Sunday, August 1, 2010

RAGBRAI - Friday

The forecast called for rain last night but when we woke up it wasn't raining. We're on the road by 5:30 am. We stop for bananas first, then pancakes when the sign said next town 23 miles. Whether they were lying was debatable because the next couple of towns were basically just a church and that was it.

It starts to sprinkle while we are eating pancakes and before you knew it its is a full blown rain storm. This feels SO good. It is the best I've felt all week. I just tilt my head down so my visor blocks the rain from hitting my face and pedal on...feeling like I am back home in Oregon.

We stop at the meeting town, Quasquetan for a smoothie (me - I've almost pedaled this whole way on smoothies and bananas) and a BLT wrap (Dad). The rain is really coming down now and a lot of people decide to just hole up there while it rains. I call Peter and wake him up to check the radar. "Well, you've got yellow over you right now and there is red over Waterloo (where we just left). If I were you I would just ride!" As we pull out a lady yells out to me, "You go for it, Oregon!"

This is the best I felt all week. When we get to camp 15 miles later (68 miles total) I go into my tent, strip down, and feel hungry for the first time after riding this whole week. I blissfully sit in my tent reading my favorite book The Hungry Cyclist and eating trail mix until the sun burst back out an hour later. There goes the appetite.

Along with the queasiness that sets in with the heat comes the blues. I'm tired of being around people. I'm tired of feeling sick whenever I'm not riding. I'm tired of using kybos and putting my contacts in blindly in the dark. Sitting on the hot pavement trying to eat a meatless gyro (I might as well be eating chalk for how good it tastes) in downtown Manchester (we rode in) I start to sob. I sob like. a. little. girl. Dad is at the kybo and I'm imagining kissing the ground when I get back to Portland tomorrow night. He comes back and I sob some more. "Well, this is what you're stuck with," he says. Indeed. We go to a Burger King, sit in the air conditioning and I sip on a vanilla milkshake while Dad eats a fish sandwich.

I just want to get home. We get back to camp and decide to get up at 4am to make sure we are on the first bus so I make my flight. 50 miles to the Mississippi, 4 hour bus ride, 2 flights and I'm home. I'm ready.

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