**Note** I wrote this post last evening while in our tent, however I couldn’t finish it because I was falling asleep! Who knows what I would have typed if I didn’t give in to sleep! So, needless to say, it is delayed.
If someone would have told me last week that today we’d be biking in 60 degree weather most of the day, I would have not believed him or her. Not with the beginning of our ride being in the upper 90s. No way. But that’s exactly what we experienced. The sky was overcast, we had a nice breeze–and even a tailwind for some of our ride–and the temps were in the 60s and 70s. Unbelievable for the last week of July in Iowa… on RAGBRAI!
We only packed sheets and a light blanket for sleeping. Never did I think we’d need more than that this week. But each night, except for the first night when we sweltered in our tent, we’ve been chilly. We resorted to grabbing a moving blanket from the Penske truck that hauls our gear throughout the week. Yeah, you can imagine how un-snuggly those are, but they sure are warm!
We had long stretches of flat roads on today’s route… which I love. We can fly on that tandem on an open road. We were clocking 21 mph on some of those stretches! But we never take safety on our bike for granted. Each day we’ve seen an ambulance going to or from a bicycle accident. I understand two people have died on this year’s ride. Praying all riders remain safe!
We visited some fun towns today… Hedrick, Sigourney, West Chester, and the Wooden Wheel Vineyard. The Vineyard was sure a hopping place! After traveling 71 miles, we arrived in Washington.
After showering at the high school and setting up our tent, we biked downtown with another couple and enjoyed a great lunch at Cafe Dodici. If you ever find yourself in Washington, I highly recommend it! Absolutely delicious!
While downtown, I had my picture taken with one of our local news anchor men, Ron Steele. When my brother and I were years younger, we asked him for his autograph. That autograph is still around somewhere. Today, after telling him that story, I asked for a photo with him to send to my brother. He abliged. He was so kind! (This might be the cheesiest photo I’ve ever posed in. Ron had me laughing!)
Rain clouds were closing in as we made our way back to camp. We fully prepared to get soaked, but watching the weather radar on our phones, we could see the multi-colored storm clouds were unbelievably splitting and going around our location. Call it what you want, but I call it the very hand of God… who hears and answers our prayers!
We were blessed at our campsite tonight… our daughter, along with my best bud, Tina, and her family drove over an hour to surprise us with their presence! What a gift! We had a ball downtown, eating, talking, and enjoying the atmosphere and each other’s company. It was a memorable evening, for sure!
I am dozing off as I type this out on my phone, and I pray what I’m writing makes sense. My body is tired. My brain is tired. My seat is especially tired. We have 49.5 miles ahead of us tomorrow before we dip our front tire in the Mississippi in Muscatine. I’m ready to finish this ride strong!
Thanks for journeying with us this far. I’ll update again soon!