RAGBRAI 2004 - Day Two - Monday, July 26
70.5 miles - Lake View to Fort Dodge - 757 feet of climb
Day two started out with perfect weather again, on the flattest land you can imagine. The first stretch to the meeting town was over 30 miles, and Steve, Jeff, and I covered it in just under two hours. We were flying. This was taken during a brief stop in the cornfield. The gangs of riders tended to be densest in the morning, like these, and thin out as the day went on.
Cruising into the first town of Rockwell City. Notice how long the shadows are; we were in town by 9:15.
This small section of one corner will give you an idea of just how many bikers converged on each town. Of course, this brought out every possible charity organization for a fundraiser - churches, Lions Clubs, softball teams, scouts, cheerleaders, Rotary Clubs, you name it - they were all selling food. I think you could eat yourself stupid on this trip without even trying.
This is the inside of our bus. King's in the back left. Notice the marker all over the ceiling, too - every year, everyone who comes signs the roof of the bus. It was fun to read some of the things from years past, and to finally sign my own on the last day.
Jeff wanted sunscreen on his back. Unfortunately, he forgot to say not the whole damn tube. Oh, and notice the ear of corn in King's pocket, too - that was his birthday present from Steve, Jeff, and me. We picked it up during a restroom break. Happy birthday King!
The next town of Knierim. For a relatively small town this one was pretty nice, with a huge park, all kinds of food and non-food vendors, music, and a whole ton of riders.
Knierim even had Channel 8 news hanging around, getting a story. We missed being on TV by about three minutes.
The funny thing to me is that this town, complete with its nice park and engraved sign, is literally right across the street from a cornfield.
Entering the second-to-last town for the day, Barnum. A nice little shady community.
Barnum's downtown area was bustling, though - bars and music and vendors galore. A great place to stop for a little break.
Another view of hundreds of riders massing the food vendors.
Jeff thought he needed a picture of me, so he took this through a rare break in the stream of bikes going by.
And then, of course, there's just Jeff. If he had his way, this is what RAGBRAI would be.
A shot of the scenery inbetween Barnum and Fort Dodge. This was easily the flattest day, and combined with the great weather and our good spirits, made for a quick day too. We were in town by about 2:00.
This is a bear of a hill coming up into Fort Dodge. A whole bunch of people had to walk up this one.
Jeff, proud to finally reach Fort Dodge. The cruel part was that after this sign, they routed us around the outskirts of the city and brought us in from a completely different direction, totaling about eight miles from the point we saw this sign.
Once we were in town, we headed over to our friend Nick Ford's apartment. Nick used to be King's RA, and did us the favor of cooking us some awesome spaghetti and letting us shower and chill for awhile at his place.
King's roommate Plummer came up for the evening to see us, and of course we had to harass him too. Renae, who was also with Team Kum & Go, sits on the right.
King, Renae, and Jeff take some pictures that only a mother would be proud of.
Nick had a window that led out to the roof of his apartment building, so we hung out and threw rocks off the edge for awhile.
Oh yeah, then we locked Plummer in an empty bedroom with a bike. When we opened the door, he was doing laps. This is as close as Plummer will ever get to riding RAGBRAI, and he was so proud.
The house we stayed at in Fort Dodge was amazing - huge, with every possible amenity, and even a pool table in the finished basement. I got to enjoy it after my sunburn-induced nausea had passed for the night.
We finally got ourselves together enough to take a Team Kum & Go picture. I'm not going to try and name everyone, mostly because I still don't know everyone's names. The 'kids' are Jeff, King, and myself - in yellow, orange, and white in the back row; Kevin, Steve, and Renae in front of us in white, red, and light blue, and Erin in the front-right in gray.
On to day three -->