Sunday, August 07, 2016

RAGBRAI - Day 7 - Washington to Muscatine - (49.7 miles, 1314 feet of climb) - End of Ride (+420)

Day 7, the last day.  Washington to Muscatine.  Our goal was to finish before noon.  The only downside to that was we beat the truck set up in again and Ming didn't get to experience what the end of the ride is like when there's a crush of thousands (or at least hundreds at a time) of people trying to dip their tire in the river.  That's something to be experienced, if only once.

One more picture of packing in the dark - I think we were on the road by 5:15 a.m.on the last day.  Adam looks like he's packed fissionable materials.  He had a new tent this time, so he didn't have to worry about trying to pack up a jumbled collection of busted poles.  Ming, however, had a fiberglass pole tent that didn't survive.  He was generally patching it together with duct tape and sticks until Tun loaned him a pole repair kit.  At which point Adam remembered he had a kit as well, he'd just been reserving it in case his own pole broke before loaning it to Ming (actually, he forgot he had it).

My sandals.  Pictured solely to remember they gave their life.  During the trek to the laundromat, one of them lost the grip on the bottom.  Only an issue on the slippery morning baggage truck ramp and when trying to walk evenly on two shoes of different heights.  I pulled the bottom off the other one.  And then it's strap broke.  However, I could velcro the straps together which kept them functional for an hour or two at a time before re-jiggering. Farewell, sweet princes.  May you rest in the Washington landfill peaceably.

Time lapse photo of a bunch of riders.  Adam makes an appearance and there's a fun rider who gives me the peace sign and a big smile.  Made me wish I'd had her on regular speed filming.  That was someone who was certainly happy to have done the ride.

The Columbus Junction swinging bridge.

Ming on the bridge.  He accused me of shaking it on purpose.

Another view of the bridge - total strangers.

Here's me crossing the bridge with some wobbling only to find Wisconsonites on the other side.

More bridge video, just because I had it.  Filming was sort of dubious - I was worried I'd tip over a side or drop my phone.  Those people in clipped shoes crossing the bridge - very daring.

When we pulled into Muscatine, this was taped to the ground  Must be a bicycling team - I just hadn't heard of them before.  Yep - looked 'em up.  25 members.  But no one I know.  I was familiar with Team Roadkill and Team Loon.

End of the ride - tire dip in the Mississippi River.

Ming took this nice action shot of me within a few dozen feet of the finish line.

The three of us dipping our tires.

The luggage as Jen came to pick us up.  I didn't take a picture of it, but my bag, which I've had since RAGBRAI 2007, took a beating getting dumped off the truck each evening.  This reminded me of it because it was one of the first bags on that morning, but we had a hard time finding it as it had rolled down the time scale.  I used Adam's duct tape liberally to patch up four big new holes, not including one that ripped through the handle area and bent the handle.  It lived a good life.

And that's all he wrote.  2016 RAGBRAI come and gone.  Ming's looking at another non-Iowa location next year.  I'm conflicted.  I like the every-town-has-something nature of RAGBRAI and the 8500 week riders + day riders aspect.  You're never far from trouble.  You're never far from a fix.  You're never far from food.  You're never far from another bicyclist, even if you lose track of your own team.  I figure in another few years another friend will ask me to go again and I'll reassess then.  In the meantime I'm going to take a look at one of the mountain rides and get a taste of something different.

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