We (Colleen Edwards, Gina Kuker, Andy Pugh, and I) left Altoona around 5:30 a.m. and headed to Grinnell. Our first stop was in Brooklyn, the flag city the town called it. We all stopped for “The Pancake Man” at the edge of town. It was so neat to see a guy that has been doing pancakes for 20+ years. He moved so fast and always flipped the first pancake in the air to put on the plate. He said this would probably be his last RAGBRAI, but he said that’s what he said last year. He had a system going that’s for sure. I asked him how many pancakes you think you will make today. He said 5,000 pancakes today alone. I asked if he does this for just mornings or afternoons too. He said just mornings. That’s a ton of pancakes!!!
Gina was our leader. She was on a mission for the next town. Andy and Colleen rode most of the day together. I rode in between the leader and the other group. When I was start to slow down, Andy, Colleen, and Gina would slow up for me. Sometimes Andy or Gina would pull off to the side of the shoulder and wait for Colleen and me. I was so glad that I had company and Colleen came with us, it sure makes the time go by so much faster. I have to say there were a lot of hills, but we all survived. We took a nice trail from the lake to Grinnell. It’s always great when residents along the road have items for sale like muffins, bananas, water, Gatorade, cookies, etc. There are all types of vendors along the road; most of them are clubs, organizations, residents, etc. Some residents also will give out free water in a bottle or by hose. I love the residents that have sprinklers over the road. It’s especially nice on a hot day. We got in around 2:00 p.m. that day. Peggy and Don Aungst, Tracy and Melik Khoury, and Monica Heaton all showed up to greet us and tell us how they were so proud of Team Peacock. Monica said it was hotter in Grinnell than back home. I wanted her to bring the cooler weather with her. This was the late afternoon I fell asleep on the couch in the a/c. I could have stayed there all night, but Gina, Andy, and I went to KFC and ate.
Woke up Friday night to head to the restroom and my husband had to walk with me, I had severe pain in my legs. I couldn’t walk. I have never had this happen. Last RAGBRAI, I think I had some minor aches, but nothing that I was experiencing now. Muscle relaxer sure helped a little to be able to sleep.
Friday night we stayed in Coralville. Andy and I stayed in the garage area on our air mattress; it was probably the coolest place we slept at all week. The week was so hot with no breeze. Being in a tent, it gets so stuffy.
Finally the last day, I can’t wait to get home to my life again. This has been a long week with all the heat and hills. We (Colleen Edwards, Andy and I) started at 5:30 a.m. to try to get there early and beat the heat, but it also would give us an enough time to stop a lot. We had plenty of stops, but we enjoyed every stop. Our first stop was West Branch for breakfast around 6:30. A Methodist church was having French toast and sausage. When we got that it was totally different experience then other places we stopped. We got to eat on real plates, with quality sausage links (big, not what you can buy in the store). They also had fresh fruit and orange juice. The volunteers came to the table to take your plates or get you more food. They were so helpful and catered to us. We were in and out quickly and got there at the right time, when leaving there was a huge line waiting. The three of us stopped at the Smoothie and saw Justin Marchant and Bill Duffy. After we stopped, a few of the team showed up (Alicia Kilburg, Johanna, Elissa Cox, Andrew Wenthe, Dr. Walker, Adriel Hilton, and Duffy enjoyed us) and we had a little get together. We (Colleen, Andy, and I) stopped in Wilton to milk a cow and got pictures too. Colleen and I loved it!!! I struggled the last 15 miles, as I wanted to get done. The three of us arrived to Davenport around 2:00 p.m. the last 4 shortly arrived soon after, then the whole Team Peacock got together and headed into town chanting “UIU” – “Peacocks”. With 35 riders, it sure makes a statement, plus it’s like icing on the cake of what we all accomplished this week.
