Thursday, July 13, 2017

Less Than A Week Before The Big Ride

One week from now I will be riding from Jefferson, Iowa, to Laurens, Iowa, on a loaded touring bicycle with my wife and 4 friends.  Those 5 other people are the 5 people who I feel safest riding with on the entire planet.  We have been through heaven and hell together on 2 wheels I cannot think of any other people I trust with my riding adventures.

This will be our version of The Ragbrai.  I think we last rode that ride in its official form 11 years ago.  Ever since then we have been riding as a self contained battle group on our own route, own overnights on empty roads.  The official route we rarely see.  Last year, for example, we joined Ragbrai in Leon, Iowa, from the other end of town and spent the night with them.  The next day we rode the route for approximately 20 miles before splitting off on our own.  This year the closest we'll be is a day ahead.  And we prefer it this way.  The "Route" is a suggestion, a suggestion of the general direction to ride.  As they say, it's the journey not the destination.  We prefer that journey without 20,000 cyclist in our immediate vicinity.

This year we are heading to Milford, Iowa.  We are visiting a friend who we met through our South Dakota bicycle journeys.  Since he is going on the Ragbrai we decided to get there early enough for us to destroy his home and leave him enough time to get to Orange City.  Hence, the reason we are leaving on Wednesday.  There was debate about leaving on Tuesday after work!  This has been a goal of ours for years.

On Saturday we will cross the proverbial street and stay at a cabin somewhere on Lake Okoboji.  I have never spent any time up there.  It will be a day of relaxation  and laundry.  Perhaps "drinking day."  From there we will head to Algona.  We will be a day ahead of the Ragbrai.

On Monday Mary and I will break off from our group and head home.  Overnight stop at Brushy Creek State Park and then a long ride home.  Since we will intercept the High Trestle Trail at Woodward our last 40 miles will be fast.  It may be a century day.  Done that before, most recently from Rockwell City to Des Moines on our touring tandem.

Damn, summer is almost over!

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