Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bike Ride Report - RAGBRAI Day 7 - Dyersville to Bellevue and beyond

Here's the sad end of another RAGBRAI. In the background are all the people dipping there wheels in the Mississippi.

I did not attempt to get my trike down through the throng.

The last day was hilly hilly hilly, with a big plunge at the end down to the Mississippi valley. I hit 42 mph on the big hill.

My plan was to continue on to my sister Kate's in Winnetka, IL. Winnetka is a suburb of Chicago next to Lake Michigan. I got in to Bellevue, the finish town, about 12:30, and I picked up my bags from our excellent charter, and set out for Winnetka.

I decided to get a room in Savannah, IL, just over the river. It's 23 miles to Savannah from Bellevue, and you have to climb up on the bluff twice, which is tough when you are riding a fully loaded trike which weighs about 90 lbs. I was pretty wiped out when I got there, because it was sunny and hot, and I'd been doing hills all day. I'd done 90 miles at that point.

When I got to Savannah, there were no rooms. Savannah is a big weekend getaway town, with lots of bikers and fishing. Summer Saturday nights are top demand. I pressed on after having some pizza slices from Casey's (the local farm store). My plan was to stealth camp in a cornfield when it got dark.

But by the time it started getting dark, I had ridden 130 miles, and I was out of the Mississippi valley, and it was getting nice and flat. The temperature had dropped to about 70. There was a full moon, and it looked to be a beautiful night. I was feeling really good. It was only 90 miles to Winnetka. I decided to keep going. I called Kate and told here I'd probably be there in the early morning.

It was a very beautiful and serene night riding through the moonlit cornfields. I'd stop in at Casey's every 20 miles or so for a cup of coffee and donuts. The hallucinations from sleep deprivaton didn't really begin until I was about 15 miles out, but it was built up by then and the route I chose (Palatine Rd.) was so scary and dangerous it kept me wide awake. It kept turning in to an expressway for no reason.

I got in at 5:30 am, as the sun was rising.

220 miles. 22 hours and 30 minutes clock time. On a 40 pound trike carrying 50 pounds of gear for the last 160 miles. It was a great end to RAGBRAI. I think I'll be able to get off the couch in a day or two.

Here's the MotionBased page.


Jimboblay said...


The most amazing ride ever - sounds like a wonderful night. I bow to your incredible stamina! Glad RAGBRAI was a good time!


Vik said...

Thanks for the reports - not sure RAGBRAI will ever happen for me, but at least I can enjoy the event vicariously through reports like these.

Congrats on the epic last day/night. Just think how fast you'll be on a svelte 2 wheeler...=-)