Friday, August 02, 2013

RAGBRAI XLI 2013 - Fairfield to Fort Madison, 63 miles and 2,427 feet of climb

Last day, day 7!  Fairfield to Birmingham to Keosauqua to Bentonsport to Bonaparte to West Point to Fort Madison.

It was cold.  In the low 50s in the morning.  Cold enough that I wore my rain jacket for the first part of the ride and Adam shivered.  Twenty-one days of RAGBRAI in my life and I've never been cold before.  Crazy.  All sorts of riders had jackets and arm warmers on.

We saw two sets of these signs the last two days.  Adam and I both worked for Mycogen Seeds when we contracted for our old company, before they were bought out by Dow who closed down the Eagan, Minnesota, branch.  I didn't even realize they were still a name in the seed business.  When we worked for them, one of our applications was to track patents, which was precisely what Dow was after.  On one of my previous rides I saw a farmer with Mycogen swag on, which he presumably received as part of the seed incentive program we automated and layered applications on top of.

If you zoom in on the original of this photo you can see Adam in all his end of RAGBRAI-pedaling glory (not to be confused with his tire-dipping glory, which we'll see later).

This pie made me sad.  Partially because I went with a cream pie as my last slice of pie on RAGBRAI (fruit pies are my rule) and partially because it still tasted good with that fluffy top, but I dumped more than a third of it in my lap.  Last piece of pie on RAGBRAI = lap pie.  Damn it.  And I just wasn't in the mood, after daubing my crotch, to have a second piece.

The West Point Bike Mountain.  It's not turtles all the way down.  There's a structure the bicycles are glued to.  But pretty cool.

West Point panorama [original].  Only 10.9 miles from the end.

And the end.  Fort Madison and the tire dipping.  There was a fairly narrow space for getting down to the river.  A few people braved the rocks along the shore, but I'm a little skittish about things that affect my balance since the broken hip.  406 miles from the start, around 425 miles of total bicycling with overage and biking in towns, and 2486 miles since I started bicycling on the broken hip.  Not bad for 11 months.  There's a big wooden fort behind us.  Presumably a replica of Fort Madison.  I didn't realize the War of 1812 had involved Minnesota and Iowa, although the fact that it was fought with Native American allies makes that seem obvious with some consideration.

Adam and I officially dipping our tires.

My front tire getting a good wash.

Some live action tire dipping.

And 12 more seconds of dipping:

I had two other left over photos.  This is the charger I took along to recharge my iPhone.  It worked great because my phone was a bit of an energy hog.  This held six charges.  Usually I just added a half charge to the phone when it was closer to running out of power.  Much easier to handle than worrying about a solar-powered charger.  And when the ride was over, Eryn used it to power the iPhone and Android on the way home, and I powered up the iPad just to prove to myself it carried a significant charge.  Even without plugs, this would have probably gotten me through the week as long as I wasn't running RunKeeper the whole ride.

But I'd rather finish on a picture of the ride.  The sky merged with the tents a little in this picture, but it turned out very nice and sort of artsy looking [larger].  XLI was a great ride and Adam and I had a great time.  A fun 406 miles!

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