Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Wednesday Day 4: Ames to Newton

I met Shawn and Joe a mile or so into the ride, and we took off for Newton.

We got to the town of Colo, which is named after a dog. When I overheard another cyclist pressing the local historian for more information about the dog, the response was “we know he was a black dog...” Classic!

I got a church-lady-made cinnamon roll, only to discover my go-to for breakfast was also in Colo. So I ate them about 8 minutes apart. Jesus.

Colo was likely a skinny dog, because the streets sure were. The bottleneck of RAGBRAI riders was unreal. It was clogged.

We stopped in Baxter for lunch, where I had probably the best pulled pork sandwich yet this week. The cole slaw was just as good.

The last 12 miles into Baxter were just rolling hills, one after the other after the other. For the first time in this ride there was a lot of vehicular traffic. Roads are open to vehicles during RAGBRAI, but they are an extreme rarity. There’s an occasional oncoming vehicle, but almost never one dumb enough to go the same direction as all of these bicycles, especially up 8% grades half a mile long. Until today. Despite the grueling hills, the surrounding landscape was jaw-dropping gorgeous. Hills, valleys, fields, trees... it was hard to keep my eyes off of it. That’s easier to do going up the hills than down :)

While the hills were dealing us an ass-kicking, the weather was merciful. It was about 80 and overcast. 95 and sun would have killed me.

Today I did much better on descents. I also did really well on climbs. I can’t believe I look forward to the next hill now!!!

We finished in Newton, said our goodbyes, and I set off in search of camp. I followed the signs. And followed the signs. And more of the same. Camp ended up being three miles outside of town.

I was really exhausted and fell asleep by 9:45. At about 10:30 a nasty thunderstorm woke me up from a deep sleep. By the tent ceiling I have snacking me in the face because the wind caved the whole side and roof of the tent downward.

I got back to sleep near midnight once it was evident I wasn’t going to be sucked up in a tornado or struck by lightning.