RAGBRAI XLIV Countdown – July 24-30, 2016
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Water fight proves to be ‘barrel’ of fun for two riders



Some RAGBRAI riders got a little soggy in Monroe. But it wasn’t from rain. It was from spraying fire hoses.

Two teams of two or three people used fire hoses to spray a barrel hanging from a hanging wire. The teams tried to push the barrel toward their opponents.

“It’s a challenge to hit that barrel,” said Dwight Neff of the Monroe Fire Department. “It’s not easy to do.”

The hoses were set to spray at 90 pounds of pressure, Neff said. Normally, these hoses are set to 130 pounds.

“We don’t want anybody getting hurt,” Neff said.

Kristen Nordaker and Melissa De Ruiter, both of Des Moines, competed against one another. Their partners were firefighters.

“The firemen were great. They were hilarious,” Nordaker said.

De Ruiter ended up the winner, even when she couldn’t see the barrel.

“The guy behind me just kept telling me where to put the hose, so that was helpful because I couldn’t see anything,” De Ruiter said.

The two women had never sprayed a fire hose before, they said. Nordaker explained how that is exactly what RAGBRAI is about.

“I think we’re just on RAGBRAI and I want to do all the things we don’t normally do in Des Moines or any other time of the year,” Nordaker said.

“It’s just kind of fun to get out of the box and try random, hilariously different things.”

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