Welcome to our blog

Glad you chose to visit our blog that documents our trail as we bicycle from the Niagara Falls area to the east side of Iowa, then join up with 10K bikers for RAGBRAI. We are following the northern tier route from Adventure Cycling Association. We have 2 vehicles (40ft RV and a Jeep). The normal days ride involves the logistics of driving one vehicle approx. 50 miles west, hopping on our bikes (pulling a trailer with our dog Zin), riding back East to the other vehicle. This way we get to ride together, take advantage of the prevailing westerly winds and stay in the comfort of our RV. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 7 Anamosa to Clinton (70 miles)

It is hard to believe this was the the final day of RAGBRAI and Kevin and Theresa's Falls2Fields epic ride! As usual it was up early to assemble biking and prep the RV which has become a routine that everyone knows by rote. Joe and Theresa were off by 6am to face what seemed to be a race to the end. Teams of cyclists, youngsters on hand-me-down mountain bikes as well as folks jamming to 60's tunes all streamed by like we were standing still. Did we miss the memo? The temps were cool, some bikers even dawned jackets! Wind was minimal. A perfect biking day. 

 The day had 4 climbs (according to Joe, Theresa counted 6) and a long downhill into the tire dipping site. The first hill was immediate. Joe was leading then Theresa ground past in the crowd without Joe noticing. Theresa slowed at the top waiting to see Joe. Joe stopped and waited for Theresa, then figured he must have missed her and preceded on the road to Hale (the first town). Theresa figured she would stop at the edge of town and look for Joe then make a call if she could. (ATT reception is very poor in the rural midwest.) As soon as she stopped and looked back... there was Joe! 
Reunited the biking buddies fueled on grilled pork sandwich and pie for b-fast! The next stop was Lost Nation and was the meet up town. Bikes had taken over the gas station and the lines for the portapotties stretched around a building. There was no need to intake any additional fuel so on to the next town. With over 40 miles done Theresa was looking for some fuel in Delmar. Last chance for Corn on the cob and more pork! 

As we exited the town they were enticed with a sign for Brats in 9 miles! That is just what they were wanting today, in addition, Joe had gotten a message from Kevin that he left at 9 with Zin in tow so that may be the place we meet him. 

 They cleared hill 3 when they arrived into Charlotte and Brats! Joe called Kevin (Theresa still had no service) and he was just 2 miles out. All feasted on Brats and drank soda while folks passed by to give Zin some love. The ride into Clinton had the last of the climbs in several chunks. 

Zin entertained the cyclist as well as spectators as she was the only dog in a trailer that we knew of on the route. We were greeted like champions as we entered Clinton, as folks cheered and congratulated us as we rolled to the Mississippi river to do the ceremonial dip of the tire. Pictures were taken quickly as the crowds of cyclist captured the moments.   
After the dipping photo op we rode the course backwards until we were able to branch off and head to the Walmart where the RV was parked. Kevin pulled Zin 46 miles and felt like he could just keep biking. Theresa and Joe clocked 75 glorious miles to conclude their journey across Iowa! What a great way to spend Theresa's b-day!

We showered and returned to Moline, IL where Joe picked up his car and started his long trip back to NC. Theresa and Kevin will head on to a family reunion just outside of Chicago for a family reunion next weekend and then head back to NC. This has been a trip of a lifetime and lots of lessons learned for future trips.  

We thank you for reading about our adventures and hope you have enjoyed the fun!  Stay tuned for what ever we come up with next!

Friday, July 27, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 6 Cedar Rapids to Anamosa (42 miles)

Joe was looking forward to a easy recovery day but Theresa had studied the elevation and direction for the day and knew that there would be lots of climbing. Kevin was feeling much better (after being fueled by a Double cheeseburger the night before) and looking forward to trying to get in some miles. 


Off by 6:45 Joe and Theresa headed for “breakfast on the bridge” only a few miles down the road in Czech Village. The vendors were all lined up on one side of the bridge while the rest of the space was bikers flowing across the bridge. The town was very cute and had a grey haired Accordion orchestra playing in a small gazebo. Joe and Theresa chowed down on breakfast burritos that weighed about 2lbs and was about the size of a water bottle. They sat on a bench and looked out at the river and the many bridges that crossed it as they enjoyed the monster meal. 

