Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I went for a ride and ended up in the DAWGHOUSE!

The Dawgs have been busy training our legs and livers for RAGBRAI and setting up Dawghouses along the route!  Here is a preview of this year's ride:

Day 1 - Sioux Center to Cherokee - 54.4 miles
A welcome change from last year's helly, er... HILLY first day, Day 1 is short and flat.  We always try to set up our first Dawghouse in the very first town out, but there are no taverns to be found in dry Orange City!  But you won't have to go far for your first HOTD Bloody Mary:

Tag's - 202 10th St. in Alton
A brand new bar, opened recently by Tag & Joanie Mousel.  Joanie is the daughter of former RAGBRAI director Jim Green, so they are well familiar with and prepared for the onslaught of bikers!  With 8,000 square feet inside and a large beer garden outside, there will be plenty of room for thirsty riders.  HOTD Bloody Marys will be readily available, as well as tavern sandwiches and pulled pork to get a good base for the day!

The Dugout Lounge - 532 Main St. in Granville
While scouting the route, we stopped in to find the Dugout FULL of locals, feasting on hearty Iowa food.  Meat lovers can fill up on Ribeye, Brats or Grilled Pork Loin, while enjoying a 16 oz. Hair of the Dawg Bloody Mary!  Our favorite RAGBRAI D.J., Dave Gallagher, will be cranking the tunes here!

Jobie's Pastime Lounge - 114 S 4th St. in Cherokee
We're always flattered to walk into a bar to find that they already serve Hair of the Dawg, and this is a great spot to sample Hair of the Dawg.  Our Bloody Marys, Margaritas and Strawberry Margaritas are the special of the day, as well as $2.50 beers and wines from Oliver Wine Company.  And riders won't have to stray far to enjoy the evening's entertainment... the stage is right out the back door!

Day 2 - Cherokee to Lake View - 62 miles
Another flat, fairly short day, with a lake at the end for a refreshing dip!  Lake View should be a fun stop, with all of the activity happening close to the lake.  Stops on Day 2 include:

Jake's Sports Lounge - 208 Main St. in Aurelia
Located in an old grocery store, Jake's has plenty of room for riders to come in out of the heat, and an outdoor bar if you'd rather acclimate to the heat!  Fill up while you're there on Breakfast Burritos, Bloody Marys (of course), Vodka Lemonades and Mimosas!  Riders note... LAST CALL FOR ALCOHOL... at least until Schaller, which is a long 25 miles away!

Lobos - 116 W 2nd St in Schaller
One of the more memorable stops on our "Scout the Route" outing, we were heckled (in a good way) and entertained by some of the local yokels.  A sign of a good townie bar.  Steak Sandwiches and Biscuits & Gravy are on the menu for the day, and HOTD Bloody Marys.

Viking Bay - 112 N 5th St in Sac City
You may be dying to get to the World's Largest Popcorn Ball in Sac City, but be sure to stop by Viking Bay first for a round of Bags or Tippy Cup, and to dance to some more Gallagher music!  HOTD Bloody Marys and Margaritas and BV-Cokes are on special.  And we would be remiss to not mention that this was one of the friendliest places we've ever been in!  Proprietor Paulene reminded us of our dear friend and Sag Queen Barb, featured in our RAGBRAI 2010 Dawg Blawg!

Glacier Bay - 111 Boulder Drive in Lake View
In the heart of the RAGBRAI action, Glacier Bay is the only lakeside restaurant in Lake View, so stop by for food, drinks and live entertainment by Key Lime Special from Rochester, MN.  Serving burgers and brats from 11:00 AM to 4:00 p.m., supper buffet (chicken kabobs, roast and shrimp pasta plus sides) starting at 4:00 p.m. and breakfast (biscuits & gravy, bacon, egg & cheese hoagie, fruit, juice and coffee) from 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.  

Day 3 - Lake View to Webster City - 81.2 miles
The first of 3 long days in a row, and the Karras Loop day, riders will want to pace themselves and make frequent stops to break from the heat.  We've encouraged our Dawghouses to provide plenty of shade, fans and AC, so hopefully they will take heed.  Only 2 Dawghouses on Day 3, to encourage riders to not linger TOO long:

Glacier Bay (again) in Lake View
will be serving up breakfast and Bloody Marys from 4:00 to 11:00 a.m.!

Dolly's - 109 Pine St. in Auburn
All you can eat breakfast buffet (think Biscuits & Gravy, French Toast Sticks, Pancakes and sides, as well as Gatorade and Energy Drinks) will fuel you for the day.  A dose of AC and a Bloody Mary will prepare you for the day.

