Saturday, July 23, 2016

In Which We Face RAGBRAI

Boyson Road, Cedar Rapids. Morning skies have been a bit dramatic this week, what with overnight thunderstorms.

How do I feel going into RAGBRAI 2016?

A little tired—I woke up at 5 a.m. for no particular reason, on this, the day before the biking starts. I looked at my pile of luggage and realized the goal of “packing light” was a bit elusive (a twin-sized air mattress and pump take a lot of space).

Excited—I woke up at 5 a.m. for no particular reason, on the morning of a car ride across Iowa. It’s a state that is pretty exciting to bicycle across in a week, but not so fun to ride across in a day. Still, I woke up early today, as I think I do every Christmas. I could use a stocking full of candy right about now …

Ready—I think. My weight this morning was 252.3 pounds—my goal was to be in the 240s by RAGBRAI, but since I have in the past flirted with the 260s, I guess I’ll say 252 is OK. We’ll see what a week of pie does. I’ve not put in as many training miles as I wanted—no training century ride, for example—but I have trained. We’ll see if it was enough. But I’m physically feeling fairly ready.

This ride starts in Glenwood, where my first RAGBRAI began, and ends in Muscatine, where 40 years ago I graduated from high school. I didn’t make it to the reunion—honestly, I didn’t really try. High school was not a highlight of my life. Still, it will feel a little like coming home when I cycle into Muscatine.

The images are from Wednesday morning, my final practice rides up the Brentwood Hill. It took a bike bag exchange for me to get the “stuff” for the ride—and I found spare bike gloves just the day before RAGBRAI. So it feels as if my final prep was a bit haphazard, but I guess “a bit haphazard” is a description of my life’s journey so far.

We’ll see how RAGBRAI goes. I am taking a computer (packing light-ha!) so I will try to blog during the ride, although WIFI access isn’t always the best in tiny towns swelled to 10 times normal size by an invading horde of cell-phone toting party animals. Still, stay tuned, America! Or at least the handful of you that are readers of CR biker …

Two more sky views on my next circuit over the Brentwood Drive hill. On Brentwood near Boyson, looking to the east.

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