 It was now time to face the days hill challenges. Once clear of bridge and the clumps of cyclists warming up after the initial stop, Joe declares, “Here we go” and accelerates to gain some momentum to pick up the pace a bit. Theresa reluctantly responds as she has learned over the past days that this is Joe's signal to get going, enough of this slowness, let's go! The first climb was all that was promised 5-6% climb of about 1 mile. Theresa only does well on 2-3% climbs as those she can keep a bit of a spin going, anything over 3 she bogs down, puts it in granny and grinds it out oh so slowly. Joe was a good biking buddy and waited at the top of this and every climb today. 

After 14 miles of hills and a tail wind we rolled into Mt. Vernon home of Cornell College. This was a vibrant town with lots of trees and old well kept scholl buildings that looked more Ivy league than midwest. It was offically “College Spirit Day” as declared by RAGBRAI so there were representatives from several Iowa Colleges there handing out wristbands and other school color paraphernalia. U of I, Drake, Upper Iowa, UNI were all there. Theresa made sure she got a wristband from her alma mater Iowa State. They sat in some shade on a side street and enjoyed the fall like temps and a beverage. The last stop would be Springville which was 10 miles straight north. The hills continued and now were accompanied by a 10 mph head wind. Theresa tucked in behind Joe as often as she could to help maintain some speed but was lost on any >3% climb. Just as we were entering the town we heard “Rider Up” being shouted in front of us. Theresa looked up and was surprised to see it was Kevin! She yelled and he acknowledged and found a safe spot to turn around. 
They were all ready for a stop, especially Kevin who had not eaten yet and needed some fuel. He found a grill where we all could sit down and enjoy a brief rest while Kevin powered down a pork loin sandwich plate. Kevin was indeed feeling much better as he powered up each hill with very little effort. Theresa and Joe were feeling yesterdays long days and todays hills. The legs just did not respond! Fortunately the route turned back east to give us a slight tail-side wind that at least made for nice coasting down each decent. 

Kevin had secured one of the first spots at the Anamosa Walmart for the RV. He had all the windows open as temps were quite pleasant and a nice breeze was blowing. By the time we climbed into the parking lot every open area of the large lot was filled with RVs, busses (including the Cutters) or cars. Walmart knows that allowing camping will bring in the business and this day should set some record sales for this store! We all got beverages, sandwiches and took fast showers in the RV and napped a bit! That was great!

The plan for tonight it to do some shopping at Walmart and explore what is going on in Anamosa, known for the State Prison and the National Motorcycle Museum.

It is hard to believe tomorrow is the last day of RAGBRAI. Normally this is a short milage day, however a 70 mile route is in store to Clinton.  

We were blessed to have a visit from Randy and Trish Roe who live in Cedar Rapids and are old Niegbors-friends from way way back.  Kevin used to baby sit Randy if you can believe that!  We headed down to the Anamosa celebration did some wine tasting and a lot of reminicing.  Very nice!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 5 – Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids (84++ miles)

Sunrise after the storm

A thunderstorm during the late evening last night made for a relatively cool start for the cyclists. With a long and hilly day ahead Joe and Theresa were fueled and ready to go by 6:20am. Kevin did not plan on riding so he only had the logistics to navigate today (which have proven to be quite a challenge as he arrives into the next town). With an estimated elevation of 3500 feet of climbing the hills started right away. Joe began to estimate each climb and Theresa started to count it down. 
Band playing in Garwin

The first town of Garwin had a band playing countryish music and several stands. The 2nd breakfast was sugar laden to power up the next set of hills. The hills were not steep as each was 2-3 tiers and totaled maybe 100 feet of elevation to subtract of the total for the day. A long 17 mile stretch to the next town was made easier by NE winds that made it a bit easier to crest the top of each rise. Clutier was a disappointment as it had very little on the main path of the route and cyclist had to descend into town then climb back out to get back on the path. Joe and Theresa sat filled their water bottles and sat in the shade for a bit. Theresa called Kevin to check in and got the skinny on where the RV was at the end.
Bikes in all directions

