Tuesday, August 02, 2016

RAGBRAI 2016 - Day 0 - Glenwood (-420 miles)

2016 RAGBRAI.  My fourth.  First one with my Dad.  Second one with my Dad, sister, brother-in-law, and mother/daughter/nieces in an RV.  What Eryn affectionately refers to as "the most fucked up trip I've ever been on."  I put words in her mouth, but she wouldn't disagree. She's not a fan of family RV trips.  Third one with Adam - aka PukeDog, aka Teenage Data, aka Toussaint Charbonneau (a distant relative I imagine having facial hair exactly like Adam).  Fourth one with Adam and Ming - aka French Dip aka the multi in Pan-Universal Multicultural Peddlers (although perhaps I'm the multi).

420 miles to go.  Here's the profile.  Lots of climb those first days with a general elevation climb.  That's what you get skirting the foothills of Missouri.  Although it gives you something to look forward to on the east end of the state.

The more concerning issue was this...the weather report for Sunday.  You can't see it here, but it doesn't go below 80 degrees until AFTER 3:00 a.m.  And that potential for rain...I think you get an inkling of the humidity.  It was not 71%  It was more like inside an aquarium.  You moved.  You sweated.  I remember after sleeping almost not at all that if the ride was going to be like that for the next 7 days, I might actually crack.  Sad to think the weather would break you, not the pedaling.

Know what else breaks you?  A guy driving over you tent in the middle of the night.  That happened.  As Adam says, it was one of my first rules on RAGBRAI #3, don't camp near the road.  We camped closer to the road than I liked that first night, but I made sure there was a (big!) truck between us and the road.  The guy who was run over lived, but needs several surgeries.  Still, he fared better than the guy who went the reverse direction in the morning in order to dip his tire in the river (we were far from the river this time) and was hit and killed.  Two deaths on RAGBRAI this year.  Him and another guy who had a heart attack.  Happens when the average age is 49.

While we didn't have rain the first night - this is what it looked like on the way down.  Those cars are all pulled over to the side of the road because they can't see the road.  That would have been a fun ride.  But we actually saw no rain except once while we were under a gas station canopy until the last day despite some dice rolls with the forecast.  Even on the last day we only saw some sprinkles despite flash flood warnings only miles from our campsite.  The RAGBRAI site shows riders hiding from the rain under picnic tables, but they must have come through later than us.

The first bus we saw.  They separated the buses from the baggage truck campers this year most nights (Ottumwa was an exception).  Which was nice.  Quieter.

We stopped for lunch at Fong's Pizza in Ankeny.  Delicious.  I hope they move up here.  However, I asked for a local Ankeny drink and when the waitress asked 10" or 16" I replied 16", because who wants a 10" drink?  She was referring to the pizza.  That was a lot of damn pizza.  Eryn ordered these cinnamon-covered bites for dessert which came in a gross.  Crazy amount of food.  This is from the mural by their bathroom.  Reminds me of Tsuro.

Here we are on our official start of ride photo inside the school.  We're standing there because it's next to the spaghetti dinner room which is heavily air conditioned and sometimes it leaks out.  Shortly after this photo Pooteewheet and Eryn bugged out.  We kicked ourselves for not having them take us downtown in the air conditioned car.  Turns out they took some total strangers downtown in their air conditioned car.

Me and Eryn.  I think we've had a start of ride picture every year.  Some of my favorites.  That look is "holy cow is this hot."

We went into town.  I posed as an Iowan pork chop.

Ming posed as corn with a vagina.  Seriously.  Click into that picture and get a good look using a larger photo size.  Corn.  With.  A. Vagina.  I don't know what he was thinking.  Corn has tassels.  It doesn't need a vagina.

My first food on RAGBRAI.  Pie.  I found the Methodist Church in town with pie and A/C.  Ming and Adam went across the street to spaghetti.  Remember, I'd had 16" of Fong's Pizza.  I didn't really need anything else to eat.

My pie.  Yum.  I did not obsess about pie as much as I have at past RAGBRAI's, but the two days I found ice cream with my pie were THE BEST.  This is not one of those days.

Walking back to the campsite.  Bikes everywhere - just like every RAGBRAI.  While we were headed back there was a couple at the bridge where the wife/girlfriend could barely walk on her clippable shoes.  Her husband/boyfriend took her bike away and she was incensed.  So she stomped off into the street which we all agreed was preferable to her being anywhere near the edge of the bridge.  Drunk to the point of not really functioning and having an argument with your significant other at 8:00-ish on Day 0 - poor life choice.

I forgot - this is from the church.  Even bikes need A/C.

ANGRY BEAVERS! I should have been wearing my "Fear the Beavers!" t-shirt.

I saw Freedom rocks everywhere in Iowa.  I know they're supposed to be patriotic, but mostly they made me think the towns couldn't afford a real statute.  They remind me of black velvet Elvis paintings more than anything.

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