Today Matt and I had our 15 minutes of fame. A woman I work with at Goodway, Sarah Thut, used to be a reporter and knows a reporter (Krystle) in Des Moines at WHO NBC TV. They’re running stories this week on RAGBRAI and when they heard about Matt and I cycling across America they asked if they could interview us. When we arrived in Marshalltown at the end of our 82 mile ride we met up with Krystle. It was a lot of fun for Matt and I to do the interview and ride a few extra blocks for the camera. They also interviewed Holly and Ed as well. The segment will be on the web tomorrow so I’ll post it when it’s available. Here’s Matt and I being interviewed:
The heat wave in Iowa continues with 105 plus degree temps and unfortunately 5 people have died so far on RAGBRAI. Between not being in shape for this type of ride and not hydrating properly, the heat was gotten to quite a few people. Fortunately, our group has not had any problems as we’ve done a good job of filling the water bottles in every town and taking plenty of rest breaks in the afternoon and of course stopping at Beekman’s Homemade Ice Cream!
We left Webster City at 6:45a after our night in the Green Room (actually got a decent night s sleep). We decided to ride until we found Chris’s Cakes (our favorite pancake feed) which was 22 miles down the road in Jewel. Ed topped his record eating 12.5 pancakes and we all enjoyed the stop. Luckily today while very hot the wind was more at our side and the stretches we made into the wind were not as long. In Jewel we also had Pete and Holly’s friend Heidi Brown join us for the ride. We’d stop in each town for water refills and then rode on to Tender Tom’s Turkey which was setup at a farmhouse. While enjoying our turkey (its soooo good) and smoothies we met up with our friends from Danville, Jerry and Maren Smith. Nothing like great food and a shade tree after riding 50 miles in the heat.
One thing that was kind of funny today was being Chris the train engine. I’d start a paceline leading Brenda and suddenly there would be 30 to 40 people following us. Ed pulled up along me and said, dude you should see the line of people behind you. I set a nice relaxed pace for Brenda (she loved being able to control the pace for all those people) and we just rolled along for about 20 miles. Once we hit the town and the paceline broke up I had a number of riders come up to me and thank me for pulling them through the wind.
After our lunch stop we had another 30 miles to the end in Marshalltown while making sure we found Beekman’s Homemade Ice Cream before the finish. After enjoying our ice cream we had a great greeting in Marshalltown. As we rode in town almost every person was in front of their house cheering us on and spraying the hot riders with water. It was quite the greeting and a lot of fun. After our greeting we met Krystle for the interview and then we rode over to host house. Our hostess Barbara had nice cold beer and snacks all set out for us. We enjoyed the nice cool A/C, showered and chance to do laundry. Then we went over to a neighborhood party for the RAGBRAI riders for a great dinner before a thunderstorm rolled in and it started to rain and it got really humid (again so glad we’re not in tents). While we’ve enjoyed all the towns we’ve been in. Marshalltown is probably on the top of the list!
UPDATE: Teh storm has become pretty bad with strong wind, heavy rain and lightning. I really feel for all the campers as the conditions are miserable. So lucky we’re in a nice house and protected.
Finally, before I get to the pictures from today, I thought I’d give you a couple of updates on Brenda. While this blog is about Matt and my trip across America, Brenda is riding RAGBRAI with us so I thought I’d let you know how she’s doing. Probably the best way to sum up Brenda’s day is “the Many Moods of Brenda”. We normally ride about 10-20 miles before we get breakfast and when we start out Brenda is very quite for the first couple of miles. Then she wakes up and starts enjoying the cooler morning and starts talking and singing. After breakfast, she in full Brenda great mood and cracking jokes. Then the heat and miles start to set in and she gets quieter by the mile. After lunch she’s back to singing and talking to everyone. Then comes her hardest part of the day which is the last 10-15 miles before reaching the finishing town She’s silent and then about 2-3 miles when she sees the final town she comes back to life and is singing again. If you graphed Brenda’s day, it would be up and down peaks and valley’s. Finally, Brenda had a little crash today when she was turning to get off the road and collided with another rider. She’s fine, just a little banged up and sore.
Here’s the pictures from today: