I have realized quickly that my mission for RAGBRAI is to break out of my pampered perfect and organized world. My comfort zones are being obliterated. My education includes not having my regular diet, sleeping in a cot tent, finishing a hot ride to sit around in more heat, and trying to get organized for a long ride in an eight foot square space with six other people. Did I mention I have personal space issues?
The only thing that offers me hope is that we have a Nespresso machine. Much emotional and physical discomfort can be alleviated with a double espresso. Applied three times per day.
My first RAGBRAI morning included a crappy night sleep, a 5am wakeup, coffee, quick breakfast, port-a-potty line (expect no toilet paper), gather all your gear and push to depart by 6am. Despite leaving that early, the roads were amazingly congested with others also trying to beat the rush of 15,000 cyclists hitting the road.
I was pleasantly surprised how quickly things opened up once we were out of Council Bluffs. We had a slight tailwind and the road quality was amazing. The roads here are rolling and the climbing the first day was approximately 2700′ over 50+ miles.
Each town along the RAGBRAI route goes all out to welcome the cyclists. There is usually vendors, a food court area, port-a-potty and water stations. We needed to walk through each town due to the congestion of stopping and walking cyclists. We made great time and soon ended our ride in Harlan Iowa at approximately 9:30am. We actually beat our RV as Eryk our sherpa/mechanic was stuck in a convoy of vehicles on I-80.
We refueled with wraps and I blogged a bit. David was a trooper and rode with me to the pool for my workout. The pool was packed and there was one lane for laps. The lane was jammed with people of all abilities and included kids randomly swimming through it to get to the other parts of the pool. The water slide emptied at the end of the lane and the current was so strong that the first time it threw me into the lane line.
All of that was fine until THE triathlete showed up. This guy, no idea who he was, was determined to nail his workout no matter who was in his way. He literally ran over and through everyone. I just pretended the whole thing was race prep and stuck to my swim plan as well as I could.
On the way home we ran into Vince (@felog) an Endurance Corner team mate and agreed to meet up tomorrow for the 100+ miler.
After the swim we headed down to the square for dinner. I grabbed a sandwich and soon realized that I was falling behind on eating. Soon rectified with an amazing slice of berry pie with vanilla ice cream. A fantastic way to kick start my calorie catch up!
On a side note, my teenage nephews are doing great. My nephew Ben decided that if a little gold bond is good, a lot of gold bond is great. There is so much powder in there that his crotch looks like it is on fire as the residue is released when he moves. He mentioned his bike looks like someone was checking it for fingerprints. Insert Alicia Keys song and change the title to “My crotch is on fire…”
The best thing we have found about RAGBRAI is the $5.00 daily shower in the high school locker room where I can relive some of my most embarrassing moments from high school gym class. Bad memories have been erased!
Sleep came quickly and much easier than the previous night. This time I had to get up, walk into a field, pee and return to bed at 1am. Comfort zone obliteration continues.
You can see our pictures updated daily here.
Most of my blog posts are written on the fly. I apologize for typos etc. The grid for the traveling road show fails often…