Riders kick back in Chariton
Chariton, Ia. — Charlie Anderson’s friends finally convinced him to come to see small-town Iowa.
And what better vantage point for the 32-year-old Bend, Ore. man than from the seat of a bike?
“It’s been absolutely great,” Anderson said. “But I don’t know how people can party like they do on the ride.”
The 44-mile shortened day from Indianola to Chariton — and the not-too-hot temps and blue skies — helped.
“Flat and short. That was a nice reprieve,” Anderson said.
But Anderson’s pal, Ross Hummel, a Davenport native whom he met in San Fransisco, was a bit grumpy.
“They’ve got us camping like three miles outside of town,” Hummel said. “I don’t get it.”
A dozen yards away on the town square, Bryan Jones, 25, was handing out samples of pepperoni pizza from the Pizza on Wheels stand, which he’ll help run for the next few days.
“We just kind of got ahead of ourselves and burned this one,” said Jones, of Iowa City.
Pizza on Wheels is the RAGBRAI counterpart of the Pizza on Dubuque eatery in Iowa City. Owner Al Risk said they’ve been selling between 150 and 200 pizzas each day of the ride so far.
“It takes 12 people to keep this thing going when it gets busy,” said Risk, who has been selling pizza on the ride for 13 years. “We have loyal customers out here.”
A block north of the square at the Modern Auto repair shop, owner Rodney Krutsinger was gearing up for the night of entertainment with his family and friends. They have a camper on the property to spend the night.
“I stayed away when RAGBRAI came through about 10 years ago,” he said. “I wanted to see it this time.”
– Jared Strong