The next town was another long 17 miles to Garrison that included a northern segment with deja vu from yesterday. Signs for steak sandwiches were posted 5 miles out of town to entice the riders. It worked as Theresa was determined that is the lunch choice for her today. She was pleasantly surprised to find there was no line and the sandwich was tasty. Relived that the next town was only a 10 mile gap, Joe and Theresa set out to conquer more hills! 
Hills, hills and more hills
Vinton was the meet up town and was crowded with vendors and bikes. St Mary's advertised a float that sounded good to Theresa. She was surprised to find that it was just $1 and delicious, but she did need a Dt coke to follow it. One more 11 mile segment into Shellsburg where Joe could not resist a park sandwich and corn on the cob plate. Theresa got ice and water in her bottle and was set. More climbs where left (Joe's countdown was at 800 ft remaining now) but it was all with strong tail winds. 

As they descended after a long climb there was a sign welcoming us to Cedar Rapids! Theresa's odometer was at 83 miles so she was thinking 5 more miles to the RV. The route wound around next to the Cedar river and seemed to go on forever! They finally hit downtown and saw all the pot a potties set up for the big party there. The signs for the Blue Camping (Rvs) continued on for another 3 miles until one last short steep climb to finish into the Sports complex where we located the TNR banner draped across the front of the Smitanic. Theresa's odometer registered over 90 miles, Joe's had 89.5. (Theresa's is optimistic!)
Cedar River

We will need to hop on a shuttle bus to get any dinner tonight. Tomorrow is a recovery ride of 42 miles. Temps look nice so we are really looking forward to a pleasant ride!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 4 Webster City to Marshalltown (77+ miles)

Another 5am wakeup call in the Smitanic. Joe and Theresa fueled up for the first 10 miles with some cereal and Kevin was busy prepping the RV for it's departure. All were ready and off around 6am. The first town was almost 12 miles away and mostly south. Just as yesterday the initial roads where crowded with cyclist so it was hard to get into a cruising rhythm. Hints of the predicted southerly winds made progress slower than previous days. Theresa was feeling a bit oozy from all the previous intense days so she thought she should get something to eat at the first stop. After she and Joe consumed their 2nd breakfast they were off to the town on Jewell. 

Band playing in Jewell
Theresa wandered up and down the main street as a band played, looking at all the vendors trying to decide what she needed as she was feeling quite light headed. Sugar was the answer! Chocolate Chip cookie and lemonade would provide what she needed. The southerly winds were picking up and starting to push a bit from he West as well. The route unfortunately continued south against the wind. Theresa tucked in behind Joe's back wheel and was able to survive until Story City. 

The town opened the local park to all the bikers including rides on an antique Carousel. Joe hopped on a horse and Theresa took picks. Theresa was now looking for protein. She found a place with a Brisket sandwich that looked very appetizing. Joe failed at his search for a braught and ended up with 2 sandwich substitutions instead. Refueled it was hard to believe they were not even half way done with the ride. The route turned directly east which gave some relief from the headwinds but absolutely no relief from the heat! The next stop was McCallsburg which boasted to have the oldest living Mayor, and he was present and available for photos. Theresa was in need of a diet coke with lots of ice and Joe found water. They sat in the shade for a while just to get out of the heat. 

Hills in the distance
Heat, headwinds next add hills! The gentle rolling fields became larger mounds and soon turned into full fledged granny gear hills. One after the other sent pain up Theresa's back and she had to stop every 8-10 miles. Kevin had called and relayed that the RV was all set up in a campgrounds with FULL hook up! That is rare on RAGBRAI and we were quite happy, especially Joe who informed Theresa that he would be the last one to take a shower because he wanted to stay in there for a long time! Rolling into the next town looking for Kevin, Joe and Theresa found some shade and a hose that was used to drench their heads to cool off after all that climbing. Theresa called Kevin just to see where he was. He had made it about 18 miles out (after a 10 am start) from the finish and had waited 30 min but could no longer hang in the heat so he started his return. Joe and Theresa had not made very swift progress today so they were not able to meet up with Kevin. With a greuling 20 miles left, Joe and Theresa skipped the last town and decided to find a farmers yard to stop in somewhere around the 10 miles left mark. The hills continued and Theresa's back once again felt every crack in the road. 

