Unbelievable! I loved it!!! Tired now, details to come.
Ok, so here is the wrap up:
RAGBRAI must be what heaven is like! It was amazing!!! I absolutely loved it!
After going to bed in our tents around midnight or 1am we got up around 6am. The tents were covered with a heavy layer of dew. Otherwise it was a great morning. We packed up quick, locked everything in Patches car and rode 2 blocks to Burger King for breakfast. Riders were leaving town at a steady pace. It was a constant line of bikers 3 or 4 across for hours and hours.
Depending on who you ask there are anywhere from 10,000 - 20,000 bikers on RAGBRAI. Most do the whole week, but we only signed up for the first day (Sunday) so we wouldn't have to miss any work. There were 5 of us from Lincoln that went together, and none of us had done RAGBRAI before.
After breakfast we took off, Patches and I lost the others pretty much right away, that was fine, we kinda knew that would happen anyway, and to try to stay together would have been too hard.
We had to climb out of the Missouri River valley as soon as we left Sioux City. And we had more tough hills throughout the day. It was the hardest day as far as climbing during this years RAGBRAI. I've never, and I repeat never rode on hills so bad. But, they didn't seem that tough. I think it was because you are so distracted talking to other bikers and gawking at everyone that you don't even notice. If I'd have been riding those same roads alone I would have had time to think about how much I was suffering. Going down one long hill, I didn't pedal ONCE and hit 41.2 mph! That's the fastest I've ever gone on a bike.
It was amazing how great everyone was, the food was unbelievable and there were ample opportunities to stop and refuel and mess around. We didn't try to ride too hard and just enjoyed ourselves. There was lots to see and do. If we're facebook friends check out my pictures to get a better idea what it was like. We ended in Storm Lake where my pick-up was parked at 2:30 and the others rolled in at 3:30. We then drove back to Sioux City for Patches car and returned to Lincoln that evening.
RAGBRAI is the most fun I've ever had on a bike! It's truly something you need to try someday. I rode 67.2 miles.