Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Filtering by Tag: ragbrai

Tuesday Day 3: Jefferson to Ames

After the train bullshit it was time to say farewell to Jefferson, Iowa forever. I didn’t wait for coffee, I didn’t wait for a banana... I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. So badly that I didn’t even eat a clif bar, of which I have plenty. I literally left on an empty stomach.

The first town we passed through, Grand Junction, didn’t get the memo - there was NOTHING.  Okay, I guess breakfast could wait for the next town, Dana. Dana is a town that appears to be so small that it’s population could very well be... Dana. Didn’t matter- my go-to RAGBRAI breakfast place was in Dana. I discovered that instead of just trying getting the breakfast bowl as I did on Sunday, for $2 more I could get that AND apple cinnamon nut French toast with strawberries and whipped cream. Hell yeah.

Finally having some fuel, I took off for the next town of Ogden. Between Dana and Ogden exists the largest windpower farm I’ve ever seen. It went on for miles and miles. There’s something so damn cool about those things. Ogden was pretty crowded. I stopped for a bathroom break and to refill my water bottles and went on.

I stopped briefly in the town of Boone. It had been almost four days since I had a Coke Zero and there was a gas station right there. Man, that tasted good.

I left Boone and then spent about five miles in bicycle heaven. Slight downward grade to the road, a strong tailwind, and perfect road- not a crack or pothole the whole way. It was awesome. Of course it wouldn’t last and the tailwind was gone for the day.

After some more miles of headwind I saw the same roadside tent as yesterday and stopped again for another banana and shot of pickle juice.

Before I knew it I was in Ames and approaching Iowa State’s football stadium. This was where the ride ended for the day, but not in the parking lot. They directed us to take a right and then we went through a tunnel and were actually on the field, doing a loop around. Pretty cool way to end a day’s ride.

I got back into camp, showered/changed, and then rode back to the stadium to meet Billy Jo’s cousin Shawn and her husband Joe, who live near Ames and did the ride for the day as well. We rode into the downtown area together and grabbed drinks at a local brewery with maybe the worst service I’d ever experienced. We then went to there house where I got to pet their goats and we had a great dinner and some drinks. Shawn drove me back to camp and I  almost immediately passed out - exhausted. I woke up freezing so I got into the sleeping bag. Hours later I was drenched with sweat. I decided to just open it up as a blanket if needed for the rest of the trip. The things I’m learning about tent life :)

Another fuckit list weekend and a RAGBRAI update

So Brian and I left his house at 7:30 Saturday morning for Nashville. I dropped him back off before 3:00 Sunday afternoon. In between was 1,000 miles of driving, nasty storms, dinner, a kickass concert, Waffle House, Brian having a nasty migraine Sunday morning, and me getting a speeding ticket 10 miles from dropping Brian off.

That's the cliff notes version. In short, take away Brian's migraine and I wouldn't change a thing. Not even the speeding ticket. I was due anyway - it's been over 15 years :)

I contacted Slightly Stoopid's management company Friday morning to see if cameras were allowed because the venue website didn't specify. I have been in contact with him before over the past year - my friend Dan originally reached out to them to see if they could do anything to cheer us up last fall. After all, Kyle (one of the two lead guys of Stoopid) held up a line for 5-10 minutes talking to Billy Jo at their August 2012 concert, just weeks before she ended up in the hospital.

Anyway, I figured the easiest way to find out was to ask him about the camera policy. He said to be safe he was going to give me a photo pass. A photo pass gave me access between the barrier and the stage, where you always see security standing. It was the closest I have ever been at a concert. At one point, due to the shape of the stage, I was even behind Kyle. Brian was front row too, so all was good.

I took about 650 pics. Most sucked. I don't know what I'm doing and I didn't have a pro camera. But some did come out fairly well. Here they are. If the slideshow doesn't load the direct link is here.

Here's a video I took of a few encore songs. Sound cuts in and out because I was WAY too close to the speaker stacks :)

It was an experience I am sure to remember a long time. Another successful fuckit list item! Big thanks to Chris at their management company for the hookup!

Now onto the RAGBRAI update. They did the wristband lottery draw this morning. Every year there are more people wanting to participate in the week-long ride than there are spots available, so they hold a lottery. Not being picked doesn't mean you cannot secure one, but you have to buy it on the secondary market. Well, I got an email with my wristband number, so I am in. No stressing about getting one later :)

This is a good time to remind you that I will be covering my bike in names for the RAGBRAI ride, like I did last time. If you know someone who is fighting, in remission or cured, or who passed away from cancer and you would like to let me know their name, I will print it on a label, stick it on my bike, and they will ride with me across Iowa in July. Just fill out this short form. There are over 100 names already.

Donations to Stand Up to Cancer are greatly appreciated but not required. I am trying to reach $15,000 by the end of the ride on July 27th. $2,100 to go :) Team Pedal Another Mile is #20 on their team list in terms of amount raised. Thanks to everyone who has donated - it means so much to me :) 

RAGBRAI Overnight Towns Announced

A few weeks ago the RAGBRAI organizers announced some information regarding the 2011 route, namely the overnight towns, distance, and elevation gain. The exact route isn't released until later in the spring.  The distance this year is under the average at 454.2 miles, but the first couple of days will prove a challenge for this flatlander, with day 1 seeing 4,946 feet of climb and day 2 seeing 4,798.  It appears I will have to really seek out the few hills I have around here to get ready.


The end town is Davenport, which is great news because it's only about 125 miles from home, straight west on I-80. This will allow my wife to take me there Friday night and pick me up when it's over 8 days later, negating the need to keep my truck in long-term parking all week.

Day 1 - Glenwood to Atlantic - 64.2 miles    4,946 climb
Day 2 - Atlantic to Carroll - 65.4 miles   4,798 climb
Day 3 - Carroll to Boone - 70.9 miles  1,784 climb
Day 4 - Boone to Altoona - 56.1 miles    1,246 climb
Day 5 - Altoona to Grinnell - 57.5 miles   3,294 climb
Day 6 - Grinnell to Coralville - 75.3 miles    2,800 climb
Day 7 - Coralville to Davenport - 64.8 miles    2,338 climb
Total -                                 454.2 miles   21,206 climb

The 2011 route is the 14th shortest, but the 16th hilliest (4 miles of vertical climb over the week!).  Overall it is listed as the 22nd most difficult out of 39.

More posts coming soon.  There's a hint of spring in the air the past few days, the bike is at the shop getting a tune-up, and riding season is about to really kick in!