Another year under our belts…yes, RAGBRAI 2010 ended yesterday with a tired but satisfied team for a job well done. You won’t find me in the photo, since I took it. A few team members had to leave early or weren’t pictured because of injuries, but the dipping of the tires into the Mississippi River is a team effort. Congratulations, and see you next year!
Thank you to those of you who pledged to me personally. I appreciate your loyalty and friendship!
Thank you to those who contributed to our overall cause, allowing Team Peacock to reach a six-year total of half million dollars for student scholarships!
P.S. I’ll post a few interesting video clips next week to wrap up my blog and to let you all know if I get on my bike again before the week’s out. I think I owe a few of you some miles. Ha!
Sorry I missed Day 5 (Charles City to Waterloo) but couldn’t hook up to internet this morning.
The ride yesterday to Waterloo was particularly fun. I rode all day with Kristi Austin, one of the first RAGBRAI Team Peacock riders, and we had a great time riding at our own pace. After we returned to camp, my daughter picked us both up, and then we met Kristi’s daughter and fiance at Olive Garden for some carb loading in preparation for today’s ride (and a little retail therapy, too).
That said, I don’t think we burned off last night’s pasta. When the group I usually ride with finally got on the road this morning, it started pouring. Luckily, I had packed a garbage bag to keep me dry, but four members of the group had nothing. With no stores in sight, we stopped at a business along the route and begged three garbage bags. They happily obliged and we were on our way.
However, by the time we reached Washburn (the first meeting town), the rain was coming down pretty hard with lots of sharp thunder and lightening. That was the deciding factor for us to sag (yes, quit). Kristi and I stopped at the Moose Lodge in Washburn for pancakes and called my husband, who picked us up in his truck.
Before stopping at the host house in Manchester (Terry and Jen Stoffel), we toured the Delhi dam break. I’ve never before have seen a lake completely drained. There were dozens of boat docks either completely collapsed or standing in mid-air with boats attached to them. Half-million dollar homes appeared suspended because their decks, which once overlooked the water, now hung 50-feet above a muddy hole.
I took video of the riders at Moose Lodge that served the best all-you-can-eat pancakes and also of the making of the very fashionable garbage bag raingear.
Tomorrow is the final leg of the trip–to Dubuque. I won’t be riding it, but will video Team Peacock dipping their tires! I’m taking my co-worker’s place again, as she needed to go home early. It’s all good!
A rainstorm blew through Clear Lake last night, so we woke this morning to wet tents, soggy camp chairs, and everything else (see our photos on flickr).
Today I traded places with my co-worker so she could ride with her husband. It’s actually a relief since I am pretty fried from yesterday. A day of rest will give me a whole new attitude and fresh start tomorrow. Instead, I have photo duty and am catching up on editing the video I’ve been taking for my blog, AND I also volunteered to do the laundry!
To say RAGBRAI is interesting is an understatement.
OMG, the pile of laundry was so heavy with water–towels, jerseys, sheets, pillowcases, clothes, and a sleeping bag–that Jess and I had to split it up into trash bags just to get it to the car. I utilized two 5-load washers, a 4-load, and a 2-load.
The funny part is I had it all sorted and loaded it into the machines but could not figure out where to put the soap. When I asked a woman next to me, she looked at me odd and said, “These are dryers!” Obviously, it’s been awhile since I’ve been to a laundromat.
Everyone else riding RAGBRAI was having the same problem, because a man came in and asked if all the machines were taken. He had just been over to Mason City and couldn’t find an available machine in their laundromats.
A side note: While doing the team’s laundry, I visited with Joyce Baker, who was doing laundry for her team of ten–her husband and family. It was fun comparing notes! Hi, Joyce. Enjoy the rest of the week!
I also thought I lost my phone to the rain when I woke to my purse sitting in a pool of water. However, a woman in the laundromat gave me a tip–said put it in rice and it will dry out nicely and work again. Since I didn’t want to go buy rice, I took it apart and laid it in the sun on my dashboard while I finished the wash. Wahlaa! It started working! Phew!
One of the really great side benefits of RAGBRAI is that it showcases our state. Yes, there are miles and miles of beautiful tall corn and perfectly laid out soybean fields, but I have now visited two beautiful lakes that I have never been to before.
Both Storm Lake and Clear Lake are enormous bodies of water, and the towns have a lake resort feel to them. I have taken flip video of a grotto in one of the meeting towns but the library I’m using the Internet in is closing in about 10 minutes, so will post it tomorrow.
I left later for the ride this morning (about an hour) and found that the riders are a whole different type of rider–the slower riders and the late night partyers so it’s not so hard core. Translation: I didn’t get passed as much on the road and felt like I was keeping up! Ha!
