Monday, July 30, 2007

RAGBRAI XXXV - Hampton to Cedar Falls - Day 4

July 25th, Hampton to Cedar Falls - 68.2 miles, 2057 feet of climb. Went through Hampton, Aredale, Dumont, Kesley, Aplington, Stout and Cedar Falls.

Cedar Falls was the biggest town we stayed at. It's got a branch of the University of Iowa, so it's got a sports dome and 36,000 residents (it's pretty much straight south of the Twin Cities). It was a nice day for a ride, although hot again, and I broke a fourth spoke, which is when a mechanic told me, "You'd better take the rim back to the dealer." I figured as long as it was one a day I could afford it until it was time to go back to the cities. The 2000' of climb was surprisingly hilly, and it got hot enough to burn me through SPF50 lotion, but John recovered nicely from the SAG of the day before and just rolled through it all in record time. On the way, I picked up a rock for Eryn with a fossil on it that I found on the side of the road. You know I'm a dedicated Dad if I'm hauling rocks in my bag up and down hills for 60 miles.

This is a picture of the climbing wall in Aredale. You can see one of the loonies in the foreground with the bird sticking out of his hat. There's also a rider dressed as a cow in there from Team Dairy Air.

Just a nice picture of Aredale in the morning with all the riders milling around finding food at the Lion's pancake breakfast and elsewhere.

This statue was in Aplington. We met a nice woman named Joy in Aplington who was doing RAGBRAI while her brother and father, both from Iowa, SAGged. They felt it was an opportunity just to travel across the state and meet friends. Her father was from Humboldt, and I was going to ask him if he knew the ex-boss' relatives, but her brother reported that Dad had found the cherry pie, and he wasn't coming down off the hill. He was going to stay up there and eat piece after piece after piece.

I apologize for subjecting you to this. But I've been promising it. This guy did most of the between acts singing in Aplington. That's not distortion from my camera's microphone - he sounded liked that in real life.

There was a big arch as you came into Cedar Falls made out of bike bits.

And a big metal bike statue made by a local artist.

It was also in Cedar Falls that we saw a stage where all sorts of people were congregating, so we wandered over thinking it might be Lance (he was supposed to speak at the Blues Traveller concert in the Uni Dome that night - an event we didn't attend). When we got closer, my Dad said, "Is that Lance?" To which I replied, "Noooo....that's Joe Biden." Joe disappeared as we got closer as he was going to make an "official" entrance. A college flunky came out to tell us to wave our arms, cheer and jump around a little. I couldn't bring myself to encourage a paranoid who thinks terrorists are behind every closet door, so we went to see the big pig car instead. It was a big pig car with two little pig trailers - if you go to the Flickr pics, you can see the rest of it.

And while I didn't join the Livestrong Army, I did Live Large.

Cedar Falls was a nice break for us because we came in early and it was a big town, so we went to the mall and found a Mongolian BBQ and ate a big meal, then went to the Harry Potter movie and escaped the 90 degree temps for 3 hours by sitting in an air conditioned theater. The movie was ho hum, but sitting there drinking milk (needed a calcium booster after sweating so much, and the theater folk didn't care - they knew why we were drinking milk) in the a/c made it better than it probably was.

The music for the evening was very close to the tents, and I have to say I've determined there's a formula to the music you play for RAGBRAI partiers. Pick a crappy cover band, they don't have to sing well. Play really loud, because that's the same as "good". Substitute song lyrics with suggestive lyrics to the loud approval of the crowd. For instance, if you sing "Magic carpet ride", you may substitute "Magic mustache ride." After $30 of beer on a body that got enough exercise to be drunk after $6 of beer, it's uproarious.

I saw this tandem just leaning against a truck. These wheels were mesmerizing. The full-sized picture is much cooler.


Anonymous said...

In terms of Joe Biden, you forgot to mention wanton plagarist as well. He "borrowed" large chunks of a British Labor member's speech back in his last run for the presidency....

I think the rims on the tandem bike you have pictured at the end of your post would be a bitch to true. Then again, given your propensity for breaking spokes, maybe you should get a pair - you could break many and ride along unphased by the damage.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that the climbing wall was in Dumont rather than Aredale and the picture below it is of Dumont's main street. Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Anonymous said...

Team Dairy Air? Did you get a whiff of manure every time you walked by one of them?

Did you see John Edwards? I'm liking him more and more. But do presidential candidates get secret service protection? Did he have a whole fleet of men in black suits and earpieces riding around him?