Friday, August 05, 2016

RAGBRAI - Day 4 - Leon to Centerville - 65.1 miles, 2708 feet of climb)

ADDENDUM: I missed pictures from breakfast!

Day 4 - Leon to Centerville!  65.1 and only 2708 feet of climb, but it was hot and there were some bigger hills.  This is the day Adam and Ming made their gentlemen's agreement that you would wait for someone at a stop for only 30 minutes before all bets were off and they could move on.

I said we got up early.  This early.  Damn that's early.  That's Adam headed to the truck.

And Ming, getting his stuff loaded.  He's facing the other direction because he's got morning wood from all that watermelon.  At least that's what Adam says.

Our first stop was Garden Grove - a Mormon town.  They weren't really ready for us so early in the morning.  They were still getting the tractors and wires adjusted for parking bicycles.

This guy was actually pretty good. I liked his foot pedal that allowed him to sing with himself.  I hope he got a much larger audience later.

We ended up stopping for breakfast in Humeston, Iowa.  This gigantic bull's head greeted you to town.

My sister was dubious of our breakfast.  It wasn't typical RAGBRAI fare.  We ended up in a sit-down cafe with a waitress, the Grassroots Cafe,...

...eating quiche of a glass plate and drinking coffee from a ceramic cup and following it up with custom baked bread and grape salad dessert.

Almost looks like one of those French paintings of a bicycle outside a cafe.  Ming, Adam, and I are all in this photo.  Ming paying the bill and flirting with the teenage waitress.  Ming and I reflected in the window.

I spent a chunk of the day sprinting ahead of Ming and Adam trying to find a bathroom without a line.  Something wasn't sitting right.  Most of the towns on Day 4 were unincorporated, so they were just a bar, or a corner, or a church.  Every single one of them with porta potties with a big line.  Finally, in Mystic, only 5 miles from the end, I found an unoccupied pair.  It was a good place to stop - goat races, pinch pies (like you'd get at McDonald's but better), a smoothie, pulled pork sandwiches, and a big hill leading out of town.  A lot of folks rested before the hill and commented that once they got up it they were stopping again for the craft beer tent.

I didn't actually see the goats racing.  I was talking to a guy from the lower midwest and a woman from San Antonio.  But I did see the goats getting ready.  The little one wasn't ready to race.

Ming texted me to shoot ahead and I found us a spot at the community college right near the fence and truck.  It was an interesting time to pull in as about the only other riders pulling in at the same time were many attractive young women.  They're FAST (as was the woman from San Antonio in Mystic).  I'm not sure if they've got something to prove to male riders, or if they're just staying ahead of the pervs.  I talked to one for a while who was interning in Madison at Trek and was headed out West to work as management for another big outdoor firm if she got the chance.

It was our day to wash clothes.  This is the laundromat I found on Google.  There's a problem.  We talked to a woman who was going to give us a ride to the other laundromat, but then I just started walking.  Sometimes you just have to assume you'll get there before the details work themselves out or you'll be waiting all day when the rest of the riders catch up.  There was a tractor shuttle in town, but the guy was from out of town and didn't know if he went near the other laundromat.  He did.  Within three blocks.  We probably walked at least a mile.

The other laundromat was a bit dicey.  The shower trucks were washing loads of towels and many of the dryers were broken.  You can't see it in this smaller panorama, but if you click into the original you can see that every single washer on the side where Ming is sitting is out of order.

Original Size (huge)

Someone doesn't trust Carl to fix them anytime soon.  But we got our hands on a few and a few dryers and talked to a guy riding unsupported and another guy supporting the Air Force team.  We'd passed a church on the way there, so we went back for dinner.  There was an elevator.  But that was a mistake because a.) it was hot and b.) you'll note I didn't mention a shower for us prior to the laundromat.  It was a hothouse of stink.  This other guy on the elevator made a face.

Centerville had a nice setup.  I got to see a lot of it as I forgot my clothes on the way to the shower truck.  We had waited for quite a while to catch a shuttle as they kept stopping before the stop and people would run over and fill it up that weren't in the line.  So once I was back to collect my clothes, I stopped at the other location.  And it promptly switched to the correct location.

They decorated their porta potties with themes.  You can't see her, but behind me in this photo is Ms. Pancake Day.  Madison Moorman, Miss Pancake, is over on the Facebook Pancake Day page if you really need to see the details about Pancake Day - she explains it in depth.  We didn't have the ham ball dinner, so no photo for us.

A close up of the yellow brick road porta potty.

Here's the tractor transportation.  We spent some time downtown just wandering around visiting the stores and taking in some air conditioning.

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