Cyclist cooling off with the hose
One more stop at a farm house that had folks hosing down and filling water bottles and some shade! Theresa overheard one person comment that their bicycle thermometer registered 125. Earlier Joe estimated air temp at 98 and Theresa countered with 105.

Next stop Marshalltown. The locals lined the streets watching under shade trees. Several had hoses and sprinklers set up as we challenged them to soak us. We finally arrived around 2:30pm exhausted, miserable and ready to sit in AC for a bit.

Kevin recuperating 
It was then that Kevin informed us he was stopped by the EMS on his way into Marshalltown. Evidently he came up to a stop sign looking for some shade and they saw him and immediately applied ice to all extremities to get him cooled down. He recovered just enough ot make it the rest of the way in just minutes before Joe & Theresa arrived. Kevin proclaimed this was his last day of riding as he needs some recovery days... We will see if that happens!

Let's have a party!
After everyone got showers (Joe took his last) we all set out to get the shuttle to town for dinner at 4pm. Earlier is better to beat the crowds and get food before the town runs out! We settled on a grill that had a pasta choice and AC. We ate what we wanted and took the remainder in go boxes. After dinner we strolled thru the square where one of the warm up bands were playing. On display was a giant Red Solo cup with a sprinkler spraying water out the top. Marshalltown had picked solo cups as the theme for the town. The only reason we could come up with it that they were having a big party (just like the song).

Tomorrow is the longest planned day of RAGBRAI 84.8 miles so in actual miles that is more like 90. The temp is suppose to be slightly cooler in the 90 range rather than the 100+ temps.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 3 Lake View to Webster City (81+ miles)

Everyone must have decided to get an early start because the roads where already filled with cyclist anxious to beat todays forecasted heat. With the RV all set Kevin rolled out while Joe filled his water bottles. Theresa felt like she was forgetting something. Once she mounted the bike she knew immediately what it was, her gloves. Oh well can't do anything about that now. She figured she could pick up a pair from one of the bike shops that would be set up in one of the first towns. The temps were reasonable and the sun had just started to rise. 
Early start

Sunrise over RAGBRAI
The route today was mostly East with some North into the finish. Towns were plenty and spaced out in 7-11 increments with a 18 mile stretch at the end. Theresa saw Bike World was set up at the first town, so she stopped. Joe wanted to keep rolling as he was still planning on doing the 100+ route. Theresa was pleased to find womens large gloves but not that pleased to pay $30 for them as they seemed a bit tight. Oh well they well loosen up after she Sweats in them for 81 miles. The lines were ridiculously long at all the food venders as well as the porta-potties so she opted to just go to the next town 7 miles away. Now solo she plotted along the route tucking in behind any one who seemed to be moving at a pace she could handle. Once in Lake City it was time for some breakfast. A local was saying how good a local restaurant's food was so Theresa went with that advice. That was a solid tip as Theresa got eggs, sausage, biscuit and tea for $5 (that is a great value for RAGBRAI). Completely fueled she figured she would be good until the mid-point. 
Biker Showers today were welcome 
The next town was the meeting town of Lohrville which had the route wind in thru the main part of town (including a Biker Wash) just so we could hit all the local vendors. Theresa stopped shortly to fill her bottle but then was rewarded for the trip thru town with a cold bottle of water on the way out. She chugged it in time to throw the empty to the collectors as she rejoined the main route. Back on the route the wind had picked up substantially from the Southeast about 10-20mph. Theresa once again looked for some draft relief, she actually felt good that she was strong enough to hook up and “mind the gap” in the draft line. She tucked in behind a guy in a yellow shirt that was going about 16mph (that was 3 more mph than she was doing solo). She held onto that all the way into the next town where they slowed enough for her to thank him for the pull. She found out he was from Raleigh and that this was his first RAGBRAI. 

