I'm coming to you from Ames, Iowa less about 32 hours before the start of RAGBRAI XXXVI. Beth and I left home Wednesday and have taken three fairly leisurely days of driving to reach Ames. Tomorrow morning I board a bus at 8:00 for the final leg of the trip west to Missouri Valley, the location of the ride start.
The Bennett House in Richmond, KY--Beth and I stayed at this lovely B&B built in 1889. Owned and operated by Richard Smart it is a beautiful and comfortable inn and a real deal at $99 per night. Richmond is located 20 miles south of Lexington, KY on I-75.
Through the good fortune of my cousin Curtis Reinhardt who I will be riding with, I have joined Team Skunk--120 riders strong and a slew of volunteers. No the name isn't because we don't take a bath all week--the team is named for the Skunk River which flows through Ames. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Team Skunk and we have jerseys to show for it, which we will wear on the first day of the ride. The team motto is "Motto? We don't need no stinking motto;" however, "Tails Up" seems to be a slogan at least.
I'm looking forward to a great week; however I'm worried a little about two things. First is the weather, not so much for riding as much as camping. It's been a long time since I camped in the rain so I'm hoping for clear nights at least. The second is the "Virgin Initiation" my teammates will put me through tomorrow. More on that later.
I'll try to post a blog daily at one of the many Iowa Telecom trailers set up along the route (free of charge including the air conditioning!)
Tails Up (and off to bed for me).