RAGBRAI 2012 – Day 4

A 77 mile trip from Webster City to Marshalltown. About 1/2 south and 1/2 east. A little shorter than the day before but 300 more feet of climb. The winds were strong from the SSW so we had headwinds half the time and glancing tailwind half the time. Temps forecast to still hover around 100. I hit the road at 5:01.

The pass through towns were stacked on top of each other. At one point they were coming 6.7, 4.3, 6.0, 6.0, 4.6, 8.2 and 2.6 miles apart. Lots of opportunities to “eat before hungry, drink before thirsty, rest before tired.”  And I did. I took it very easy. I found a patch of shade outside of Clemons and I sat there for at least a 1/2 hour watching the bikes go by. It’s fascinating watching the bikes go by. I can see why the locals do it. We are a sight!

I played passing tag with this guy most of the day. 

He is on a unicycle. A very big wheel unicycle. He passed me going up hills and I passed him going down. He always had to hold back on the speed going down. It was something just watching him ride some of the day.

Then there were these guys. Arm power. Their arms were bigger than my legs. The passed me like I was standing still. Grabbed my camera and grabbed a shot before they were gone.

On this fourth day of blistering heat I have to take time to honor the Iowa State Patrol and their support of RAGBRAI. This was now the fourth day in a row in 100 degree heat those officers stood their positions and helped direct traffic. At every major intersection and most intermediate sections the Iowa State Patrol was there to help us along. The same ones move along day by day with us assuming new posts each day. Always smiling. Always smiling.

This is not to forget the many local officers and volunteers who did the same in pass through and overnight towns. My helmet goes off to you all!

To finish the day the citizens of Marshalltown gave us a very warm welcome. A welcome that really impressed me. They were out in droves to meet us. Block after block of locals. There were more lawn hoses out to cool us off than we needed. The waves and hellos were unbelievable.

There were reports of possible rain tonight? Weather changing rain? A cooling rain that might change wind direction?

At 8:45 a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Marshall County, Iowa. Lighting and high winds could come with the storm. Bruce and I grabbed our valuables from the tents and headed for the truck. The storm came. The winds came. Many tents went down. No serious injuries but a few good stories to tell.

I got to bed about 11:30. That’s late for me.

Bruce grabbed his flashlight an went looking to see if anyone needed help.

One more long day to go…

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