Freshly picked sweet corn, Yum!
Gowrie had most of the vendors in the town park with a DJ encouraging cyclist to come up and tell where they were from. Theresa was going to pass on any food but could not resist an ear of sweet corn. Carbs will be good fuel. The wind was relentless, so once again she found a draft line that was barely making 13mph. The leaders could not maintain a steady pace and kept falling out of the front spent from fighting the wind. Theresa did take her turn at the lead and was able to hook on to another pace line that was moving slightly faster. Must have been a dozen or so folks in the peloton. The lead of the pack was a tandom. This is good she thought because they go slower up hills so maybe she can maintain... just then they went down a small hill and the tandom and the pack accelerated but Theresa did not mind the gap so got dropped big time! Good thing the town of Dayton was right around the corner and she was ready for a short stop thinking Kevin would be meeting her at the next town. She sat for a bit under a tree and ate a granola bar that had been in her back jersey pocket for several days (and who knows how long it had been in the cupboard before that). She reviewed the map and estimated 24 miles left, she can do this. Mounting her bike she rolled around the next corner and was flagged down by Kevin! With the early start and some blistering tail winds he made 28 miles to Dayton. Theresa was disappointed the end was more miles than she thought but not much you can do about that. Kevin had already indulged in a giant braught while he was waiting an allotted 45 min to see Theresa. She made it with 6 minutes to spare! Theresa got a hamburger to fuel the remaining miles, thankful for the company. Kevin filled her in on the remaining terrain as she tucked in slightly behind his back tire to find the optimal suction. There were 2 hills promised out side Lehigh (the next town). Theresa only had one more gear to go at the start of the hill so she just put it in 1st and crawled up the hill. Kevin of course powered up the hill effortlessly and waited for Theresa. Back on the flats, the wind was even stronger with gusts as we passed stands of trees or reached the top of a rise. The roads were also rutted and began to wear on Theresa's back (among other extremities). We stopped one last time before the end where the road turned north and with the wind. You could hear all the cyclists breath a collective sigh of relief as they all made the turn north. We were able to now shift into the big chain ring and pick up some speed. We rolled into town at about 2pm and meandered thru to the Fairgrounds. 
Welcome to Webster City
The RV was parked in the infield of the dirt race track, dust was flying and the Rvs were packed in like sardines. There are no vendors and the showers were quite far away, so we opted to use the RV facilities and pull some Chicken out to grill tonight. Joe made it in around 3:30 with is century patch in hand!

Tomorrow's weather looks more even worse than today with 100+ temps and winds of 15-25mph winds from the SW. We have a 77 route to Marshalltown that is mostly east with some South with lots of towns (thank goodness).

Monday, July 23, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 2 Cherokee to Lake View (62 miles)

Breakfast Burrito line.  Yes it was worth it.
Starting at sunrise.

As planned Joe and Theresa were ready to head out by 6:15 AM. Kevin had the RV all fired up and was heading for the Dump station that was conveniently in the Fairgrounds where we camped. The strategy for the day was to make as much progress as we could early in the day, do short stops but see whatever the towns had to offer. The towns were very evenly spaced today about 11 miles apart so this was perfect for rest stops and refueling. The first exit out of town was up a hill, but with the sun just rising and leftover rain from last nights showers it was a glorious view! The ride to the first town was rolling hills that let you coast downhill at about 22mph and then top the next rise at about 18mph. Signs along the way close to town advertised pancakes, sausage and breakfast burritos. By the time rolled into Aurelia hungry for b-fast. Theresa stood in line for the burrito while Joe opted for the the pancakes. After consuming every bite we headed out to see which carbo load would produce the most power.

Again the roads were gentle rises and falls that let Theresa take the lead for a bit to set the pace then Joe would power ahead and take his turn. Theresa thought this must be how the Thorns keep the pace line going and are able to do 20 mph averages. Perhaps when she returns she will be ready to try to stay with the Stems... but then again maybe not :) We passed by all shapes, sizes and styles of cyclist.  One guy was riding a unicycle and another was on roller blades.  Impressive!  
Lake View

