Between full days of riding, catching up with our saggers and having iffy internet access, I haven't blogged for a while, but remember, I didn't make any promises. Reading my last update, I failed to give credit where it was due, so I want to go back to Day 3 for a moment.
As I mentioned, Johnny's Bar in Wesley was rockin' when we got there. What I didn't mention was that Team Draught and the Regulators were the ones who led us astray there. I mean, how do you pass up a party like this???
On Day 4, lower temperatures and humidity with a light breeze from the North provided welcome relief from Tuesday's 100+ heat index. We had a little later start than we had planned, however, and I need to digress for a moment. Two years ago on RAGBRAI, we sagged one rainy day on Team Evil Eye's bus. Mark behaved so impressively, dancing and mooning at the front of the bus, that he earned himself a pair of monkey beads. Completely oblivious to the significance, he wore those beads proudly every day. On the last day, we ran into his cousins in the next to last town, and one of them was wearing the same beads. He laughed when he saw Mark and asked, "What did you do to earn the dumbass beads?"
So now, 2 years later, those beads have finally changed hands again (the wearer of the beads keeps them until someone else tops his/her dumbassery). So. Wednesday morning I decided it was time to reorganize/repack the car. And I did a spectacular job of it. We had said our goodbyes to my sister and brother-in-law when I realized I hadn't seen the car key in a while. I vaguely recalled setting the key on the folded-down seat when I opened the car. Forty minutes, two unpackings and repackings later, we finally pulled up the seat to find it lodged down inside the seat. I didn't even wait for it... I just marched over and took the beads off of Mark.
A late start isn't always a bad thing... with the majority of riders already gone, it leaves the road wide open, and with a moderate tailwind, we flew down the road. The Rockwell Chamber hosted a beer/bloody mary (Hair of the Dawg, of course) garden, where we caught up with the Regulators again for a couple of refreshments. Heading down the road again, we made a cornfield stop and couldn't have timed it better. As we rolled back onto the road, the Regulators passed us in a draft line. We caught the tail of it, and flew down the road with them. Thanks for the pull, guys!
Near Cartersville, we came upon a farm where I'm guessing nearly 5,000 riders had pulled over for a hell of a party. A platform led up to a swing where bikers were lined up to swing out over a pond and drop in. We watched for a while before rolling on... rumor has it the party really cranked up there, including the requisite RAGBRAI nudity.
We took a leisurely ride into Charles City, stopping at the Rockford Golf Course, where riders were shuttled on golf carts from the road to the clubhouse to enjoy a cold beverage and some shade. We rolled into the Wildwood Golf Course in Charles City, another Dawghouse, and found a text message had come from one Sag Queen 1, letting us know that my ownership of the monkey beads was to be short lived. It seems Sag Queen A had to do a little dumpster diving to retrieve the car key, lost for the second time that day! As of this writing, she is still wearing them.
We met the Queens at our accommodations for the night. While I am always grateful not to have to sleep in a tent at the end of a long ride, this night may have been the exception. The Best Budget (aka Bed Bug) Inn was, at least, good for a laugh (or several). Suffice it to say we were happy the Sag Queens had brought plenty of extra bedding. Other patrons of the same hotel reported finding mold in their sheets. At least the vending machine was loaded with tasty snacks for us:
Thursday was a long day - 82 miles. But it was my day to hit the wall. My legs refused to work, and there wasn't a spot on my saddle that felt good. Shoulders and neck hurt, head threatened to throb... sagging seemed like a good idea. We met the Sag Queens in Parkersburg, loaded our bikes, and sagged the second half to our reward for the night at the Bed Bug Inn... the Isle Casino in Waterloo. A swim, a hot tub, and a Hair of the Dawg Margarita were just what we needed to fire up for the last two days of riding.
But it could be Saggy Friday. The reason I've finally found time to catch up on the Blawg is that it's pouring rain, and we're having trouble talking ourselves into getting on our bikes. I think we're going to have to tough it out... we have 5 Dawghouses on the route today. We were VERY well-represented yesterday... 4 Dawghouses in Clarksville and at least as many in Parkersburg. Everywhere we stop we hear about how good our mix is, making every blister on our butts worth the ride.