Day 1 Orange City to Spencer

It was a great Day 1, pleasant temperatures in the 80s and about average Iowa humidity. A strong NNW wind gave us an extra workout for about 10 of today’s 63 miles.

Anne riding RAGBRAI Day 1

Anne around Mile 54 past Hartley

With 3 slices of pie today I’m on pace for my goal of 1 slice/25 miles, or a total of 17-18 for the week. Our team also found enough other food and beer to keep us going another day. Tomorrow is the longest of RAGBRAI XLV, about 72 miles plus some optional extensions. Hope to tell you more about it.

Campsite with van at Orange City

12-passenger Ford Transit carried 6 of us with bikes and gear from Colorado. Nice ride so far.

Camping was nice in Orange City but it was a real luxury to have a beautiful house to stay in at Spencer. Wifi facilitated my posting this tonight, though so far we haven’t had the limited bandwidth issues common along our 2014 ride.

The weather forecast is good for tomorrow, but then a chance of rain and thunderstorms by midweek.  At some point in the week we’ll probably have some uncomfortably warm temperatures too, but you know what they say about those kind of days:20170723_202606

Anyone can ride RAGBRAI. Maybe you!

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Pasta on wheels

Pauline brought us a special treat from Switzerland. Not some ordinary Swiss treat like chocolate, watches or an offer to launder money. No, this was something none of us have previously encountered….

Today we’re in Nebraska, but tomorrow afternoon we should be in Orange City Iowa getting ready to ride. More details soon.

We are home, sadly.

Still on my RAGBRAI high today – not sure when I’ll come down. This is one experience where even pictures and a thousand words can’t describe it. Of course, we will try to do that on this blog, so watch for more postings throughout the week.

There are no pictures of the bus ride from Guttenberg to Ankeny so I’ll have to try to describe it. This description may only make sense to Iowans or others who have experienced it. It’s about light. There’s nothing more beautiful than summer’s evening light in Iowa – that low, glowing light that is so yellow – pulling all the greens and blues into vivid warmth. Heck, maybe its all that corn, the long shadows contrasting the blues and greens create a sense of lush, verdant cropland. What ever it is, it means Iowa and makes me a bit homesick. Contrast that with the white light of California, where the hills are brown, the skies pale blue and the buildings of San Francisco pastel and white. Think Grant Wood meets Richard Diebenkorn – now that’s a contrast!

Waverly withstands the RAGBRAI onslaught

We’ve had issues at the end of Day 5 in Waverly, but inter

net connectivity isn’t one of them. I haven’t seen a lot of this town but the locals have been very friendly and life is good.

I wanted to add a few links to pages that I and others have put up the last few days:

I have a connection!

Tuesday, i think, and finally found a wifi connection in the Hy Vee (local grocery store chain) in Mason City.

Mason City – home of: The Music Man! Somewhere I am sure there are 76 trombones tuning up, and some sin, right here in River City. If I remember correctly it starts with ‘p’ and ends with an ‘l’ and stands for pool.

Almost indescribable experience this RAGBRAI thing: the people, the weather, the small towns, the riding. If connection works I’ll try to upload some pics.

And oh yes, we drove to Sioux Falls to pock up Becky’s luggage. United’s customer service couldn’t cope as you might imagine. It was lucky that Teresa’s friend, Jeanne had a car we could borrow! Course we got lost looking for the airport…how can you get lost following that little airplane sign? Well, we did.

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United and lost luggage

United rant: Jeckyll & Hyde customer service. That and inept. They can’t reach their own people to find out where Becky’s bag is, they can’t figure out what airport to send it to to get it to us, they don’t call back and they sure as heck don’t know how to instill any confidence that they will do anything. Beginning to believe it wiould be quicker to ride our bikes back to Chicago to pick up the bag and ride back. Customer service: eh? What’s that? Back to United’s true motto: “We’re too big to care” has been proven once again. Hey United! Remember that great song video from a few years ago – United Broke My Guitar? More great PR.

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Travels to RAGBRAI adventures

Sittin’ on the side on on the dock o the bay wastin time! No fly no pie! The nice people at United (yes they exist) rebooked us to Cedar Rapids when our flight to Denver made it impossible to fly into Des Moines.

We’ll get there a bit late -well, we assume we’ll get there….updates later.

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