion at this point that it just isn’t my cup of tea.