Thank you to all our support teams: Holly and Mike Johnson for all their support the whole week. And for making sure that all our team needs were taking care of and enjoying the entertainment when relaxing. I wanted a few times to just stay instead of hopping back on the bike in the heat. There was also plenty of food and drinks for us to get rehydrated. I especially liked the day that Gina Kuker and I were on the merry-go-round with Mike pushing us around. Wish we had a picture for that, lol. It was great because for a while you forgot about all the aches in your body. Holly always had everything at the midtown stops and knew what was in town, which was so useful. Also to Kata McCarville for having her team have our tents up when we arrived at camp after a long day and Kata for taking people downtown to the festivities every night as our chauffeur when we all were tired after a long day of work.
I woke up this morning after finally being able to sleep almost the whole night. I slept a total of 11 hrs and I still feel tired. My body still is sore from all last week. I had to do some stretches after I got up. Felt better after, but plan to get on my bike later today or tomorrow to stretch the muscles again. One great thing that someone said yesterday and it’s so true is that when you are on RAGBRAI, you can eat whatever you want. When on a bike during RAGBRAI, women can burn 3,000-4,000 calories and the men can burn 4,000-6,000 calories daily. That a ton of calories and you have to eat and drink the whole time to replenish your body needs. I know this morning, I’m still hungry and want to eat everything but now I need to tell my body no for a while so my brain or something can catch up back to the normal schedule.
I saw today especially that my tan lines are very noticeable on my face, arms, and legs. I will be getting some vitamin E today, but in the meantime I did a ton of lotion since I’m peeling. I learned something on RAGBRAI, that if you get sun burnt, use vitamin E oil on it, and then it will turn to a tan sooner.
I just know that today is a great day to have a day off from riding on my bike!! Yes, I will getting back on it, I enjoying biking. If you see me, say hello.
75 more miles completed for student scholarships! It is a great day to be a Peacock!
One more day down and two more to go. Andy, Gina Kuker, and I left camp this morning around 6 a.m. I just couldn’t get up and start moving. If it wasn’t for Gina this morning, we wouldn’t have left for a while. I woke up all dehydrated and my muscles so sore. I was debating on riding or not, but I decided to at least give it a try. And I am glad I did.
From Gina Kuker, her letter for the day is H. Hot, Humid and Hilly. It was sure hilly compared to yesterday’s ride. As Chris Sanders stated from a sign that was posted on the route today, 57 miles and 66 hills today. It’s amazing how you talk to the locals and they will tell you that it’s the last hill or two more. When in fact there is several hills to climb. You sure to look at the world differently when you are on a bike vs. a vehicle.
The Smoothie Guy is one of the best things on RAGBRAI, thanks to Pam Whitmore she does an awesome thing for Team Peacock. I will tell you that every single rider looks forward to stopping that the smoothie guy’s booth. Not only that but it’s a huge motivator to the next stopping point. He post signs on the road that say 7 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles, etc.
We finally got into town today at 2 p.m. and thanks to the weather today it made it better for us. It rained a little today which was great because it cooled us off a little. Plus the sun was under the clouds most of the morning, which helped us with heat.
I still haven’t walked a single hill on the RAGBRAI route yet and I am very proud to say that since some of the hills were pretty big. I heard there is some hills tomorrow, but not what they were today. It was a great ride though today and the best part is we are getting closer and closer to the end. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed again. I haven’t slept good since we started, due to the heat in the tent.
Team Peacock is heading to Coralville tomorrow, that is where the big party is.
The ride started today with three other members of Team Peacock riding alone down a bike path in an attempt to link up with the official RAGBRAI route. As we peddled along in silence, anticipating the days ride, more riders began to join us all peddling in silence. I did not realize what we had become until after stopping at a stop light. What started as a few riders transformed in to a hundred or more. It made me feel like I was part of something larger than me, something that is unique to Iowa. It was a good way to start the day.
