The final day of RAGBRAI took us from Coralville to Davenport, home sweet home.  The stats: 65.6 miles and 2,363 feet to climb.  We agreed to try to get on the road by 6:00 because it had been getting so hot so quickly and its much easier when the sun is low.  But alas, despite our efforts, we didn't get going until 6:45.  Part of this was because I was still getting the shooting pains, but not as severe.  I tried to see the First Aid station, but they were not opening until 7:00, so I manned up and we left around 6:30.  We road through town in Coralville and into Iowa City.  First thing we hit, hills!  If you've ever walked around Iowa City, it's pretty hilly.  Well just to get out of the dang town, we had to go up some pretty massive, steep hills...and oh yes, we conquered them!

Team Teehee :)
From Iowa City, it was about 10 miles on to West Branch!  There were a couple of hills, but nothing too major.  We were still feeling great at that point because it was not hot yet.  We totally decided next year that it need to be REQUIRED that we leave at 6:00am, no later!  We need 2-2.5 hours before we can start feeling the heat of the sun.  West Branch is a cute little town, if you've never been there, it's home to the Herbert Hoover's childhood house and presidential library.  We decided to keep trucking through after a brief stop rather than visiting the memorials since we had all seen them before.
From West Branch, it was only 4.5 miles to Springdale..we bought some super cheap bake sale cookies at the local church and filled up our bottles and kept on pedaling.  It was 13.8 miles from there to Moscow, and it was the LONGEST ride of the whole trip!  It started getting REALLY hot and we were all separated and it was hilly!  I kept thinking, "When I get to the top of the next hill, I'll see Moscow..." I finally did stop to reapply sunscreen because it was getting crazy hot and I felt like my skin was boiling.  At that point, Laura met up with me as well and we rode into Moscow together.  From Moscow, we met up with Brooke, refilled our water and decided to eat lunch in Wilton, only another 5.6 miles away!  In Wilton, we had the most fun!  They had a petting zoo set-up which was so therapeutic :)
What?! How cute is this bunny??

We ate some lunch, and watched some martial arts performers as well before leaving Wilton.  We finally had to suck it up and keep going, even though it would have been nice to quit right then and there!! IT WAS SO HOT even just standing in the sun.  It was at this point, my bike thermometer was reading about 120 degrees in the direct sun.  From Wilton, we rode onto to Durant, 6 miles away and it was such a friendly little town.  We rested a little and then decided to go on to the last town before Davenport.  Walcott was nearly 8 miles from Durant and it was about 1:00, so hot hot HOT!  At this point, no lies, RAGBRAI was not fun anymore, it was a punishment.  But it was also a challenge and we were determined to finish the day.  We split off from Brooke in Walcott, since she was waiting for her Dad to catch up.  Brooke and her Dad were going to ride down to the river while Laura and I were going to catch the bike path in Davenport and ride straight back to my house.  Of course, we took one last picture before splitting off!
The ride from Walcott to Davenport was not very hilly, but boy was it punishing being dead flat, with no breeze, and killer sun!  Laura and I took our time, making sure to stop for water breaks and more sunscreen and we even took one break in the shade where we got to meet some really nice people who assured us it was just over that hill and we'd be crossing I-280 into Davenport.  It was true, we were so close!  We got back on and pushed through.   Once we crossed into Davenport, it almost felt like we were done, but then I remembered that even once we get to the bike path about 1.5miles up the road, it's still another 7 miles to my house.  At this point, I ran into the only three people I knew riding RAGBRAI, who were not even riding together.  How weird is that?! I saw my coworkers husband, who was just waiting up for a couple of people because they were also taking the bike path home.  Then I saw Kate and her husband!  I student taught at Ames High in the English department at the same time as Kate, but hadn't seen her since because she's been living in Korea.  WEIRD!  Anyway, we got to the bike path, took one final "Almost there" picture, enjoyed the shaded and mostly flat bike path home.

Of course, we ate fudgecicles when we got home and then showered ASAP!  What a relief to be home and what an accomplishment to have ridden 70.2 miles that day!  As much as we were hating it, and I probably did a horrible job making RAGBRAI sound fun...we can't wait to do it again next year, and probably the whole week this time!  That night, we went down to the Bix/Ragbrai festival, and I must say, we clean up pretty well :)

1 comment: