Tuesday, July 31, 2007

RAGBRAI XXXV - Independence to Dyersville - Day 6

July 27th, Independence to Dyersville - 65 miles, 2412 feet of climb. Went through Independence, Winthrop, Lamont, Dundee, Manchester, Earlville and Dyersville.

The climb was bigger. 1000' more than the day before. You could sort of feel it, although it wasn't too bad. Most of the hills were really long rather than steep. Dyersville is where "Field of Dreams" happened, and there were a bunch of guys in the baseball field dressed as the old players/ghosts. I wouldn't go there, because when I watched "Field of Dreams", Pooteewheet taped over the last 15 minutes, so I don't know what happened. For all I know the ghosts rise up and rip the townspeople apart in sprays of blood and brain matter. I wasn't willing to risk it.

The showers were in the middle of the street. Dyersville had a truck with three big tanks attached to it. Unfortunately the hot water was broken. Not "unfortunately" because I needed hot water - I preferred cold after the ride - but because there was a workman there taking a torch to various pipes and actually starting things on fire. I was more worried for my safety than concerned about water temperature. There's no way to die gracefully if you're blown up mid shower trying to wash the butt balm off your ass.

Manchester put up a nice arch in town with some weird bike sculptures under it. There's a picture of me, and fortunately I'm not eating the foot long phallic corndog of the sort I once made fun of Kyle for eating. It's good to be the owner of the only camera in the posse. I did hear Eye of the Tiger in Manchester, and again on the road outside Manchester. It blissfully washed away the stain of Chicago 16.

There was a lot of art by kids in many of the towns. I'm pretty sure RAGBRAI was having a contest for best art by a kid, and another for best window display, etc. I only saw one window display, and it was the winner - so that didn't seem to generate much civic interest. But the kids turned out in force to welcome riders - some of them even getting up at 6:00 a.m. and huddling on porches under blankets to watch us bike past.

Outside Manchester was also where I heard this exchange.

Air Force Guy Rider: "What the best thing you've eaten so far?"
Air Force Woman Rider: "The walking taco. Although I puked it up all over myself 30 minutes later."


The Air Force had a cover band that played that night in Dyersville. It was called RAPTOR. In capital letters. They played "Life is a Highway" and some Vanilla Ice song. I expected more death metal with a name like RAPTOR.

Here's some more RAGBRAI decoration in Dyersville. Did you know that Dyersville is Farm Toy Capital of the world? There are three different farm toy companies operating out of the town. You can only look at so many plastic tractors before you wonder why they aren't edible.

Dyersville has a basilica, which is where we had spaghetti dinner. The basilica has 5000 worshippers in a town of 4035 people. Guess how many other churches there are in town and what the odds are that the person you're talking to is a Catholic?

We forgot to bring a cord to hang laundry on, so these are our ad hoc clotheslines.

About this time, there were a few people sneaking showers by just turning on the faucets at the park and cleaning up there. One woman stripped down to her Jockeys and was tossing her hair in the spray and soaping up. A small crowd of well wishers gathered to make sure she didn't miss any spots. They dispersed when two dirty guys showed up to wash off the same way. Sexist bastards

1 comment:

PrincessMax said...

You can only look at so many plastic tractors before you wonder why they aren't edible.

This is why I keep coming back.