Here again, is my blog about my RAGBRAI ride this past July. I used this ride to raise money for LIVESTRONG. (You can still donate there to help beat cancer!)
We again planned to wake up at about 6 and hit the road by 7:30. Actually, that turned into the plan all week. A good plan for the most part.
Day 3 took us from Algona to Clear Lake in just under 60 miles, the shortest day so far.
Another windy day, with the wind coming out of the south. Not a problem, until we left Garner on our way to Clear Lake. It was also hot. Damn hot.
I rode w/ my compatriots of Team WiscAwesome this day. This was also the day of going thru the towns Britt and Garner. (Our team captain's maiden name: Britt Garner!)
This was a relaxing ride through Wesley and Hutchins on the way to Britt. Unfortunately, at this point, I don't remember much about either of those towns.
We arrived in Britt in the last morning and took in the town. Britt is home to the hobo museum, located in the old Chief Theater. Guess there's not a lot of movies that play there any more....
It was another hour to get to Garner, but we made it by noon. We parked our bikes at the bank (where the sign read 95F - did I say it was hot?!?).
The last segment was tough. We turn south and rode about 4 miles into the wind. The one nice thing is that the wind did help counter the heat/humidity. We looked for a roadside stop to get refreshments (smoothies/water) where it wasn't too crowded and passed by a few with long lines. When we found a farm with a smoothie stand to stop at, it was... The. Best. Smoothie. Ever.
Rachel and I had some fun riding hard and pushing each other to that stop. (But, she kicked my butt when you come right down to it.)
After the smoothies, we finished the ride into Clear Lake. As you enter into Clear Lake, from the direction we were coming from, there is a state park on the left with a beach. It wasn't the official stop, but we stopped. A couple other teams stopped there too when we were there. Once we were all together, we dismounted and ran straight to the lake. It was awesome! Well worth the sweaty day's ride to get there.
After a short swim, we climbed back on the bikes and headed to the real meet up point - the city beach. The beach was crowded, but we dived in again. A few of us swam out to the pier and then jumped in. (Sorry, no pic.) I barely got up on the pier (too big), but made it w/ the help of Qing.
We set up camp at the HS in Clear Lake. I must say, that compared to Algona, CLHS was really not very welcoming. The school was closed. We had to use the shower truck parked on the street instead. They also posted "No Alcohol / No Tobacco" signs and had security driving around the campus on golf carts. Not that a) there were many smokers in our crowd; and b) anyone paid attention to the signs as they related to beer.
There was a shuttle from the HS back into downtown CL which we used. We split up and ate at the local food vendors positioned around the square. I had ribs and corn on the cob. We found a local watering hole that had good beer (Fat Tire!) and relaxed. We did miss the Spin Doctors that night. But, apparently, they were pretty trashed and not very good, so I guess we didn't really miss them.
This was the worst night of the week. At about 2:00 it started raining. Hard. Water soaked into the tent from underneath (I didn't have the tarp laid out correctly). I hardly slept the rest of the night as I got wet and cold and wetter and colder. The rain stopped at about 4:30. It had been so long since I camped out, that I wasn't ready for that night and didn't set up properly. But I survived. Survived to ride another day. Fortunately for me, Day 4 was even shorter (51.8 miles), so the lack of sleep wouldn't be too much of a hinderance.