03 RAGBRIA Day 1


RAGBRAI Route Day 1


Double Dip

We set off at 7:30 AM but it’s a ride to the river, first. The traditional start, curiously, is to dip a rear wheel in the Missouri River then in 7 days, dip your front wheel in the Mississippi River. We needed tradition so off to the river. Terri, our new friend we met last night was with us, she missed the truck so is carrying all her own things. A pretty big load that she’s not used to. It was 8:00 when we rolled up the highway and only 65 degrees. The day stayed decent temp wise. The route according to the map is 68 1/2 miles. We can do it.

This first stage is supposed to be the most difficult as hills go. Our friend Sheila will start at the half way point trying not to agitate her torn Achilles. Guess what, it is hilly. We rode hard, had to wait at times for Terri. We stopped for cold drinks and watched the crazies drink and dance. Onward, we pressed to the half way point and stopped for Pasta, Pastafarian, pretty good but a half hour in line to get it. Onward, to another little town, stopped at a beer booth, passed on that but had Cola and Gatorade. We decided to ride the final 23 miles without stop. Told Terri we’d wait in town but that didn’t work. Our Talleyrand campsite is through town we chose to ride on.


Set the tent for the first time in at least 6 years. Tough to remember. The crowd is very familiar with each other. We’re strangers. As the evening wore on, we became less so. Nice folks. We drank wine and chatted then needed food. Farmer John, our host took us back to town. We walked the streets trying to find a restaurant. All had waits of at least 45 minutes. Bought turkey sandwiches from a vendor, pretty good. Sat in a doorway and chatted with other cyclists as we ate. John picked us back up. It’s now 11:06 PM here and we’re headed to the tent. Good night sweet friends.

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Anne & Fam

Larry and Sheila, friends from Ventura,  called, we went down and voila, there were Anne, husband Ray and sons, Ben and Nolan, they’re from Colorado. Anne is the daughter of Lee, the guy that got us into The Talleyrand Bike Club. The hard core Talleyranders are camping tonight in Branson, 15 miles out of town. Due to that, Anne and Ray have become are our personal SAG WAGON. They picked up our gear and will transport it to the campsite.  They did have time to walk the Expo, see A MIllion Spokes and get to the wheel dipping ceremony before heading for Talleyrand’s #1 camp. 

Terri and Tom will join us for dinner at Luciano’s Italian Rest. Also, just heard from Larry and Sheila from Ventura. They are coming over and we’ll all dine together. She Is riding, he will have to sit this one out due to severe diverticulitis. They have really had a string of bad luck. She has a torn Achilles tendon.

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Tom & Terry

Last night we attended the Premier Showing of “A Million Spokes”. A Docu-Film about last year’s RAGBRAI. It was a wonderful film with much more than just bicycling. While there we met Tom & Terri. She’s riding, he’s going on to meet friends n Nebraska. We met them for breakfast then Terri took a test ride with us down to the river. She has lost 50 pounds over the past 2 years through diet and exercise. A real success story! 


We spent more than an hour as Kelly at Albrecht Cycle Shop struggled with the problem. They had the bikes while we were visiting Jim and Colleen. The rear wheel brake vibrates. He tried everything to no avail though he did dampen it down a bit. What nice guys at that shop. They’ve been there for years.  


Kelly Tests

Spent time talking with the Specialized personnel who couldn’t help. They sent me to a bike shop with a display in the Expo. He suggested replacing the brake arms but didn’t have the parts. So, I ride with a vibration. We walked the Expo then I got on this Blog and Cat took the bus back to WalMart to get Contact Lens’, she’d lost one down the drain. 


Git Fiddle



Smash Mouth


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