Day 41 - Saturday, July 28, 2001
Sioux City to Storm Lake, IA
I used the
RAGBRAI bike ride route for today, it's available on the internet at <http://www.ragbrai.org/maps/day1.jpg>.
[Wow, I'm surprised the link's not dead yet!]
The hard part was finding my way out of Sioux City. I followed a city street
which I thought would become a paved county road. It instead turned into gravel,
and I had to get down to US 20 for a short while, until reaching the town of
Lawton, where I could connect to the county roads and find my way to the RAGBRAI
Iowa has an excellent set of paved county roads - a.k.a. "country
blacktops" - which are labelled with a letter and two numbers (like D12).
Some of them can be narrow, but they carry very little traffic, and there are
enough of them that they can take you almost anywhere you want to go.
I got varying reactions from the townsfolk on today's ride. Some people would
joke that "hey you're a week too late", others wouldn't really say
anything. Maybe they were having biker burnout from 15,000 cyclists converging
on the towns! Yes, the ride was that big!
They picked some neat roads for the RAGBRAI ride, including one with a big
downhill (42 mph top speed) going into one of the towns.
I found the city-owned campground at Storm Lake and ended up talking with some
people there. Gary and Cindy are "regulars" at the campground with
their RV, and Doug and Jody usually join them with their tent.
We all went to the potluck dinner for the campground manager's birthday. Free
food and lots of it! There were also turkey filets donated by one of the local
companies. They had a raffle afterwards - most people won something - I won a
free night's stay at the campground (guess which night I used it for).
The four of them told me about some of the people they've seen on this year's
and previous RAGBRAIs. Team Roadkill would hang necklaces with a tag saying
"Team Roadkill" on any roadkill that they'd find. Team Drag did not
get its name from badly adjusted brakes or wheels. And another group of riders
were next to their support van at 10 AM pouring buckets of water on each others
heads to try to sober up for the day's ride! Sounds like the post-ride partying can be harder than the ride itself!
Later, one of Doug and Jody's friends from in town joined us for a while. Gary
and Doug are farmers, so when the Viagra jokes started, they mentioned something
about the Pioneer corn farmer needing it. A little farm humor, I guess the
Pioneer corn doesn't stand as tall as the other corn...
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