Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011-05-29 Prairie du Chein, WI to Dyersville, IA (32 out of 46 miles)

Whenever the miles get this low on the route, I am always suspicious that it is going to be an especially hilly day.  The cue sheet said there would be a 1.5 mile uphill climb, but it did not mention several other long climbs!

We were to ride through the Pike's Peak area, Guttenberg, Luxemburg and New Vienna...aptly named, of course.  However, Bev and I, who were the front riders today, only made it to mile 32.

After the climbs, we thought it was going to be a nice ride into Dyersville.  There were rolling hills, much like the Ragbrai rides in Iowa, but then the clouds began to darken, and the next thing we knew it started to sprinkle...and the temperature dropped...and wind came up...and it started to rain harder...and the lightening flashed and the thunder roared!  Bev and I were at the 32 mile mark when the van flagged us down.  Denise strongly recommended we call it a day because of storm warnings.  Bev was ready to make it in the last 14 miles, but we convinced her that would not be a good idea.  Being in the front, we were the last ones to be picked up.

Between the long hills and the rain, I did not take any photos while riding my bike today!  I finally was able to take out the camera while in the van, however.

One of our riders, Lee Murphy hurt her ankle yesterday.  She sagged today, and decided she better get it checked out.  Denise concurred, so she took Lee to Dubuque Hospital ER.  They did not take an MRI, but took a wait-and-see approach.  Lee is thinking she would go home to the Chicago area for two weeks, get it checked out there, and rejoin the ride in Cleveland.  Bummer, eh? 

The prediction for tomorrow is for 90 degrees, with 20 mph headwinds, and a 98 mile ride into Muscatine, Iowa. 

2011-05-27 Wabasha, MN to LaCrosse, WI 75 miles

Today was my turn to drive the Sag Wagon.  It was an interesting day because there were two different route options, and as a Sag driver, I had to keep track of everyone!  It went well until we got to where the routes split.  Some took the unpaved trail, and the others took the road.  Then part way through the trail, some went back to the road, and two others got turned around in the trail!  Almost at the end, a few others took an option of their own and went down a highway that took them directly into LaCrosse.

Some decided to stop in one of the towns to have lunch, and later another small group did later.  As a result, the entire group was split apart, and by the time I had everyone accounted for at the end of the day, it was almost time for dinner!

I really appreciated that Denise was able to stay with me in the van as long as possible.

The good news was that I did have a lot of wait time as the riders came through, and I tried to get at least one photo of everyone!  So below you will find those along with some of the photos of the day.