This was my fourth RAGBRAI, and as usual, I have a few random thoughts.
– It is mysterious to me why people will queue up for the food trailers when in many cases there are wonderful, air conditioned, sit down restaurants just steps away, which in most cases are less expensive than the carnival food. We had awesome Chinese, Mexican, and American food in various towns, and we got to sit down in A/C, drink tons of water, use a real toilet, and be served. Oh yeah, the beer is cheaper, too. In one route town the midway was jammed, but there was a Hy-Vee pharmacy with a real live old fashioned soda fountain right behind the trailers. We had a 20 minute, air conditioned, hand spun milkshake break while people stood outside waiting for whatever.
– I have no problem with the people who have a little bluetooth speaker on their handlebars for their own enjoyment, but the giant bazooka blasters on the bike rack aimed behind the rider are just stupid. P.S. Your taste in music sucks.
– There did seem to be more traffic this year but I had no problem with it. Move to the right and let it pass. Not that hard.
– As usual, we had nothing but great food at every church we stopped at. The Catholics ruled this year!
– I am so over pork.
– The dumbest thing I saw all week was when we were leaving one of the towns, there was a short steep downhill with a right turn at the bottom. The town had stationed two people there to warn riders about loose gravel in the corner. They could have handed one of those people a broom, and the gravel would have been gone in under five minutes. Really? You are going to have two people standing there for hours in the hot sun warning about a little bit a gravel that a single person with a garage broom could have taken care of in five minutes?
– Speaking of gravel, on the gravel loop, at the top of the highest hill was a beautiful farm with a trailer full of coolers parked in the driveway, full of cold bottles of water. Very appreciated.
– Also on the gravel loop, the route into Shenandoah was on pavement, but right next to the “official” route was the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a rail trail that took you directly to town, through a tunnel of tall trees. Shade almost every inch of the way! I guess they thought the trail would be overwhelmed if it was the official route, but I’m sure glad a local told me about it.
– The RAGBRAI app needs to be changed to NOT sit spinning while it tries to connect to the internet for several minutes every time it is opened. THERE ISN’T ANY DATA SERVICE when 20,000 people descend on a town in the middle of nowhere. Lets us get a route map from the app without first trying to connect every single time. The maps are already there, you just can’t access them until the silly app gives up on the data connection.
– Southern Iowa is very beautiful, and I am sorry I didn’t bring a fishing pole to hit some of the dozens of ponds and lakes we passed by. I just might take a few days and go down to ride the nature trail and over to Rathbun to explore the area. The resort there is really cool, and I was surprised to hear it is owned by the state of Iowa. It is a little pricey though. I went on their website and looked at availability and other than major holidays it looks to be pretty wide open. I think they overshot their demographic on that build.
– Meth is a terrible drug.
– Rick Springfield for an hour doesn’t really do anything for me.
See you next year, probably.