Today's Stats:103.1 miles                                 Start Town: Carrol6 hours 55 minutes15.1 MPH                                   End Town: BooneMax Speed 48.5Today was it, another century ride for us!  After yesterday’s suffering I wasn’t sure if we’d feel up to it, but it turns out we finished the 103 mile ride by 2 p.m.  We rolled out of Michelle’s driveway at 4:45 a.m., and had to wait about 10 or so minutes for the baggage truck guys to finish setting up and accept our bags.  We were anxious to begin today’s journey, especially since the heat index would be up there again today.  Once we started though it was awesome with the cool breeze hitting us along with the wet bike seats to enhance the evaporative cooling effect.  The sunrise today was very colorful, which made the morning all the more pleasurable, AND not so many hills.

We stopped for breakfast at the fire station in Lanesboro for their pancake breakfast.  Not our first choice - as the Farm Boys weren’t ready for breakfast when we rolled by their stand earlier in the morning.  Oh well, we burned LOTS of calories today!

Photo left: Eli Following us after the Karass loop.

Photo Center: Shadow of Frog & Toad Together (again)

Photo Right: Aaahhh it is sure nice in the mornings when the traffic is light!

We made the mistake of not eating something and taking a break in the town of Paton prior to the Karras Loop.  We figured we’d get something to eat and sit down for a bit in Dana before finishing the Loop.  However, as we rode into Dana we soon realized that they had no food to offer.  We were able to fill up our water bottles with cool water and Nun, an electrolyte drink.  The Nun people were there with huge jugs of the stuff and everyone could fill their bottles or take the tablets for free.  Not bad stuff really.  After we picked up our Karras Loop patches, filled our bottles, and were ready to roll out the Cliff Bar van pulled in handing out free samples of several different types products.  Saved by Cliff Bar once again!

We stopped in Paton after the Loop to enjoy a chicken wrap and smoothie at the Garden of Eden.  No one loses weight on the RAGBRAI!

We rode on as the heat rose, making it quite unpleasant to ride.  The road signs kept reminding us of “Twister Hill”, a huge climb for today.  Not pleasant either.  We clocked 43 mph for the ride down before Twister Hill and about 2/3 of the way up the hill we had to get off and push the bike the last bit.  Whew!  Thankfully it was the only real climb for today.  The last ten miles to Boone felt more like 20-25 miles.  We were so worn out from the heat and the tough hill climb in the heat that we weren’t really enjoying the ride any more.  Survival mode kicked in!  Welcome were the water gun girls at the entry point at the town of Boone.  We were stopped by the sheriff at the entry area with other riders to let the cars pass.  The water gun girls were on the opposite side of the road, asking who wanted to get sprayed.  Brian immediately shouted, “Me!”  So the gaggle of riders held up by the sheriff let us go first so Brian could get sprayed from ten different angles.

Photo Left: We pass by Mr Porkchop....Photo Center: Scenic Iowa

Photo Right: One of the skate boarders doing the RAGBRAI... he claims one set of trucks and wheels but new bearings daily.

We met Eli at the baggage area a couple miles later.  All I can say is, “Wow!”  I felt Eli’s pain remembering my first century ride and how beat up my body, mind, and spirit was at the end.  We made it rather quickly to our host’s home, and were quick to take showers and relax for a bit.  Brian had to help our host repair the guest bath toilet after it sprung a leak.  After the repair service, we were off to find food.

We decided to take the town shuttle rather than ride our bikes several additional miles today.  Whoa was it hot.  The bus filled up with too many riders, making it even more miserable.  Finally we made it to the Giggling Goat where our host told us we’d find salads and decent food.  What they didn’t realize is that the bar would be filled with thirsty, partying riders.  After some searching along the street we opted for Chinese.  Once we stuffed ourselves we set off to find the bus stop.  If we’d just held out and looked one block further we would have had a huge variety of foods to choose from various vendors.

Photo left: An "old" Iowa farm house.Photo Center: The tree is trimmed around the power lines.

Photo right: Eli totes her baggage after her first century ride.

We rode the hot bus one more time to get back to our host home.  Air conditioning is wonderful!  As I look at the time I now realize it’s time to say, “Good night!”

That’s all for now,