Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour

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© 2001,

Day 41 - Saturday, July 28, 2001
Sioux City to Storm Lake, IA
75 miles

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 route.

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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