After a short nap, I’m at least coherent now after finishing today’s ride. Coherent, but most definitely tired. We’re currently on a charter bus making our way back home. The bus is full, yet pretty quiet. We’re all tired! 

We woke at 5am knowing we had monster hills to climb today, and after getting on the road a 6, we stopped at a side-of-the-road stand and enjoyed a breakfast of bananas, a shared muffin, and Starbucks coffee. Yay for the coffee!

Four hills literally took our breath away as we climbed them. They were a combination iof steep and length, and on a tandem, hills like these are more than a challenge. Our music helped not only us climb, but also the riders around us. I have to say, what a team we were today (and all week)! We peddled up each one without walking! 

(This was just the beginning of this hill.)

But, the views! Oh the views. They made the hills worth it, and today’s route was one of the most beautiful we’ve ever been on. It was a treat biking on the Great River Road… something we’d never try on our own because of the normal auto traffic. It was safe to do it on RAGBRAI.

So many emotions filled us as we coasted into Lansing at the end. Feelings of accomplishment, pride, and joy. Basking in the reality of how Bill and I together as a team completed 431 total miles in seven days from one side of the state of Iowa to the other. I couldn’t have done it without him, and he couldn’t have done it without me. That’s what makes tandem bicycling so sweet! 

We followed the RAGBRAI tradition of dipping our front tire in the Mississippi River in celebration of our finish. (You dip the back tire in the Missouri river at the beginning of the ride.) Then, celebrated with Beekman’s famous ice cream with friends after! 

Our hearts are full. We’re thankful for God’s protection, His provision, and His grace. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you!

I’ll write a wrap-up post in a day or two. We have a wedding reception/dance for some friends to attend when we arrive home tonight, but I believe we’ll sleep well in our own beds after! 

Thanks for journeying on RAGBRAI with us!

Blessings! 

Julie

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