Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RAGBRAI Day 2 – Harlan to Jefferson (83 miles, 5,239 feet of climb)

Mondy, July 21st - Knowing it was going to be a long day with lots of hills, we were again up at 5:00 am and on the road around 5:45 am. There was an optional century loop just a few miles into the ride which didn’t even temp us! Our first town/stop was at a cute little town called Kimballton. Obviously we were in Danish territory as they were having an aebelskiver breakfast. So even though we missed Danish Days in Viborg just a few days earlier, we didn’t miss out on the aebelskiver! It was good but not near as good as what the ladies in Viborg make. I could tell this wasn’t an original recipe – it was made from pancake batter and they didn’t serve the special homemade strawberry jam with it.

On to Elk Horn, another Danish community with a Danish windmill. And the hills kept getting longer. Heartland Tower was a water spot furnished by the Air Guard and greatly appreciated after that especially tough climb. They also had some mighty fine strawberry-rhubarb pie with ice cream, all for $2.00! Now if someone would have cold water, pie, and ice cream for me every time I climbed a big hill around here, like the Frog Creek hill off the Bluff Road!

Coon Rapids was our next stop and a fun town. It was a meeting town – this is where riders could meet up with their SAGs, so there was always a lot of action in the meeting towns. The town played up the “coon” theme and even sold raccoon tails which we saw many people wearing on their helmets or the back of the cycling shorts. This was probably the warmest day of RAGBRAI and we were glad to find an air conditioned building where they were serving pork sandwiches.

We ran into Tim in Coon Rapids. Seems like the line for the port-a-potties or Kybos (as they are called on RABRAI – some say that stands for keep you bowels open) is a place where one will frequently find others you know! Tim of course had done the century loop and still managed to catch us!

Leaving Coon Rapids the hills flattened out more and it was just 27 more miles to our destination, Jefferson, with one stop in between.

We were camped at the Knights of Columbus building in Jefferson, a very nice spot, and very handy as they were serving a beef & noodle supper complete with pie and ice cream of course! We were close to the downtown and entertainment and Ashley and I walked down there a couple of times. Otherwise we were content to sit around camp and talk with every one about what they saw out on the road and commiserate about the hills!

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