My experience of 2018's Karras Loop

I started at 7:15, walked through Reasnor, didn’t stop by Sully or Lynnville and figured I’d stop there after the loop. Also I liked to have breakfast in New Sharon because I think it should get a few bucks from me while it might not see as many riders as towns on the main route.

But I was a little disappointed at New Sharon — not because I didn’t get the patch. I had all three from last three years and they are just sitting in a drawer somewhere back at home. I saw Mr. Karras and his leaving in a golf cart. The food items were too limited. I ended only had a cinnamon bun and a gatorade.

My hope in the next stop, Peoria was totally busted. There wasn’t anything there. I kind of felt down on energy and hydration and took one of the gel I kept in my back pocket. But the stop by unpublished Co-Line factory is a happy surprise. The workers set up free water stop and bathroom there, gave us friendly introduction of the products and operations. I also rode down to their beautiful lake side and sat a while by their metal palm tree beach.

Back into Sully, somehow the route didn’t lead me onto where the vendors were but the exit of the town. I was too lazy to go back. Now I was so overwhelmed by my hungry. I rode as fast as I could to Mr. Pork Chops and finished a chop very fast and then the first Iowa Craft Beer tent. I knew where they were from the first pass. With a big pork chop and a cold beer in my stomach, I was then a happier rider.

After the loop with a short meet with my group and team bus and Montzuma and the stop at the second Iowa Craft Beer tent, I finished the century day in a good mood. By the way, the total distance of the day is 113 miles for me because the host families at Newton and Sigourney are both outside of the towns.

5 Replies

Randall Murphy, August 7, 2018 at 7:49 am

Niles, can you say more about the County Line factory? The grounds were beautiful! If it is intended to be for employee recreational use that would be a strong indicator of a great place to work. I visualized sitting down at the water’s edge and it was a pleasant thought but I ride slow so I needed to push on. I still wonder what the story is there though.

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Niles, August 7, 2018 at 9:29 am

See the only palm trees in Iowa through the link below:

Co-Line Palm Trees

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Ryan Weidemann, August 7, 2018 at 11:46 am

Just a subtle rebuttal about Peoria. On the south side of town, west side of the road, there was a very friendly girl and her mom that had set up a roadside stand with snacks and drinks. Hands down, had the best snacks I found on the entirety of RAGBRAI. Homemade trail mix with everything imaginable, homemade cookies, bars, and the works. Maybe they weren’t set up when you went by, very possible, but they made my day. We just beat the State Patrol to the Mr. Pork Chop and the beer, glad we did!

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tacook, August 12, 2018 at 10:55 am

Agree about the Co-Line factory. A great break from the headed winds. Very much appreciate their efforts when they didn’t have to do anything

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jeffreydennis, August 20, 2018 at 7:18 pm

That factory was a Godsend

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