The ride was also only 60 miles today; and the distance between towns was very short, so it went fast. Except for the last 20 miles, which consisted of a lot of headwinds and no shade. People were fading fast on the side of the road. The Smoothy Guy had the perfect location and lots of shade trees and was so popular, they ran out of smoothies! We got ours though!
Btw, thank you — a big thank you — to alumna Pam Whitmore who pays for smoothies at the Smoothie Guy for the entire week of RAGBRAI! What a welcome treat, and such a generous thing to do for the Team. We appreciate it, Pam!
I’ll post more tomorrow, but one last thing, I’m sunburned from leaving later in the day…Stick a fork in me, I’m done! But it’s much more fun because I see my fellow teammates, and the slower riders talk to you on the road.
Have a good evening, and I’ll post more tomorrow! Cheers!
T-shirt — It smells like Iowa!
Another early morning (4:00 a.m.), because the route today was 79 miles. The good news is it was flat as a pancake! I know that doesn’t sound challenging but as the hours tick by it, the constant pedaling wears on one’s knees and the bike seat gets harder. On a positive note, two days finished and the sun was shining and only light winds.
Today’s video was shot from the first day, but it will give you all a sense of RAGBRAI and just how popular it is. There are young riders, old riders, families who have thousands of dollars invested in their equipment for both parents and children, fit riders, extremely fit riders, not so fit riders, and really not so fit riders; but it’s all good!
People are wonderful on the ride! I have been asked four or five times if I was either okay or needed help–once when I was stretching my leg because my foot fell asleep and another time when I had stopped by the side of the road to rest. Geez, I must look pathetic out there! Ha!
But it’s typical–you see riders help change stranger’s flat tires or put chains back on. It restores your faith in the good of mankind!
Tomorrow’s a short ride so I’m going to try to have a little fun along the way. Hopefully, I’ll have some things to share!
What a first day! The camp is pretty divided–the late-night crowd on one side of the house and the early crowd on the other. We got up at 4:30 and were on the road within the hour. Had a slight meltdown when I couldn’t get my tent packed up — it was dark and very wet — but my cool, calm, and collected friend Carol Aten fixed it for me.
I made a deal with one of the young men on support crew, Zach Morrell, that if I wake him up before I leave, he will sleep in my tent when I leave and break it down. Carol thinks I’m sly… ha! She just wishes she would have thought of it!
Btw, Zach was our neighbor up the street or several years — my daughter cheered for North Fayette with his sister. Never met him until this week. Very nice young man.
I found my Flip Video and am posting a video shot of the group from the first day. I took other videos as well but will hold you all in suspense until then.
Dr. Walker gave an executive order to have a retake since I missed the first photo … was in the restroom! Ha!
The route was relatively flat — a few hills, of course, but the sun really took it out of me and most of the crew. The last 20 miles were the worst. Everyone but UIU junior Justin Marchant, who plays soccer and is young and fit. He left last and was the first in. Oh, to be young again.
The cot will feel good tonight — sunburned and tired. Carol and Louise want to leave even earlier tomorrow to escape the heat. Six days to go! Yikes!
The Upper Iowa University Team Peacock has arrived in Sioux City, safe and sound! We had to take quite a few detours because of high water due to the severe rains in northeast Iowa overnight on Friday, but just more bonding time with the team.
I had a video of the team leaving and the bus and went to take a great photo of our welcome at our overnight hosts Jon and Cindy Brewer’s house, but you’ll have to go to the UIU Flickr account to see the photos. Hope the weather tomorrow is as nice as it is today! Nice breeze and low humidity — and no flies here in Sioux City!
Everyone’s tents are up… the Brewers greeted us with a tub of icy bottled water… and then fed us a huge spread of spaghetti, bread, salad, bars, and lemonade. Thank you so much! So much more than we expected!
Well, just wanted to touch base. Might run to the store and pick up a small camera for my bike since I can’t find my flip camera…I typically don’t lose things so am bummed! Particularly since Dr. Walker reassembled the group for a second photo because I had taken a restroom break and missed the first one… he referred to it as the “potty photo.” Ha!
Leaving early tomorrow because the route will be hilly, and we want to get our ride over before the heat and humidity. I’ll be checking back in tomorrow!
Cheers! P.S. And a big thank you to everyone who donated to our ride for student scholarships — we topped our $500,000 six-year total! Sweet.
One more week before show time! I’ve been training hard this week—over 40 miles on Saturday and 20 miles Monday, Tuesday, and last night (which didn’t go well).
My husband and I golf on couple’s league on Wednesday evenings, and I forgot we indulged in a few too many toddies, then no lunch yesterday, plus absent-mindedly drank a quart of Diet Mountain Dew, and before heading out to ride, I slammed down a sandwich and potato salad.
