Thursday, August 01, 2013

RAGBRAI XLI 2013 - Knoxville to Oskaloosa, 52 miles and 2,808 feet of climb

This is from later in the week.  I set my pack on a banana from the Iowa Conservation folks and, not wanting to eat a banana that had been mashed into my tent, decided to draw a face on it.  I surprised Adam in his tent with Banana Man and then mashed him over a sharp edge inside the trash can so that whomever opened the trash next would see him staring up, a look of surprise on his face at being trepanned by a trash can.  I have edited it down and added some music for Adam.

The windmill in Pella, Iowa.  The largest in-use windmill (of its sort) in the United States.  The thing is massive.  Shortly before the windmill we had pancakes at Central College.  At the other end of our table, and Adam missed this whole event, were two young guys and a woman having pancakes.  At one point one guy starts telling this story.  It seems he's sharing a tent with someone on RAGBRAI.  So he woke up touching his wiener (his word).  But it turns out it was the other guys wiener.  And that guy woke up, and he was touching his wiener. That was their homoerotic moment for RAGBRAI.  The woman starts laughing so hard I thought she was going to choke on her pancakes.  And the other guy, who's not wiener guy number two, looks absolutely shocked that anyone would admit to that story.  Laughs uncontrollably.  Is shocked again.  And then the three of them are laughing so hard for minutes they can't eat.  It was pretty funny.

The home of Banana Man, the Iowa Conservation free banana and postcard stand. It's somewhere along the route every day.  I sent Eryn a cow postcard and an owl postcard one stressing Whoo and one stressing Moooost proclaiming me to be the best dad.  She's still my little girl.

A very attractive picture of Adam with his camelpack on his front and applying sunblock.

Mr. Banana Man's family.  Bananas!  Bananas everywhere!

There were a couple signs like this on the ride, including one that warned that the road ahead was in no way built with bicycles in mind.

Oskaloosa's literature claimed they'd won a prize as one of the 15 most picturesque town squares in the Untied States.  Nothing adds to that beauty like dropping an orange safety fence and a giant, inflatable Budweiser bottle in the mix.

In Oskaloosa there was a cool book store called the Book Vault that used to be a bank and had a safe on each floor that was now a book closet.  Unfortunately, I needed a break from the book of plays I was reading, so I went searching for a horror or sci fi book.  There was a dubious looking book called Cryonic: A Zombie Novel on the shelf, but a search on the in-house computer told me it was about a 4.75/5 on Amazon.  These reviewers are friends of the author.  I can think of no other reason for a 4.75/5.  It is a bad book.  Sorry Travis Bradberry, but your book is one of the worst zombie books I've ever read.  Your main character is a Mary Sue of the most obvious sort and no one does anything particularly clever and your loose ends are blatantly tied up and the writing...well, at least it matches the plot.  I think I'm going to send it to Klund to read.


Next door to the Book Vault was an enormous coffee shop that looked like it had once been the movie theater.  For the first time since we had left Minnesota we managed to charge our phones to almost 100%.

For a while it looked like rain.  This was our tent neighbor's attempt to ensure his/her bike stayed as dry as possible.  I think it looks like a way to torture a bicycle.

The second picture of No Parking bicycle humor from the ride.

Mixed berry pie.  Excellent crust.  Delicious, even without the ala mode.

A pair of very wide photos of our Oskaloosa campsite.  The two of them together comprise about a 360 degree view.  There was a little girl near us who couldn't pronounce Oskaloosa.  I asked her if that was her name.  It was also near here that the Heather stretching discussion took place.

Through those tents lies a water hose that I used to fill my bottles.  The guy before me set it down and started walking away and when I picked it up I activated the hair trigger on the nozzle.  Shot him square in the back.  He took it with a good nature as I was obviously almost as startled as he was.


Team Fur Bandit.  They covered their bikes in fur and what seemed to be carpet.

Unfortunately, it was near here that we saw Grown Ups 2.  Our selection of movies was incredibly limited and, in order to take advantage of the air conditioning, we were willing to see whatever was playing at the time we were available.  That included Sandra Bullock's The Heat and Grown Ups 2.  Grown Ups 2 made The Heat seem like an absolute masterpiece.  Wow was it bad.  At first we couldn't find the theater, but a very friendly woman gave Adam a hug, copped a feel, and personally escorted us to the theater.  I thought she might come in to canoodle with Adam.

A number of Iowa towns didn't have a theater, or had a theater that was undergoing a major overhaul but had stalled for lack of money.  The new digital technologies seemed to be expensive enough that revamping to support what had become standard was incredibly prohibitive.  It was hard to believe downs of 6-8,000 people didn't have a single screen unless you drove 16 miles down the road.

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