Thursday, July 27, 2006

RAGBRAI Day 5 - Newton to Marengo

Today was "century day" where there is an optional loop you can ride to make the day's total distance 100 miles. Regular is 77 miles. I decided for fun to see how fast I could ride the century in clock time instead of pedal time.

The only time I stopped was at mile 60 to refill water, which I made into Cytomax. All I had to eat was 4 goo packs and 4 scoops of cytomax and a bagel with peanut butter before I left.

The first part of the ride was pretty hilly, and the loop was hilly too. The loop went out in the middle of nowhere to some art. Since I was on a mission, I did not stop and photograph the art, but I should have. It was a 60 foot tower with three blades of metal wagon wheels welded together. I don't know what it's for, or why it's there, because there's nothing else there for miles around. It must be art.

The last 25 miles or so were totally flat. The hammer was in the down position. There was no wind, and it was mid 80s and very humid. I was looking at finishing in under 6 hours, and I was happily cruising along at 21-22 mph.

Then this double pace line comes up on me and leaders say something like "We don't have and recumbents, hop on." Which I thought was a snark remark implying I couldn't keep up. So I hopped in. They were doing about 24 mph. It seems the same two guys had been leading this for the last 15 miles or so. Very impressive.

In no time we were in Marengo. They were saying "That the fastest century I've ever done." Well, GPS says otherwise. It was only 90 miles. I feel robbed. Century day should be an actual century. I did 91 miles in 5:14 clock time and 5:09 pedal time. I feel robbed.

So this is quite a setup in Marengo. We're camped at the fairgrounds, and I swear everything you could possibly need is less than 100 yards away.

Here's my tent.

That orange fence behind it surrounding a mud pit is the beer garden. I don't think I'll be sleeping much tonight, but the spectacle should be fun to watch.

Looking the other way from the exact same spot are the showers.

Just to the left is food. The grey building is selling brats with kraut. The are delicious. The tan building is the Cattlemans' association. They are having a steak and potato dinner tonight, and a pancake breakfast tomorrow.

To the left of that are the bike mechanics and vendors, and the kybos.

Is this the most incredible score for a camping area or what? Usually you have to take a shuttle bus to the food and the beer garden.

Here's the map for today's "century."

1 comment:

oknups said...

I saw Deborah and Monkey this morning walking. Monkey looks pretty good and he is friendly. I was walking as well.

That ride must be a blast. Or is that party a great ride?