Today’s Stats:                                     Day 3                     Day 5

56.7 miles                             Start Town: Boone

3 hours 45 minutes                 End Town: Altoona

15.3 mph


5:15 am – another biker’s alarm goes off in the next room. I look at our alarm clock and see it is indeed 5:15 – yes we overslept. We try to have our bags loaded on the baggage truck at 5am every morning – whoops! We scramble to get ready but there are also others getting up so it slows the process. I  check the weather and there is a huge front over the Missouri river valley moving our way. Whoops again! We hump our baggage up the giant hill to the baggage truck.

Photo left: the front approaches and blocks the sun for us.

Photo Center: Heading East - riding away form the storm

Photo Right: The Iowa State Patrol ensure we have a non-stop ride across Iowa stopping the cars.

5:55 – we have our bags on the truck and start our ride. Sunrise is in 7 minutes . The forecast was for winds 12 – 15 mph out of the south today which is also 55% of our ride today. Off we go.

We stop off at Farm Brothers an hour into our ride for breakfast. Today there is a huge line. It does not pay to be late. We actually find two chairs to sit in to eat our breakfast so everything is starting to work for us. Today we decide to draft the Southern treks so we can try to beat the rain. The clouds move in right after breakfast and with the sun blocked we feel much better about biking today.

  Photo left: Some nice brand new ashphaltPhoto Center: The Iowa National Gard is there to refill our water bottlesPhoto Right: Some of the roadside entertainment

Today was the least amount of climb out of the 7 days of this years RAGBRAI so Pam and I are at home with the long stretches of flat country.  We are able to find a group to draft  behind for about 20 of the miles today so that helped out a lot. With only 56 miles to ride today it feels like a half day after yesterday.

We roll into Altoona around 10:45 to watch the baggage trucks unloading our bags. So as it turns out if we would have left earlier we would have been waiting around for our bags anyway. Everything happens for a reason. Today was the only day we did not have housing set up for us – so – we decide with the possibility of rain we would find us a hotel and split the cost. We find a Econolodge 9 miles form the RAGBRAI baggage truck and wait at the Fairway for a cab to come retrieve us. By noon we are at the hotel and hitting the showers. It feels like a day off today – being finished by noon and only doing 56 miles.

 Well until tomorrow!

Brian (and Pam)