This year's ride was one of the flattest and shortest in its 38 year history. But that is not to say that there were not long days on the bikes, or any hills, just ask anyone who rode the first or last day about the hills.
Our group this year numbered 7, some veteran riders and some RAGBRAI virgins. Bob and Sally joined Jim and I in that veteran group. In the virgin group we had Bob's boss/colleague at RIT, Jim, and Kim and Shaun. Kim is a friend of Liz's from college and Shaun is her boyfriend. We had great fun sharing the ride with newbies, who seemed to make the most of their first RAGBRAI experience.
The ride started in Sioux City, Iowa, right on the Missouri River and ended in Dubuque, on the Mississippi River. Here are the photo highlights from our 494 mile journey.
Rear wheels in the Missouri River, Sioux City, Iowa.
Sioux City all decked out for the RAGBRAI riders.
Early morning fog on Sunday.
One of the many unique bikes that people attempt to ride across the state.
Jim buying us our daily Smoothies.
Wind turbines were regular spectators along the roads in the western part of the state.
We relaxed at a local symphony concert in Storm Lake. Comfortable seats, a/c, and great music.
A mid-morning snack.
Receiving our well-earned patches at the halfway point of the additional century loop, named the Karras Loop.
Resting at 65 miles into our 100 mile day.
The Grotto in West Bend, Iowa. A tribute to one man's drive, determination and devotion.
Typical campground view!
Farm-equipment on display in one of the pass-through towns. Us city folks are most impressed!
Warm welcomes were received in all the towns.
Clear Lake was the perfect place to cool off on a 94 degree day!
Relaxing in camp.
Farm Pond fun! Later, Kim paid her $5 and had fun swinging!
Yummy fresh-picked corn, another mid-morning snack.
Chicken, lots of chicken! Good fuel for the last 20 miles.
If you look carefully on the corn, you can see the shadows of Jim and me on our bikes early one morning.
A tornado of bikes in Parkersburg, the town that was destroyed by a major tornado in May of 2008.
Cool, misting fan is a refreshing treat!
The water park in Waterloo was on our "Things to Do" list when we arrived in this town.
A toast with dill pickle juice~it's supposed to help with muscle recovery!
Kim and Shaun arriving at our campsite after a morning of riding in the rain.
Our perfect rainy day campsite, under the grandstands at the Fair grounds.
Another unique bike.
Beautiful, rolling farmlands.
The reward at the top of Potter Hill!
The approach to Dubuque and the Mississippi River.
The congratulatory banner.
A Dixie-style band to entertain us as we made our way to the dip-site on the Mississippi.
One happy group of riders, with our front wheels in the Mississippi.
One more group photo along the Mississippi River, celebrating another successful crossing of the great state of Iowa.
My 1600 training miles really paid off for me as I was able to ride across Iowa and enjoy all that the ride had to offer. Once again, the state of Iowa was so welcoming and made our adventure a wonderful vacation.
Hope all is well. I think I will go for a quick bike ride!