Monday, May 26, 2014

In Which 24.4 Damp Miles Help Us Make RAGBRAI Plans

Shirt art for Team Joe 2014  by my talented oldest daughter, Amanda Moscou. It's awesome. By the way, other daughters, you're talented, too.

A feather, wet from drizzle, at the Boyson Road trailhead Sunday, May 25.

It's a common kind of bush that is blooming now, and this one is at the Boyson Road trail head. What is it?
Des Moines trikers, ready to ride the Cedar River Trail with Cate and I despite a bit of rain. Eldon and Brigid.

Team Joe, minus Sue who is in Florida and thus exempt, held an informal pre-RAGBRAI powwow, shakedown cruise ride on the Cedar River Trail Sunday.

Brigid and Eldon were in town because we had a family gathering Saturday in a state park. Sunday we met for a biker breakfast at Riley’s Cafe, and then I went to a granddaughter’s third birthday party. It’s possible I was eating like it already was RAGBRAI, which is not, honestly, a good idea.

Anyway, around 2 we gathered at the Boyson Road trail head where the Cedar River Trail meets the Cedar Valley Trail, and we headed south through Hiawatha and Cedar Rapids on the river trail.

I would say it was a fine day for a ride, but it wasn't exactly ideal. It was spitting rain. It never really got to be a full shower, and for that I’m grateful, and I will concede that being used to pushing through rain is a good RAGBRAI riding skill. So on we rode. We stopped briefly at Cedar Lake to chat with Paulette, and then pushed on to Tate-Cummins Park.

Heading north shortly after the turn around, whizzing along the damp trail. Rain is starting to let up, but any breeze shakes a lot of water from the trees. I think we are going 15 to 16 mph at this point.

It was getting on in the afternoon and the Des Moines guests didn't want to hit to road too late, so we turned around after feasting on salted nut rolls provided by Cate (she is some sort of biking snack guru).

Then, over a round of Fat Tire except for the designed Des Moines driver who had Coke, we stopped at the Sag Wagon and conferred (and also took the obligatory Sag Wagon biker selfie).

Sag Wagon selfie of Team Joe--Eldon, Brgid, Cate and I. Joe. The only one not in a "Team Joe" shirt. Figures, right? The hand sign is not "rock out" or "we worship Satan," it's the team signal for "bollards," which you encounter on the trail, it's a waning to the riders of wide trikes on our team.

Our tentative plans?

  • We will probably have 12 driving shifts. There would, in theory, be 14, two each day for a week, but two of the days are so short that we decided it is silly to have a meet-up on those days. With five team members, that means either two or three driving shifts for the week.
  • I am to get maps of the meet-up towns. We already planned to have Cate and I scout the final town a bit, which should help with meet-up on the final day. We might all go to Dubuque that day, because Brigid and Eldon have rented a motel room, and we can shower and then go out for a victory dinner. In any case, Cate or I will be the final driver, since we’ll have seen the final town. And we’ll have maps with us of all the meet-up towns. So, RAGBRAI, what are the meet-up towns this year?
  • We will change our camp routine a bit. There probably will be “packers” who will stay to help the driver get the camp put away. With five team members, two can leave right away, two help pack. We also discussed the need to improve our packing so that it’s not necessary to hunt for stuff as much or to move as much stuff to get a trike out of the vehicle.
  • Breakfast, most of the time, will be camp chow that we bring with us. We’ll have food so we can eat before hitting the road, and we won’t have the delay of hunting breakfast in the camping town. I don’t think that means we won’t ever eat in that town—it’s possible there might be an attractive, obvious option that we might take advantage of—but for the most part, we’ll calorie up quickly and hit the road.
  • Independence will probably be a camping town. We won’t be far from Cedar Rapids that night, but the next day is one of the most difficult rides and is also the final day—and getting on the road very quickly for that final days seems to be an important strategy.

There you have it. We’re still not quite settled on styles and colors for shirts, but my talented awesome oldest daughter did a grant design that we all love, see the top image on this post, so I’m sure shirts are coming. See more of Amanda's art  here and her art and poetry here. You an also read a fun story she collaborated on here.

After the meeting, the sky is turning sunny and the trail is drying off.

The 24-plus-mile ride Sunday was mostly wet, but it was drying off by the time of the Sag Wagon summit. It was actually sunny during the last leg of the ride.

May it be a good omen for RAGBRAI!

1 comment:

  1. May 28 update: Richard Poole, a friend of Sue's posted on Facebook that the mystery busy is one that is commonly called "hobble" or "witch hobble." It can root from its branches, so often creates tangled growth that trips people, hence the name.