Day 4 - Webster City to Marshalltown - 77.1 miles
This day is close to my heart, passing near or through the hallowed grounds of South Hamilton (Stanhope, Jewell and Ellsworth) where I was born and raised.  On this trip down memory lane, we will be stopping by:

Pickles Pub - 425 Main St. in Kamrar
Go big or go home.  Pickles Pub is prepped to make a big impression.  They are known best for the best pizza EVER, and will be serving them up, breakfast style, on Wednesday morning.  They are going down in Hair of the Dawg history as the most generous portion ever, serving up 24-ounce Bloody Marys!

Axis Lanes - 712 Main St. in Jewell
Previously owned by one of my classmate/friend's parents, I spent many a day here in my childhood.  Prior to that (60's) it was owned by Ray Burkhart's parents.  Ray moved back from LA and lovingly restored the Alley in 2007, where he and his band, the "Surfinks" perform regularly.  Be sure to stop by for a look at this Iowa landmark, and enjoy a HOTD Bloody Mary or Margarita while you're there!

Day 5 - Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids -  84.8 miles
Cedar Rapids is hosting its big debut after the devastating floods of 2008, ironically, in one of the worst drought years since the 50s.  Riders will have 4 opportunites to break at a Dawghouse on this long day:

Garwin Bull - 603 3rd St. in Garwin
Is it a saloon?  An English Pub?  Maybe a little of both...owner Sandy's accent gives away her British heritage, right in the heart of Iowa. Riders can easily manage their Bloody Mary in one hand while snacking on a portable breakfast burrito or sandwich pack.

Czech Point - 319 Main St. in Clutier
Representing the heritage of the surrounding communities, the Czech Point Restaurant and Pub will be serving Kolaches, Bohemie Tacos, and Tea Rings, as well as Ham & Turkey Sandwiches and Mini Subs.  HOTD Bloody Marys will be served to thirsty riders!

Hitchin' Post - 200 N. Sycamore in Garrison
Another meat lovers' stop, the Hitchin' Post will serve Bloody Marys and Margaritas to wash down the Pork Loins, Ribeye Sandwiches and BBQ they'll be dishing out.  Top it off with a little Ice Cream and jam to some Gallagher tunes before hitting the road again.

Parlor City - 1125 3rd St. SE in Cedar Rapids
Located in the heart of the New Bohemia District, stop in to enjoy the outdoor patio, bicycle fix-it station, craft beer selection and historical Cedar Rapids memorabilia this locally owned restaurant has to offer.  A long time Hair of the Dawg supporter, Parlor City will be serving up some Margaritas to cool riders down on this last long day.  

Day 6 - Cedar Rapids to Anamosa - 42.2 miles
Finally, a break on distance, but not on hills!  But as seasoned riders know, Day 6 is often the last hurrah on our long trek to the Mississippi.  Be sure to stop in at one of these 4 Dawghouses that day:

Rut Bar & Grill - 6913 Mt. Vernon Road in Cedar Rapids
Who says you have to ride a long distance to earn your first Bloody Mary of the day?  Savor one while perusing the Trophy Room at the Rut Bar & Grill before bidding goodbye to Cedar Rapids!

Scorz Bar - 109 1st St NW in Mount Vernon
17 miles in, we're almost halfway through the day already!  So might as well linger a while at Scorz.  As of this writing, we haven't learned of their specials yet, but will update as soon as we hear.  But rest assured you can get a HOTD Bloody there!

Shelly's - 263 Broadway St. in Springville
A farm girl raise in the area, Shelly knows good food!  She will have an outdoor bar featuring the music of Dave Gallagher, in addition to a ton of space inside!  Pork & chicken skewers, soft tacos and $1 cookies are on the menu for the day, along with HOTD Bloodys and Margaritas.

Knuckleheads - 205 W Main St. in Anamosa
It's Thanksgiving in July!  Knuckleheads will have Turkey Dressing on the menu, and Hair of the Dawg Bloody Marys and Margaritas.

Day 7 - Anamosa to Clinton - 69.4 miles
It brings a tear to my eye every year.  One part relief, one part pride, and many parts sadness that this famous biking event, unlike any ride, anywhere, is drawing to a close.  Knowing that riders are rushed to meet their rides in the end town, we have only one Dawghouse planned for the last day, so be sure to go to Hale!

Hale Tap & Supper Club - 5522 County Rd E45 in Hale
Cinnamon Rolls, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy and Fruit Cup will fill your bellies for the last day, and one last HOTD Bloody Mary will taste OH, so good!

Enjoy your week on 2 wheels.  While we encourage you to have a little Hair of the Dawg every day, we encourage you to be safe and responsible.  The forecast is nearing the danger zone, so please hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!  See you on the road!  

Leslie & Mark
the "Dawgs"

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