The next 'town' was Hanover Village which was more of a crossing of two roads with a country store and a few houses. Never the less they had free water station, hamburgers, pancakes and other delights all set up for the bikers to consume. There was also a display of an old saw mill where they were saving the side off a large tree stump. Wanting to keep to the plan of short stops Joe and Theresa got water bottles filled, walked around for a bit, had a brief conversation with the locals, thanked them and then once again joined the continual flow of cyclists on the road. Heading south there was a bit more headwind so Theresa tucked in behind Joe to get the benefit of the vortex. By 10:30 we got to the halfway town of Schaller where the claimed of fame was “The Popcorn Capital of the World”. Free popcorn was handed out, however Joe really wanted some Sweet corn and Theresa went in search of a glass of Ice and DT Coke. Theresa did breakdown and had some of the free popcorn which quickly made her mouth even dryer so she washed it down with the soda. The short rest was up so off we rolled. The next town came up fast as they were clocking in the 20s on the flats when we came into Nemaha (population 85). The town folks where wearing and selling t-shirts with the Town slogan “The Mighty little town!” on the front and on the back said “Now get back on your bike and get the Hell of of town.... have a nice day!” Joe and Theresa following the orders filled water bottles and made their exit. Theresa quickly got back into Stem-training mode as we accelerated back to cruising speeds of around 18-20mph. 
Fueled TNR team!

As they rolled into the last town of Sac City Joe asked Theresa if she was ready for snack or lunch.  Theresa's stomach was growling so she responded LUNCH! Just as they were slowing down for their exit, there was Kevin on the side of the road flagging then down! Kevin had spent two hours just getting the RV out of the previous town, then had to drive 60 miles to todays end and find where to park the Smitanic. It was after 10 when he finally got to get biking on the route upstream.  He was on the verge of another bonk and eating a Porkloin sandwich with coleslaw and Coke. This looked might good to Theresa so she set off to line up for that vendor. She also needed ice so that was another vendor to get that. Joe thought the pulled pork was a good choice. The TNR contingent sat under the camouflage shade tent and powered down the much needed fuel. Joe and Theresa convinced Kevin to not go any further upstream and just return back to the town with them. He willingly agreed as it was really heating up. There were a few tough climbs out of town then gradual rollers the last 9.5 miles into Lake View. Theresa in full stem mode pushed up every hill with Kevin and Joe drafting behind. She was just ready to get into town and be out of the heat.  The last few hills did her in as she hit the proverbial wall and could no longer keep the Stem pace. Finally we arrived in Lake View whose slogan is “It's a life style”. 

The RV was parked at the HS away from the lifestyle of the lake and felt more like a desert than a Lake town. Kevin had the AC going to keep Zin comfortable so it was at least 20 degrees different than the near 100 degree temps outside. After relaxing and consuming some recovery beverages Theresa was off to the showers and Joe soon followed. Kevin still felt the heat of the day so he held down the fort in the RV. The showers where constructed on the outside of the school out of 2x4s and black plastic sheets. There was a line of about 18 individual coed showers with a line of about 20ish people who paid $5 for a scrachy towel and a 30 min wait in the sun for a cold shower. Theresa paid her $5 bucks and put the towel on her head to try to keep some of the sun form melting her. The shower was surprisingly refreshing but by the time you got back to the RV you were ready for a redo.

Theresa advised Kevin to just use the RV shower rather then standing 1 hour in the heat. So he did and it was good.

Right now we are tring to stay cool in the comfort of the Smitanic. Generator is working real hard to even get the temp to 80, but it sure beats the outside temp. Joe is napping in the recliner chair pretending to watch the News on TV. Kevin and Theresa are both working on their MacBooks to get this blog post out for anyone who cares to read it.

Tonight there is a Lasagna dinner in the HS so that is probably all we will muster the effort to get to. Tomorrow's ride is an 81 miles with a 23 mile extra loop to make a century for those who want to claim that accomplishment for the day. The prediction is for more 100+ temps. Joe wants to do the 100, however Theresa feels no need to stay out in the sun any longer than she needs to. We will try to make an even earlier start tomorrow so we can get into Webster City by 1 or 2pm.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 1 Sioux Center to Cherokee ( 54 miles)

Alarms went off at 5:45 and we all got moving right away. The RV was ready to go before 7AM and Joe and Theresa walked to the corner to wait for Carl and company. We left without breakfast nor coffee! After waiting for 15 min, Theresa called Carl to leave a message and then she and joe took off. We knew it would be a hot day so we were anxious to get going. Bikes were flowing in all directions out of town. Folks lined the street sitting in lawn chairs to cheer on the crowds. This was a big event for the small town of Sioux Center and the main event for the day, week and year no doubt. The stream of bikes could be seen topping every hill in the distance. Theresa was relieved to be riding her Classic Bock which is a good 20lbs lighter than the Green Machine. 

