Saturday, May 23, 2015

In Which We Eat, Ride, Eat, Ride

Team Joe Plus More view one: Wyatt, Katy, me, Theresa, Cate, Brigid and Eldon.

Pre-gaming for RAGABRAI: It starts with breakfast, and not just any breakfast, but a hearty breakfast at Riley’s CafĂ©, an eatery known for its “Shipwrecks,” very large 3-egg scrambles with lots of fixings. I had a spicy Spanish one with a pancake on the side.

It was 9 a.m. and Team Joe plus more was assembling. Two of my daughters and a son-in-law met me at home, and dropped off their children. Then we headed to the restaurant to meet Brigid, Cate and Eldon. The later three and I are team Joe, the others are planning to ride one day of RAGBRAI with us this summer.

After the breakfast, it was home again to grease chains, pump tires, fill water bottles, put on sunscreen and spritz with bug spray. And then we were off. Me and my kids left my house and met the other three at the Hiawatha trailhead.

North or south? North goes quickly out into pretty May countryside, but there isn’t much else there. South offers a wider variety of views, and more food options, so, since this was RABRAI prep, south was the chosen direction.

The day was warm, sunny and pleasant. There were plenty of bikers out enjoying the trail.

I was in the lead sometimes, Cate was at other times. I felt bad when Cate was leading because she got so far ahead. Until I realized: She’s got a new bike! A pretty snazzy one that is sort of a hybrid between a road bike and a hybrid—it has the road bike handles but wider hybrid tires. If I get a new bike, it’s every much what I would want. Yes, it’s true, I did suffer bike envy.

Team Joe Plus More view two. Same cast of characters. Less waffle table.

We got to the south edge of Cedar Rapids, but decided to turn back rather than go all the way to Ely. It was getting to be 1 in the afternoon, and we had left my wife with six young children to look after.

For lunch, we stopped in a Parlor City in the New Bo area. Lunch was, like breakfast, very filling.

After that, we headed north again. Me and my kids (and kid-in-law) peeled off at 42nd Street to take the Noelridge Park route back to my house.

And when we got there, the grandkids seemed busy and happy. Their only complaint was having to go home.

Tonight, Audrey and I walked up to HyVee Drug Store and she let me buy beer. There is pie in the oven, but I don’t think I’ll carry the RAGBRAI analogy that far—that pie will have to be breakfast. One beer has topped me off, and served as the capstone on a very satisfying day and pre-RAGBRAI ride. Between yesterday and today, I have ridden 64 miles—not a bad two-day total, although it will be one day’s ride on RAGBRAI!

And the iris Cate let me take from her garden two years ago is in bloom.

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