The first five miles went smoothly, but then I started to feel sick to my stomach. Being the dedicated rider I am, I persevered to get my 20 miles in. It was a rough ten miles back to my truck. Lesson learned: Get plenty of rest, eat right, and drink lots of water or Gatorade – and absolutely no soda (or anything with it)!
There are plenty of food stands and opportunities to eat on RAGBRAI . Bring money in smaller denominations. Our crew will be stopping at Wal-Mart before we hit camp the first night so my advice is to pick up snacks you can keep in your bike bag, as this will save you a little money on the road—trail mix, bananas, fruit snacks. Be sure to read your instructions sent out by Dr. Kata McCarville, as this is a wealth of fantastic information to help you pack this week and know what to expect.
Looking forward to Dr. Walker’s party on Friday night and seeing the “gang” again! Have a great weekend!
With RAGBRAI only two weeks away, there are a few things you should start doing now and not leave to the last minute.
Get the tent, sleeping bag, cot or air mattress, and lawn chair out and check their condition. These will be necessities on the trip – unless you have a rig like Dr. Walker: a cot/tent combo.
Put your tent up, so 1) you know how to put it up and take it down, 2) you can check for needed repairs or missing parts, and 3) to air it out. Can you tell the only time I use it is for RAGBRAI – I had to get it back from my daughter. My idea of camping out is a hotel with room service.
You should also start getting your clothes in one place – don’t over pack because no one dresses up. By the end of the week, you will dispense with make-up and be either wearing a pony tail or bandana. Yes, I bring along plenty of bandanas to tie around my head (the kind you buy in different colors at Wal-Mart for $1). I wear them under my helmet to keep the sweat from dripping in my eyes while riding, and they are my solution to flat, unfixed hair at camp—I call it my Brett Michaels look.
Ladies, another tip I borrowed from the men is put your toiletries in a men’s shaving kit bag. Seriously, my husband gave me one of his to use about a year ago, and I now take it every time I travel. Why do men have the most sensible, practical stuff, I ask? These bags have a handle and are wonderfully roomy to make it easy to carry your toiletries in one trip to the showers!
It time to get started at least thinking about what you are going to take along, and making a list of items as you think of things so as not to forget anything.
Other necessities: enough socks and underwear for the week, lip balm, sun screen, butt butter, talc
Remember, there’s got to be enough room to sleep in that tent at night and you don’t want to be rummaging through a bunch of stuff to find your underwear, so get organized!
Life’s pretty simple on the RAGBRAI trail! See ya’ soon!
I’m thinking that if you are the procrastinator who hasn’t started training yet, better get started! RAGBRAI is only three weeks away!
I put in my 16 miles this morning – got up at 4:00 a.m.! I was lying there wide awake waiting for the alarm to go off at 4:30 so decided to just get up and get going. I didn’t want to fall into that deep REM sleep because it is so difficult to wake up. According to several websites about this stage of REM, the large voluntary muscles of the body are paralyzed. Hmmm, that explains a lot…but kinda scary at the same time.
Great story! I broke down and “bought” some real bike shorts this past weekend—you know the kind that have the extra padding in one’s private area. I just hated to go to the expense but decided it was necessary. So, stopped at Scheels, which had two choices – a $24.99 pair and a $79.99 pair. I went with the $24.99 pair so I could afford two.
While on the way to the checkout, the clerk explained to me that if I applied and was accepted for a Scheel’s Visa, I would be given the chance to spin the wheel for a $10, $20, or $50 gift certificate. I said, “Sure, why not.” My husband was saying, “Yeah, just what you need, another credit card.”
Lady luck smiled at me, and the wheel landed on the $50 gift certificate! So my bike shorts were free, plus I got a choice of a free t-shirt or hat! Woo hoo! I never win anything when it comes to drawings, raffles, or contests… so was really tempted to take a side trip to the casino.
I digress…back to my ride this a.m. Love morning rides but don’t do it without wearing something white, have a headlight on your bike and a flashing tail light, either on your clothing or your bike, so ya don’t get hit by a car!
Morning rides are the best because it is cool and typically there is less wind. It also wakes me up and starts my day off on a good note. Love that feeling! Hope to keep up my riding once RAGBRAI is over—we’ll see.
Finally, a myth buster! I saw four deer cross the road at four different locations along my route this morning. Each time, there was only a single deer. So, whoever made the claim that if you see one deer cross the road, another will follow … ha, not necessarily true!!
Have a great 4th of July weekend, All! God Bless America.
P.S. My niece, Laurie Miller, and I took second place for an all female team in the West Union Triathalon last Sunday! I did the biking, while she did the running and swimming legs. On the way back from receiving our medals, Laurie said, “Oh no, it’s going to look bad for us when they don’t call a third place.” We laughed and said, “Oh, who cares!”