Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ragbrai with the Devil

It was one of those crappy mid-week days.  Overcast.  I do not recall what the temperature was but I doubt it was hot.  The problem was that the route had a mind numbingly long north stretch.  This was our first encounter with such routes.  Through the years we have noticed that most times when the route goes north or south for an extended period of miles/time riders are treated to bad headwinds.  This day was in 1994 IIRC and the road was Highway 14.  Our overnight would be Marshalltown.

Mary and I were on the Fisher Gemini tandem going self contained with all our necessities behind us in a Burley trailer.  The anchor.  The aerodynamic drag who's only saving grace was its ability to haul our stuff including a cd player boom box.  But this day we hated

The turn to the right and off this miserable highway finally appeared and if the angels had heard our prayers and read our thoughts there was a tavern at the turn.  $1 can beers its sign read.  We were more than ready for a break.  And if things could not get any better it suddenly did when Slick rolled in.  Oh yes, rest, cheap beer and college buddy.  Trifecta in play.

After having our fill we rolled on.  Unfortunately, the Burley prevented us from keeping up with Randy.  However, we were refreshed and had a decent radio station blaring from the anchor.  A curvey four lane downhill presented itself to us.

The road was still a bit wet from the rain but we were heading south and had a tailwind.  Despite losing our friends were were now moving along quite well and enjoying ourselves.  The radio in back started playing Van Halen's Running With the Devil and that made my mood even better.  We were even going downhill.  Life was good!

That's when Mary, my stoker, shouted that we had just knocked over an orange safety cone!  Yes, I was in the left lane and piloting this zwilling bicycle.  I turned my head to check the Burley knocked another one to the left.  We barely felt the impact.  I laughed.  At least the cones were going away from the bicycle route.  Turned my head back to the front to adjust our trajectory and hit a third.  That was it, the last one.  Up shift for more speed in case anyone wanted to catch up and bitch.  Keep moving and flee the scene of this crime!  Running with the Devil indeed!

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