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RAGBRAI 2004 - Day Four - Wednesday, July 28

62.2 miles - Iowa Falls to Marshalltown - 1,535 feet of climb

The first, and extremely crowded, town of Ackley. This is where we saw the Pella Cycling Team for the first and only time. And the Ackley Lion's Club had a heck of a pancake breakfast too.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
That's Jeff across the street in the "town" of Cleves. Again, three tents and a couple of houses comprise a town. It's quite something to see just how small 'small-town Iowa' can be.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Steamboat rock was bustling, though. This town actually had some stuff in it, and they advertised a nearby lake as a mid-day break. We didn't go check it out, but I'm sure it was a draw for this particular town.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Nearby was this very cool lake. It was a gorgeous day, and a very nice lake to stop at for a quick couple of pictures.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Watching dozens of riders come down the hill across the lake was quite a sight also.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
This is the very nice, though rather hilly, town of Eldora. About halfway through the day, this was a good spot to stop for a water break.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Another in-the-saddle shot of a town. This is Gifford, and since we were going pretty strong, we decided not to stop.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
The meeting town of Union. This was a pretty bustling town, though everyone was pretty tired by the time they got in, since it was well over half the day's mileage. And although it says on the map that we were going to pass through Bangor, there was some construction that forced us around the town. That same construction forced us onto about five miles of a hard-packed dirt-slash-gravel, which I thought was the best part of the day.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Why was that gravel section the best part? Because the day was about fifty miles south and ten miles east ... directly into a 15-20 mph south wind - and there was no wind on the gravel; it was too shielded by trees. For whatever reason, I cannot deal with headwinds. I hate them. They eat me alive. I can deal with hills, flats, cracks, potholes, gravel, dirt ... anything but headwinds. Everyone has a hell day; mine was Wednesday. It just pisses me off when I'm pedaling as hard as I can, in 3-3, down a hill, and I'm still slowing down. Quite honestly, this day was just no fun at all.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
Marshalltown's welcome banner for us. Unfortunately, somebody took the single biggest hill in central Iowa and built Marshalltown on it.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
This is our campsite for the evening, and the best picture I got of the bus. The bus is possibly the coolest thing ever: points to note include the shower on the back that's piped from a water tank on the roof, the spiral staircase, and the dozens of bike racks on the roof. A lot of times in meeting towns or at night, we would just chill on top of the bus. Very cool.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004
And a very awesome thing: after work Wednesday night, (left to right) Lisa, Janet, and Marie came up to visit! We chilled out downtown for awhile before they had to leave to go back to their 8-to-5 jobs (suckers!). By far the most attractive part of this picture is the tan line I have on my ankle. I think that tan line will be there for a couple months yet.
Photo of RAGBRAI 2004

On to day five -->

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