This was our first RAGBRAI adventure. Since they announced the route was going through Hampton we received a phone call suggesting we might want to give RAGBRAI a try....OK!

Dipping front tire in the Mississippi River after 2007 RAGBRAI

Arriving at the start point of our first RAGBRAI in 2007

RAGBRAI Day 2 Report Monday July 23rd

Woke up to the alarm at 5:00 (again). Broke down camp and hauled our two pieces of luggage the 200 feet to the luggage semi. (Notice how the distance was remarkably closer than the day before) Got Pam her morning coffee at the Jaycees stand 500 feet from our former camp and we were on the road at 5:40 am.

The deep blue cloudy skies were keeping the sun from showing through and kept the hundreds of red flashing rear lights going on the bikes for the next hour or so.  The forecasted winds were to be 5 – 12 mph out of the South so we had high hopes it would be a great day!

At 7:30 we stop at "Farm Boys" for our breakfast burritos – today they are loaded! They could not close the tortillas! As the day went on the wind kept increasing – up to 20 –25 MPH – NOT expected or forecasted – and from South/Southeast – the two directions we have to ride all day – oh boy! At 8:14 we pass another recumbent bike with a full size patio thermometer on the back – oh it looks like it is exactly 70'F – NICE!

Since it is day two – the theoretical hardest day due to fatigue – and now compounded with the extra wind – we start to find every tandem we can to draft behind. We find out when we draft we ride 2 to 6 mph faster with less effort. We drafted behind Harold and Barb from Cedar Rapids for 45 minutes – never talked to them but stared at their name plate on the back of their bike until they stopped off for a drink. At almost exactly at 10:00 the clouds disappeared and we had the clear blue skies – and the direct sun associated with that for the remainder of the ride. Another couple (unknown names) we drafted behind for an hour and they were cruising at 18 – 20 mph so we made up lost time!

We ended up getting lei'ed in Lauren and liked the town so much we stopped off for a smoothie. This also turned out to be the half way point for the day – 37 miles into the days ride. We stopped off in Rolfe at 11:15 for lunch which consisted of a hamburger (you know – to help roof the Methodist Church roof) and a Person's Salted Nut Roll – yummy!

At exactly 1PM we arrived in Humboldt at Jodie and Tony Luft's house where they agreed to let us bed up for the night in air conditioning and a very comfortable bed. The daily stats were:

Miles: 78

Riding time: 5 hours 58 minutes

Average Speed: 13.1

Total RAGBRAI mileage 162 miles (in case you noticed that the mileage does not add up we do ride our bike around town in the afternoon/evenings to go to the store or transport our baggage, etc…)


At 3:30 we woke up from an hour (or so) nap after the best showers of our lives. The forecasted high was 93 for day but we got into town just before it hit the 90'F mark. We rode our bike down to Hy-Vee to get some water and met up with two other girls who are sleeping on the floor of the living room who just showed up at 5:35. They looked very HOT and exhausted – I think we made the smarter choice to start at the crack of dawn and beat most of the heat! Well that's about it - until tomorrow!

Pangburn Daily RAGBRAI XXXV Journal


Last night we got into Rock Rapids Iowa for the RAGRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) a 475 mile trek across the state. We camped out in the back yard of a non-rider local with 12 of our new closest friends that we have not seen since.

RAGBRAI Day 1 Sunday July 22, 2007

We started day one at 5 am with the alarm awaking us to darkness. We broke down camp by 5:33 and started to haul our tents, sleeping bags, and other camping paraphelia to the semis that haul it for us every day. We finally found the truck at 6:15 - loaded our bags and began our ride. Beautiful day! Perfect temperature at 68'F. Slight wind about 5mph out of the South.

At 6:48 we stop for Pam's morning coffee. The road is so packed with the over 10,000 riders that the two lane road is almost jammed for the first two hours. We stop again at 7:30 for two egg and cheese breakfast burritos - yummy! The clouds are keeping us cool as we trek into the open farm land. The state police monitoring all the major highway crossings stopping the cars so we can wisk by without stopping. What a great day.

