Saturday, July 31, 2010


This past week was my (to be) annual trip with the girls on RAGBRAI. Last year, they each did one day. This year, they graduated to two days each. Since I raced on Sunday, we missed the first day and instead had Holly drive us to the start of day 2. Hannah and I woke up to a beautiful day in Storm Lake. We were on the tandem and rolled out of town to our first town and a breakfast stop. The pic below is of Hannah enjoying her "breakfast on a bun". Funny how she probably wouldn't eat this at home, but cheesy eggs and ham on a bun was just "delicious" on this morning. I guess riding 16 miles to breakfast on only a donut will do that.
This day had the option for the Karas Loop century. RAGBRAI loops you around a short section of the course to add enough miles to equal a 100. This is a pretty big deal for cyclists and I asked Hannah if she wanted to attempt it. I didn't push it, so I was surprised when she said we should do it. The loop was about 50 miles into the route, so we had already been pushing a decent pace. She was a trooper and probably had less whining than me, but we completed the loop and moved on. We completed a little over 100 miles on this day.
Above photo is of Hannah at the Grotto of the Redemption(?), I think in West Bend on day 1.
Day two for Hannah was from Algona to Clear Lake, the maps had it as a flat 60 miles. For some reason I had it as 50 (in my head). However, the maps mileage was off and we ended up with close to 66 miles on a very, very hot day (heat index over 100). We didn't eat or drink enough on this day and by the time Holly met us in Clear Lake, we were hot, hungry and thirsty.
Holly drove up to transfer/swap the girls for the next two days. She went to a laundromat to wash shorts for us while I setup the tent. Hannah apparently ate a Subway sandwich during this time and then slept from Clear Lake to home (two hour drive).
Maddie and I suffered in the tent that night as the heat index kept it nearly unbearable in the tent. We finally fell asleep near 1am and were woken up by campground noise at 5:30. Maddie is below with our tent (small quarters, but ok until they get bigger).
Maddie and I had an uneventful 55 mile ride to Charles City on this day. Only four pass through towns, so we didn't spend too much time off the bike. We did have a blast at Charles City. A great small town with cool old buildings. We went to the water park and lounged around, getting to bed and asleep by 10pm.
Maddie's second day was to Waterloo. We ended up with 87.6 miles (should have ridden a few more for her century, but Holly was waiting). This was a fun day with some great pass through towns. Parkersburg had a neat sculpture (pic above) of a bike tornado. This is the town that was nearly wiped off the map in 2008 and then had their iconic football coach shot last year (lots of ESPN coverage).
Overall, it was another great ride and time spent with the girls. They seem to really enjoy the 1 on 1 time with me and I enjoy the time and riding with them. We totalled 309 miles in the four days, about 22.5 hours of riding time and around 6000 feet of climbing (very flat route this year). Next year, Maddie gets to ride the century loop to earn her patch. Outside chance that they could do 3 days each, but that might be too much for dad.
More pics on Flickr.

BTW - Special thanks to Rasmussen Bike Shop for the support during the week. Greg and the gang took us in as family and the girls enjoyed the special treatment. Thanks Greg!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great memories you are making with your girls.....very cool!!!