Joe is learning a new craft.
The first 10 miles clicked off effortlessly to Orange City which is famed for being of Dutch Heritage. Intrigued by a cobbler shaving wooden shoes, Joe and Theresa decided to stop and take in the town. 
Dutch Puppies are a sinful delight!
 As Joe was discussing the craftsmanship, Theresa heard someone calling her name. It was Janice Sitzes the 4th member of the TNR RAGBRAI team. We all chatted with a town ambassador who recommended the Dutch Puppies (a delightful pastry of waffle on a stick dipped in chocolate and topped with whipped cream). Joe quickly nick named it a gut bomb because he knew it would hit hard on our empty stomachs under the sun. Joe checked out a calliope that was playing in the town Square examining closely the inner workings of slotted folded cardboard that drove the music. This was a cute little town that brought all their floats and had folks dressed in Dutch outfits and wearing wooden shoes. And we thought we were hot! Yikes.

As far as you can see a stream of cyclists.
We once again joined the steady flow of cyclist on to the next eating frenzy. We passed on the next town which was only 4 miles from the last and continued on to Granville. We paused only long enough to get water and check in with Kevin. The reception on ATT was so bad Theresa could barely hear Kevin and vise-versa. She did pick up that the RV was parked at the Fairgrounds and that he was able to get 50 amp hook up! Woohoo! Lots of AC tonight! Kevin was biking upstream, with Zin in tow, on the route to meet us at the last town about 18 miles from the finish. His start was around 10pm so the heat of the day was already pressing. Joe and Theresa were only 14 miles away from the meet up town so they took their time as they now headed south into 10mph head winds into Marcus. Once in town, Joe and Theresa walked all the way to the other end of town knowing that would be a good advantage point to see Kevin. Ready for some lunch they got hamburgers, and found some soda as well that hit the spot. Finding a place in the shade, Theresa tried to call Kevin but it was just not going thru, so Joe called (he has Verizon) and got in touch with Kevin who estimated he was 5 miles out. When Kevin rolled in he looked like he was spent. Theresa fetched a soda and Pulled pork sandwich for him as he waited in the shade. He had not eaten at all that morning and was beginning to bonk so the sandwich started getting the feeling back to the limbs. Zin was watered and making friends with lots of bikers.
Zin's new best buddy!
Despite offers from both Joe and Theresa, Kevin insisted on continuing to pull the dog! We once again headed south into the winds with Joe and Theresa trying to set up a vortex draft for Kevin and Zin. It was hard to stay together with the crowds of cyclist all around us. Down hills the trailer acted as a parachute dragging Kevin further back and uphills the weight of the dog and trailer was like an anchor dragging on the sandy bottom of the lake. Finally at the top of a hill Joe and Theresa pulled off and extracted the trailer from Kevin's bike and hooked it up to Theresa's Bock. Kevin was spent. Joe stayed with him and Theresa got going with Zin in tow. We had turned East now and got a bit of a tail wind so the trailer became more of a sail. There was a big down hill into town followed by a short uphill which She sauntered right up anxious to reach the RV. The Fairgrounds where on the other side of town 1 mile from the main tents and all the vendors. One more hill up to the fairgrounds and she hunted down Smitanic. Quickly she got Zin inside with the AC and water. Just as she was unhooking the trailer Kevin and Joe pulled in, they were surprised that they did not catch Theresa (so was she). Beers were consumed and Kevin rested a bit still beat up by the heat of the day. Later it was off to cold showers then dinner at a grill across the street from the fairgrounds to carbo-load.

All agreed it would be an early bedtime as well as an early rise tomorrow for the planned 62 mile ride in 104 degree heat! Zin may sit this one out in the RV not sure if Kevin will join her!