Loved this year, but like every past year I reflect back and wish I had smelled the roses a bit more. To be honest, I was out of shape this year…work, commitments, lack of discipline, etc. allowed me to put on more weight than I should have, and get in fewer training miles. All of this caused me to really dread the afternoons with the increased heat and headwinds, so I probably obsessed a bit about getting my miles in early, and I didn’t stop and smell the roses as much as I should have.
Missed this year due to “long-line-aphobia” were:
Beekmans, Mr. Pork Chop, and Farm Boys.
Also, I have always made a point to stop and chat with locals a bit, not necessarily in the pass-through towns, but mostly mom & pop sitting in their lawn chairs in between towns. They are almost always under a shade tree, and without fail have offered up a cup of coffee, bathrooms, water, etc.. And they have without fail been among the nicest, most genuine people I’ve encountered. But obsessing about finishing early made me miss what I consider to be the best part of RAGBRAI.
I had a great time, and had some wonderful interactions…but next time I will be in better shape and I will not worry about the clock.