RAGBRAI XLI Day 1: Council Bluffs to Harlan

Day one is in the books! It was SO much better than the first day in 2011. For starters, it was about 20 degrees cooler. The rain that was supposed to greet me this morning never materialized. There was a jawdropping sunrise, and then a partly cloudy day, low winds, in the 80s. Great weather for cycling :) 

Another difference from last time was that it was 4.5 miles to the first hill, instead of the first turn out of town.  There were no really bad hills today - nothing over a 6.5-7% grade. That's likely coming tomorrow. 

I stopped for breakfast in Underwood. Right before that I realized I forgot to start the Charity Miles app, so sorry about that $1.50 SU2C!!

I lost the mirror that attaches to my sunglasses in the halfway town of Minden. Unreal. In 2011 it took until Friday to lose it. This was 27 miles in. Ugh. I bought another one when I was done with today's ride. Let's see if I can hold onto this one for longer than a day. 

I almost wiped out in the little town of Shelby. Would have been more embarrassing than anything. I was clipped into my pedals and going slow. Too slow. The tipping started. I was able to unclip fast enough but in doing so the pedal when flying around and hit me in the shin, causing an immediate bump and bruise. My riding wasn't affected, and the swelling has gone down. 

I got on one paceline today, with three other riders. At one point an Iowa State Trooper on a motorcycle went by so we pedaled faster and caught up to him, and drafted off of him. That was fun :)) 

The little town of Shelby really went all out with their decorations. I loved it. They win best town of day one, in my opinion. 

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Here's the ride info from Strav:

Yes, I am sure it has changed by now, but at one point I was 8th overall of people who use Strava on that first hill, 4.5 miles into the ride. Lance Armstrong was 1st. He was probably signing autographs at that speed ;). 

Okay that's all for today. Tomorrow is my biggest concern the entire week. It is the longest, the hilliest, and now I have found out will likely be the hottest and most humid too. Looks windy as well. I've already decided I don't need the patch that would turn tomorrow from a 83 mile day into a 107 mile one. Screw that :)