Sunday, July 20, 2008
RAGBRAI -- Day 1 -- 59 Miles to Harlan, IA
What a great day to ride a bike! Perfect weather, although it has heated up pretty well this afternoon. As is typical of the mid-west, the ride started without a lot of fan fare. We all just got on the bikes and started riding. The route took all 20,000 of us through some beautiful rural countryside with big blue sky vistas that seemed like we could view the curvature of the earth. The small towns we passed through were very welcoming with bands, lots of specators and every type of food imaginable. All sorts of bikes on the road including this pentamobile ridden by the Mable family from Des Moines.
I had one focus today--to find Mr. Porkchop and indulge in one of his delicacies. So at 9:50 AM I was chowing down on the biggest porkchop I've ever had and I was not disappointed. While there a couple of ultralites did a flyover and then seemed to follow us on the route.
Five miles down the road there was homemade ice cream at a farm house. The cream was reminiscent of the "Yodor's" rest stop on the second day of the MS150 every year.
As the temps increased and having indulged my craving I rode on to the finish of today's ride in Harlan which for Team Skunk is a day care center on the outskirts of town. Along the way lots of people including, Abbie and her brother Spencer (below), were out in force welcoming us to town.
It being Sunday, the day care is closed and we have the run of the place. Bad weather is expected tonight so we are thankful for our indoor accomodations and most importantly for warm showers and cool air conditioning. We even were able to watch the CBS coverage of le Tour and see that Frank Schleck now has a slight lead.
Just 10 minutes ago I ran into Jim Elder at the bike expo. Jim hales from Tampa, FL and some of you will remember him from the 600km permanent.
Tomorrow is a century day to Jefferson, IA. The terrain should be the same, but the weather is iffy. Check back in tomorrow night to see how the Skunks have fared.