Monday, August 4, 2008

RAGBRAI - Day 6 New Liberty to Tipton (64.1 miles, 3,051 feet of climb)

Friday, July 25th - More rolling hills and scenic country. The towns looked like they came out of a Norman Rockwell print. My favorites were Lisbon and Mount Vernon, which were only a couple of miles apart! Some day I would love to go back for Lisbon's Sauerkraut Days. Being half Czech I appreciate a good kraut and they have a bike ride during their festival, it doesn't get any better than that!

We tried to really slow down and enjoy the pass through towns. The best food I had all week was at the pass through town of Mechanicsville. They flew in 2,500 pounds of fresh shrimp and a Cajun chef to prepare the shrimp Cajun style. It was absolutely delicious! And these weren't any shrimpy shrimp - they were huge!

It was a very fun day - besides great food and beautiful country (even if it was hillier than I'm use to!) we had a lot of fun visiting with people. With 10,000-15,000 people on RAGBRAI I never expected to find other people I knew on RAGBRAI but it seems like our paths crossed quite often. For example, I knew one of our medical students had taken a week of her vacation time from her senior year to ride RAGBRAI with her Mom - how special is that! So when our paths crossed again on this day we thought it was about time for a moms and daughters picture.

Ashley was also found by Mary, her husband's cousin, who was riding just this one day. They were sure surprised to see each other and I'm glad they had a chance to get together for awhile in Tipton.

Our camp was at Tipton was in the backyard of the nicest people I have met. Sonja, the assistant manager of the ShuttleGuy, bravely went to their door just the week before and asked these complete stranger if they would take in 60 campers. Not only did they allow us to camp in their beautiful yard (just 2 blocks from downtown and the center of the actitivities) but they treated us like royalty. Doug, an avid hunter, was grilling up various cuts of marinated venison and serving us these thinly sliced delicious bits of meat. I would have sworn it was beef steak. Not only that, he stocked his refrigertor in his garage completely full of beer specifically for the campers! And his wife made us taco dip, cheese spread, etc.

Oh, and I sat on that funky looking recumbant with the fly eye like shield and back and white checkered zip aound cover so only your head is exposed when you ride. We called it Dennis' bike apartment....thought he probably had a TV and microwave in their with him.

And our party guys in the group entertained us with stories of their day...which was considerably shorter, more time for drinking that way, as they took a short cut that included 6 miles of gravel roads but took 30 miles off the route for the day!

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