Monday, April 30, 2012

Anticipating Ragbrai

The RT3000 in Odebolt, Iowa, on our way to meet Ragbrai 2006.  We may stop at this shelter again.

Should be riding but I am feeling ill.  Waiting for Mary for come home and help locate the Sudafed.  Such a shame on this nice day.  So it is. 

Finally pulled the maps out.  Think we were at Mullets or The Lift when the overnights were picked.  Looking like old familiar territory but only the type you see once a year or two or so.  But these are good roads.  And I look forward to this adventure.

Friday-- Jefferson 80 miles
Saturday-- Ida Grove 73
Sunday-- Cherokee 40
Monday-- Breda 56
Tuesday-- Madrid 101
Wednesday-- Marshalltown 52
Thursday-- Des Moines

460 miles estimated

Friday will be a long but easy day.  Mostly trail.  Plenty of places for food.  Camp at the swimming pool.  Shower!

Stuff like this appears, then you know you are in Ida Grove

Saturday will be interesting.  Normally we would stop and camp at Black Hawk Lake State Park but we are going to push it on to Ida Grove, camp at Moorehead Park.

Ida Grove has a castle fetish.  This looks more like a keep than a castle.

Sunday will be a short day and the day we intercept Ragbrai.  Plan to get there early and do laundry and possibly visit the bike shops.  After 3 days on the road we may need provisions for the bikes--tires, tubes, CO2 ect.  I always like to see who actually rides on Day 1.

Monday we may or may not be on route.  Destination Breda.  This is where the hippie baggers will most likely be IF they venture west.  Monday Funday.  We have never overnighted here but have ridden through it on several occasions.

The stick and bags mark the spot that nearly killed me and Quin on the trail north of Breda in 2006.  I heard they paved this trail since then.  Praise God if they did.

Tuesday will be our loongest day and our longest ride since Tour de Kota.  100+ miles.  Madrid will be our overnight.  We did this last year from Carrol.  Long day in the saddle but we will see the High Trestle at night during 'Brai, again.  Well worth it.  Lunch in Jefferson and probably hit a bank or two.  Obviously, a grid or two below the "official" route but we prefer it that way.

Wednesday we roll to Marshalltown to spend our last night away from home with Ragbrai.  The Heart of Iowa Trail will be our main road.  We attempted this trail years ago one cold Spring day but the trail was wet and generally sucked so we turned around.  I hope we can ride the entire trail instead of county roads.

Thursday.  All good things must come to an end.  So it is with bicycling adventures.  I imagine the tops of my hands and my arms will be broken out with heat/sun rash despite how much sunblock I apply.  My eyeballs will be screaming for the removal of contact lenses.  But there will be nearly 60 miles to pedal before we reach the comfort of Festung Ebar.  Highlights include visiting the Chichaqua Trail and seeing the progress of the repair from the flood.  I think a pizza in Baxter is also in order before we start said trail.  This will be our first time riding from Marshalltown to Des Moines.

This could be our last bagger 'Brai for some time.  Tour de Kota may spoil us.  So I think it quite right that we will roll on some familiar roads and trails and some new ones too.  Ambitious some of these days are which is fitting as well.  Mary and I should be top form.  Why waste it??

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