I’ve done the last six. I had just over 4000 miles in before this year’s, which is way more pre-RAGBRAI miles than I’ve had on any of the others. I didn’t feel like the route was all that challenging. However, the heat variable made it more difficult.
I guess we’ve been lucky the last several years with the heat indices.
I agree that last year was way easier, and the weather was mild as well.