Saturday Morning- Anamosa to the Hart Homestead – Toronto, Iowa
Breakfast at Hale. Eastward ride through eastern Jones and western Clinton County along the ridge overlooking miles of cornfields to the south was among the best and most scenic riding of the week. Miles of corn, much of it distressed by this summer’s drought were in view. In Lost Nation by 9:30 and diverting off of the official route to Toronto. In Toronto by 10:00 meeting up with Mo and Brian outside St. James Church.
The church was locked but on the next visit I intend to get a picture of the stained glass underwritten by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hart. A quick tour through the Toronto cemetery and especially the Hart neighborhood thereof.
Could not locate the Moley headstone in the Toronto cemetery but will revisit on the next trip. On to John and Madonna’s farm a mile and a half outside of Toronto where the crew picked me up. Ending mileage 5626.6
Picked up Tom T. in downtown Clinton in the early afternoon and on to Davenport where Judy and Jeff Fleming-Wiegand cooked some sausage and peppers for us. A visit with Thom and Jane on Saturday afternoon on the way out of town. Back in the Des Moines area by about 8:00 and on the road for Kansas City by 9:30. Home by 1:00 a.m.
Friday July 27, 2012 – Cedar Rapids to Anamosa
Ray, our overnight host. Thanks Ray for the accommodations in Cedar Rapids.
Some guy named “Rider”. He appeared out of nowhere. Everyone spoke his name with great reverence all week long. (Still not sure that it wasn’t some sort of RAGBRAI metaphysical apparition brought on by Tuesday’s tests of endurance.)
Thursday July 26, 2012 – Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids
After the return trip from Des Moines, hooked up with the route just outside of Marshalltown where the route turned to the north at about 7:30 a.m. The corn was lying on its side as a result of the previous night’s storms and the morning was something approximating cool for the first time all week. A start this late had me in the thick of riders all day long.
The Boulevard riding jersey attracted inquiries from the “Team Good Beer” rider whose mission is to find something other than Budweiser, Miller and Coors /Molson products in the pass through or overnight towns. Called number one son to wish him a happy birthday number 22. 88 miles and change had me in Cedar Rapids around 5:00 in the afternoon. The ride into downtown was beautiful, coursing a wooded slightly downhill run. Overnight in the basement of Ray’s house, friend of Benjamin. Met up with Mike Luksan’s daughter and her friend at the bar in downtown CR. Ending mileage 5,643.8.
Wednesday – July 25, 2012 – Webster City to Marshalltown – Hump Day and Yellow Jerseys
Spending the night in Des Moines has its advantages. One of the disadvantages is the to/fro time each morning / evening. Up out of bed by 4:30 to be in the truck by about 5:30. We did not get into the RAGBRAI neighborhood until shortly after 7:00. We pulled off of I 35 at exit 133 and left the truck at the Subway / Kum and Go outside of Ellsworth.
We were about 25 miles into the route and on the saddle by about 7:15. Starting mileage 5499.8. Arrived in Story City before any of the food vendors were ready to serve. The best story out of Wednesday is the one about the rider who is passing through St. Anthony (about 55 miles in) at ~6:30 a.m. and is ordering a water and what he hopes will be a quick meal from the local diner. As he and the waitress are making other small talk, she mentions that he’s the second rider through, the first having left about 15 minutes prior. He drops his water and runs to his bike and takes off like a bat out of hell, quick meal indeed. I did not hear any solid conclusion to the story but can only imagine that the mental bleach was washing through his virtual yellow jersey for the next several hours and decades. Early afternoon sun was hot. “Like a Rolling Stone” comes on the iPod about 3 miles west of Marshalltown. Still some wind but not like yesterday. “How does it feeeel…..” Much better than yesterday. Short ride today at just over 55 miles. Would have been a real bear if we had gotten back up to Webster City for the official start but somehow not able to conjure up the requisite installment of guilt about not having followed Wednesday’s official route. Got a massage in downtown Marshalltown from a former Palmer Chiropractic student from years past. Wasted a few hours waiting for Gino to arrive in Marshalltown. Decided to head to Des Moines and did not get on the road until after 6:00 p.m. Huge storms rock Marshalltown on Wednesday evening. Again, the choice to head to Des Moines was a good call. Ending mileage 5,555.2.