Day 5 complete. Never knew there were so many steep hills in Iowa. What a long ride with a nasty head wind and the hills. Thank goodness it is over for the day. Two more long days and it is over
Well we are all 4 days in on this RAGBRAI journey. We only have 3 days left, yippy!!! Comments have been made today that if this was their 1st RAGBRAI experience, they probably wouldn’t come back for another. It was been a rough two days start and I believe it’s still affecting some of us here.
Today was the best day we have had so far. Andy and I left camp this morning at 6:10 a.m. and arrived today in Altoona at noon. We flew through the 7 towns today. Relaxing a little in between towns. In Alleman, we had tender tom’s turkey; it’s one of the awesome vendors on the route. I wish I had a picture of the turkey leg, because it’s a big leg. I don’t know how they do it; do they grow especially turkeys for this? I’m just kidding. Next we have to check out the Mr. Porkchop vendor.
I also bumped into parents of Lana Otting, Mark and Barb, I former student on the women’s basketball team. It really is a small world, because you get to see a lot of people and visit with the same people you saw the day before. On Sunday, I got to meet up with Deb Rosenbum, from MN. She was a rider that was injured back last year on the ride. Dr. Walker and I rushed to her aid after the crash. She called me soon after the hospital to let me know that she had broke her arm and was having surgery soon. Well, I got to see her again today at the UIU booth at the mid-town. It was so great to see her. I also rode with a great woman from New Hampton for about 10 miles. Nancy, made my time go by so fast, because I wasn’t focusing on the pain in my legs.
Tonight we are staying at Jeff Klunenberg home in Altoona. He is the Des Moines Coordinator. He is making us all feel at home. Bob and Betty Firth showed up this afternoon, which was a great surprise. We have had a few visitors the last couple of days here now that we are getting closer to home area.
Tonight and tomorrow we are having thunderstorms. I’m hoping to get a good night sleep under the tree. I don’t mind the rain, but I hate thunderstorms while on the bike. I had that last year and it freaked me out.
Rode with the morning crew, Gail, Rob, Lori and Carol. I was able to draft Rob often, which made the head winds bearable. Enjoyed the conversation and the stops for root beer floats. Much cooler earlier in the morning! Now relaxing at our host house re-hydrating. So much better than the first three days!
Today was a great day. It was hotter than yesterday, but we didn’t have to do a huge workout. Alicia Kilburg, Andy Pugh, and I left at 6:00 a.m. from camp. I was a great day. The roads were mostly flat with a bit of wind. We were all making good time today until about 15 miles out. I started to drag after that because the hot sun was beating down on us. We were ahead of the crowd for the first time today it seemed like. Everywhere we stopped there weren’t a lot of lines for waiting.
There was a huge hill that was waiting for us, about 10 miles outside of Boone. I was dead tired and wore out at the top, but I made it. I went all the way up the hill going 3 miles an hour. I met this lady that was going up the hill, don’t know her name, but we were motivation to each other. At the top of the hill, was our awesome smoothie guy. It was a great way to cool off after almost not making it. We stayed there for 30-45 minutes before heading to the last 10 miles. On our way, I was riding by some locals in a vehicle and I asked how much further to the next town? The guy said 500 miles. I was so upset with him. Like my husband said he probably thought it was so funny and he will be telling all his friends and grandchildren for years to come. But I quickly got over it and focused on the end in sight. We finally got back to camp after 2:00 p.m.
A lot has happened on RAGBRAI I almost totaled the bus, arrived in the first town only to have the tornado sirens go off. We have battled stifling heat, monstrous hills, and injury. I have seen some inspirational people on this ride, a blind women riding on the back a tandem, a cycling team that is wheelchair bound, a women riding with only one leg, a young lady that is riding her bike from Oregon to Georgia and an 84 year old woman successfully completing the ride each day. The lesson that these inspirational people has taught me is that if they are able to complete this ride then maybe I am not as crazy as I thought.
Best part of today’s middtown: random young boy, “Is this the place where there is free neck massages?” Daryl replies, “Yes, come on over here!”… everyone laughs while boy stands confused.. no worries we have a cop on board to serve and protect.