Sunday, July 8, 2012

It’s A Dry, Warm, RAGBRAI Ride

Leaf at Prairie Parks Fishery.  Dried and eaten by Japanese beetles.
That's the kind of day it was.
Well, blog fans, I am not sure exactly how far I rode today.  More than the shortest RAGBRAI ride.

I started off around 10:30 heading for the Linn County Democratic HQ on Mt. Vernon Road.  I received a phone call last week asking me how many tickets I wanted to reserve for President Obama’s visit to Cedar Rapids on Tuesday.  Well, two, one for me, one for Audrey.  The person who called said I could pick the tickets up between 10 a.m. and noon Sunday, today.

I had not been to the local party office before, and headed down Second Avenue, past Washington High School.  I turned left, intending to take Cottage Grove to 32nd Street.  I had not been on 32nd before, and wondered if it would have a good hill to practice on.

The answer, dear reader, is “yes.”  I don’t think the 32nd Street hill, headed south, is much different from the notorious Cottage Grove hill headed west.  I went down Cottage Grove today, but up 32nd.  I had done the Bowman Woods Hill on a shorter ride before breakfast, so today’s biking definitely featured good hill practice.

When I got to Dem HQ, things were tense. Plans had changed, and all tickets had been handed out, first come, first serve, on Saturday.  So those of us who had been called to reserve tickets gone none.  A young female volunteer was left to face the ire of the masses.  And there was some ire.

Well, poop.  I must say, however, that while I was disappointed, my reaction was nothing compared to the monumental meltdown staged by a “lady” who went on a loud, lengthy rant.  “Lies!” she shrieked.  Well, no, lady, the local dems didn’t organize the visit, they thought they would have enough tickets to give out and the national campaign office changed plans on them.  It was a monumentally bad mess up, but hardly deliberate untruth.

She vowed to register immediately as an Independent.  Lady, please register as a Republican.  With your personality, you should be good for an extra 5 points for Obama in Linn County.

Well, I left after a few minutes of the rather impressive tantrum.

I headed across Mt. Vernon Road, east to Memorial Drive, which I went south on to its end in Otis Road.

I then went to the Prairie Park Fishery.  It was warm and dry, but serene—a good place to relax and forget the toxic scene at party HQ.  Despite the drought conditions Iowa is falling into, it was a nice day to be outside—a normal hot summer afternoon.  Upper 80s felt pretty good after recent temperatures had been measured in triple digits.

I ate my peanut butter sandwich lunch, washed down with electrolyte drink, and then headed down Otis Road for downtown, where I joined the Cedar River Trail.  I headed south to Ely, then north to the end of the trail north of Hiawatha.

Dragon Fly in Ely at the south end of the branch of the Hoover Trail
that reaches Cedar Rapids.

Between my early morning ride, the trip to the party headquarters and the full trail ridge, I am pretty sure I topped 50 miles.  I don’t think I reached 60, but between 50 and 60 miles is enough to count today as a RAGBRAI-like ride.

I ended up with a sore butt, aching knees and a heat rash.  But, I am hoping to pack on the miles this week.  I was also hoping to see President Obama.  At least I think I may achieve the one ambition that I have control over—and not melt down over the other.
My reward, after the ride.  Appropriate, no?

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