Tuesday, August 14, 2007

RAGBRAI Day 7

Up at the usual time (5am). Very long porta potty lines today. We got our water bottles filled last night at the Red Cross tent - not sure where we would have found water otherwise. Lots of dew on the tent and everything is wet. Went by the church to get a daylight photo - "info people" said it is a special church. On the road, we have a lot of energy. Phil and cousin Dick will meet us at the end. There is a great set of mainly downhill rolling hills for 10-15 miles. We stop for rolls and bananas and continue on another 5-10 miles. I really want pancakes - Bill isn't so sure as the line is large, but it moves quickly and we are on our way. Much more hilly today, including some up hills that are challenging. Bill hangs right in there. The line for food is really long in the next town and we are now glad for the pancakes. We get smoothies and sit next to our old friend, Cindy. A nurse next to me in line recommends Lantispetic for our rears. I will try it as mine is very sore. We continue on and in the last town stop. Apparently we are in a line that is supposed to be only food, nonetheless we get their last sandwiches, last candy bar and last of their ketchup. We leave quickly to find the next corn field as the porta potty lines are too long. I try Phil on my cell a couple of times on the road with no success, but we connected in the previous town and they know we are close. The big hill that Bill has looked forward to from the beginning looms ahead. He hits 42mph and I 40mph (had to hit the brakes as someone was in front of me). It is over too soon and Bill wishes there was more. We enter town and there is quite a traffic jam. Everything is stopped for 100+ Air Force riders. I didn't know there were that many as they were always in small groups. The bikes keep going. We finally get to the last street and as we start down the ramp to the Mississippi River, Phil and Dick spot us and say hi. I call to Bill and we all hug. I give them my camera as we get in line and get our photos taken dipping our front wheel in the river. We then move quickly to find our charter, break down our bikes and ship them UPS. I explain to Phil and Dick that the lines will only get longer - but strangely today they don't. Phil & Dick help us pack the bikes, we then ship them (no line!) and grab a hot dog and sit on the river bank to watch others do the same. Sara calls, we take pictures, and Dick walks 6 blocks to bring in his car. We load our bags and head for Washington and the family reunion. The ride is over and we did it!

1 Comments:

At 8/17/2007 1:57 PM, Blogger CMAR said...

Great story! I was wondering why I hadn't heard anything from you about the trip. I talked with Phil today and he told me you had published this on your blog so, I am now caught up.

I was nostalgic that week when you all went through Thor. Actually, my mother was not from there but her three younger brothers and their families all lived there and we visited often. Sandy and I stopped by in 1981 after the reunion in Ames and spent the night with my uncle John.

So, congratulations on your great achievement. I'm sure it was equal measures of exhilaration together with exhaustion.

 

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