If you scroll up to the top and hover “Route and Maps” and then scroll down to 2012 Host Communities and click….you will see links to the web sites of last year’s overnights. Some are still live and you can see what was offered last year.
After I get my test set up, showered, and fed, I like to just do some walking around to help loosen up the legs from a hard days riding. Make sure to rehydrate (fluid of choice is any “non-domestic” brand of your choice which is never available at any of the RAGBRAI sanctioned events like a beer garden. Never pass up an opportunity to talk with any of the “locals” from the town you’re a guest in – they have been working for months in preparation for your overnight visit, and just a few moments of conversation can be the beginning of a lifetime of friendships. There are several people I’ve met over the years that I still keep in touch with via email and Christmas Cards, not to mention meeting with them during later years when we come through the same town again.
Think outside the box a little. Go swimming – most of the towns have community pools, and a swim is a great way to beat the heat. It also doubles as a shower (shower *before* you get in the pool). Walk around the downtown area and visit the stores and shops. Catch a movie (another great way to beat the hear). Go to a local restaurant – most people eat at the vendor stands so it’s often surprisingly easy to get a seat at a nice restaurant. Of course, many of the “inside the box” things like the church dinners, beer gardens, and concerts are fun also.
Eat, rest, nap, drink, swap stories, tell lies, visit the local museum, people watch, watch the night time street entertainment, shower, swim, take photos, try to see how many new team buses you can spot, visit RAGBRAI friends in other camps, swing on the playground swings, throw a frisbee, take in the towns architecture, visit the bike shop venders, talk to the politicians,try to find the coolest spot to rest while you charge your cell phone, etc, etc, etc………….never enough time to do it all!
and you might be surprised just how long some of those basic things take, find a place & put up your tent, go shower, go eat and you might have just spent 2 hours, unless you use the town shuttle, then it could be 3 But what everyong said, if you are looking to get out of the weather, a movie, the library where you may be able to recharge other batteries too, the pool if it’s hot, the mainstage entertainment or a local band in a smaller venue. there was a really good local band in a beer garden a couple blocks forn the downtown stage in one town a few years backwe thought better than the main one and a lot less crowded.
Once I arrived at the next overnight town, my usual routine was:
– find some shade, sit down and relax for a while (usually wrapping my head in a hand towel soaked in cold ice water. That REALLY gets the body temp back down after a hot day of riding.
– Get the luggage situation sorted out.
– A little more time with the cold towel on the head or swimming pool when available.
– some massage time (could usually catch 5-10 minutes of snooze here)
– find something to eat (high protein oriented) and more water
– second round of food (carb loaded and healthy)
– go have some beer, margarita, moonshine, what ever the choice was for good beverage
– almost always asleep before 9:30 (sorry, not a partier and my group was usually on the road between 6:30-7am)