Wednesday, August 03, 2016

RAGBRAI - Day 2 - Shenandoah to Creston 75.2 miles, 3994 feet of climb)

This was the big day!  75 miles and almost 4000 feet of climb.  Nothing else was this big, although the third day could be considered steeper.

We got going bright and early again, before sunrise, trying to get in some distance before the sun hit us.  You'll see a few pictures in the dark in later posts.  We started anywhere between 5:15 and 5:45, and were up between 4:15 and 4:45 most days.  I'm still trying to shake that schedule four days later.

That's Adam in the yellow shirt.  We generally identified him by his orange shoes.

Adam kept going while Ming and I stopped for a fire station (run by a fire station, not at the fire station) pancake breakfast.  I kept threatening to post videos of Ming lotioning up.  This is as close as I'll come.

We had Chris Cakes a few times.  Ming wanted to know who Chris was at the end of the day, even though we had a pancake breakfast.  I learned much later that Chris invented the speed pancake biz.  Mr. Pancake sort of copied him.  And know Mr. Pancake's nephew (and wife) are also servicing the circuit as of the last three years.  You get to learn a lot going back for seconds.

Given how early we started, this is a good picture because you can see how many other people were trying to bit high noon.

We did manage to get there before this crowd.  We beat them by enough time that Ming was going to lean his bike against the standing table until I told him that was a place people were likely to eat.

We stopped for bathrooms and pie in the afternoon.  I took my gps odometer with me.  I didn't realize I'd have to charge it so much, particularly as I was just letting it run and collecting overall time, not moving time.  I bumped it here while filling my water bottles and thought I'd lost the first half the ride.  But troubleshooting a Virgin Pulse connect issue yesterday, I found it in the entries.  After that I carried it around less and just let it run on the bike.

I took a time lapse movie while eating my pie.

Mmmm....triberry.  I still remember the Amish telling me on a previous RAGBRAI that bumble (berry) pie is for children and all the little Amish kids laughing at me while I ate a piece.  That memory didn't make it any less sweet.  Wait...this is blackberry.  I had triberry at a different stop.  This was really good, but it was rough getting the seeds out of my teeth.

We got ahead of Adam and waited for him in Corning.  Corning is basically a hill someone dropped some houses on.

This guy passed us almost every morning.  That thing looks heavy as hell, but Ming says the cyclist told him he frequently tops 40 on the downhill runs.  We were in this tunnel for a while, but when Adam got there we moved to a nearby grassy knoll where they were playing Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.  I swear I heard that almost every day.  As well as Katy Perry's Dark Horse.  I didn't realize those were bicycling staples.

I don't think you can appreciate the hill from here.  But it's there.  I broke my sunglasses in this town.  I'd already lost one of the nose rests.  I started to take them off and the frames just shattered.  As near as I could tell they'd gotten so hot in the sun they'd lost all cohesion. I'd have put on my second set, but Mean Mr. Mustard had stepped on them in his car after the visit to Klund's house for games.  Ming helped me pick out a new set that evening at the vendor stands.

Just some pedaling.

So we got to one town where there had been signs leading up to it declaring pie AND ice cream.  I'd been waiting for just such a portent.  When we pulled into town, there was only one obvious pie vendor.  So I rolled up and noticed their sign said pie and whip cream.  I asked, "Do you have pie and ice cream."  Guy: "No, whip cream."  Me: "But the signs into town said ice cream.  Is that another stand?"  Guy: "No, no.  We were going to have ice cream, but we couldn't get a license."  Guy #2: "We don't need a license for..." Guy #1, interrupting quickly: "For serving.  You need a license to serve ice cream."  Me: "No thanks. I don't want whip cream."  Guy: "It's pie.  With whip cream."  Me: "I'll keep going until I find ice cream." (I really wanted to say "I don't want to eat your lies", but I figured that wasn't very friendly).  At the end of the street, less than a block away, was a big sign for ice cream and pie to the left.

So I had a piece of pie with ice cream.

And watched the unicyclists go past with the church ladies.

And then, upon looking at Ming's pie, had another piece of pie and ice cream.

After pie, I seemed to be dogging it a bit.  I thought it was punishment for the two pieces of pie.  Then I noticed that I was going downhill slower than Ming for the first time, and a belly full of pie should have made that faster.  So I stopped to check and found my tire was getting mushy.  I had the slowest flat in the world.  I managed to limp up the hills into Creston, although on the last few 100 feet they gave me a gold beaded necklace and I attempted to put it on over my helmet and almost crossed into oncoming traffic.  That would have been the end of beads at RAGBRAI I bet.

I took my bike to a vendor in Creston as my gearing had been acting up as well and I knew my back tire had a chip in the rubber. Tyler the mechanic replaced the tire, the tube, the cassette and the chain.  When he talked to me he humorously spun a tale of how he'd measured my chain only to find the chain tool didn't measure that loose.  He was right - the next day was like a new bike.

We stayed at the college - which was nice except for some incredibly humid showers and disconnecting the wifi and had noodles for dinner at the Catholic school.

Excellent food, although it was more like spaetzel with chicken.  No shortage of food.  They offered us seconds, ice cream, two home made desserts, and all we could drink iced tea.  I was stuffed.

We spent some time in the college cooling off.  I like this photo.  It's not the library run by Ann Coulter (true...but not the Ann Coulter).  It's a classroom with a screen running that says "You are currently the only participant."  Seemed like the setting for a horror movie.

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