By 10:00 the wind started blowing about 20mph out of the south. Ouch! Our progress is slowed. We stopped at 11:45 for lunch in a park with plentiful shade and ate a pork tenderloin sandwich. The clouds disappeared. It went quickly to 90'F. The wind - the sun - it started to get painful for the last two hours of our ride at an average of only 8 - 9 MPH now. We arrived at our destination (Spencer) at 2:15, a little sun burned and tired. The first day stats:

Miles day 1 - 77.5

Ride time: 6 hours 22 minutes

Average Speed - 12.2 MPH

After a shower in the pig sty (you think I am kidding????) at the fair grounds Pam and I took a 20 minute nap in the shade and finished setting up camp. A run to Wal-Mart (of course) and a Chinese buffet and we are good as new. (Or so we will find out tomorrow.....)

RAGBRAI Day 3 report

Ahhhhh its good to be back in good ole Hampton! Today's stats:

Miles today: 74.1

Riding time: 4 hours 58 minutes

Average speed: 15.0 mph

RAGRAI total miles: 241 (almost half way!)

The girls that were staying with us last night were telling us they met up with Lance Armstrong yesterday. (We had not seen him yet) Turns out he does not start until 11:00 to hit the road so all the stupid people are out of his way... hey wait a minute..... The girls said he stopped at Pastafari (a traveling spaghetti vendor we see every day about two to three hours into our ride) and they had a small chat with him. He said last year he had too many people trying to draft with him so he was only traveling with three people this year and getting to meet more Iowans along the way. Cool!

Anyway, back to today.... We awoke (again) at 5:00 to start the day. Since our hosts in Humboldt had to work at a RAGBRAI event last night they were up with us at 5:00 and wanted to talk..... soooooo.... we did not make it out the door until 5:45 (about a half hour behind our desired departure time). We loaded our two big bags on the bike and walked it the mile to the fair grounds to drop it off at the semi trailer. We finally on the road at 6:03.

Oh my gosh... somebody put two of the biggest hills within two miles of getting out of Humboldt. We were sweating buckets plugging along at 3 - 4 mph up both those hills. What seemed like a absolutely beautiful morning the first minute of the ride sure turned dark. We then made our first stop at 7:10 at the Farm Boys breakfast stop (again) for a couple of burritos (again). Does this sound like ground hog day.... it is starting to feel like it......  We then stopped at a cornfield to remove some ballast but to our surprise the fields were awful wet! For the first two days the fields have been terribly dry but now we are finding ourselves wiping our feet on the pavement to scrape off the mud. Good for the farmers I suppose!

We spent the first half of the day trying to find other tandems to draft behind, like Bill and Bonnie Burns from Sutherland IA. We find that if we draft behind the tandems we can go 18 - 20 mph average... nice! That raised the ole average for the day! Also the wind forecast for the day (for the first time) was accurate - we only had south winds at 5 - 10 mph... yeah!!!! This was also good since there was no cloud cover today. The sun was beating us down.

We stopped off again at the interstate 35 and skinny Patton black top where they were selling smoothies and selling ultralight rides for $20. They had three going full time trying to keep up with the demand and using the farmers driveway for a runway.... how cool is that????

We made it to the First Christian Church in Hampton at 12:15 but could not find mother so we went to the house and were in by 12:23. Its very cool being done around noon! Literally we are now beating the heat! We are looking forward to sleeping at home for the night! Until tomorrow!


RAGBRAI Day 4 Report

Day 4 stats:

Miles: 72.4

Average Speed: 14.0

Ride time: 5 hours 12 minutes

Total RAGBRAI miles to date: 313.5


We woke up at 5 again and took our bags to the Hampton High School by means of pick up truck and then left mom’s house at 5:44. We officially crossed the half way point of the RAGBRAI as we rode into Aredale at 6:43 am.


We rode into Dumont and the bank said it was 7:31 and a cool 69’F – NICE! We finished up at 11:54 this morning at the house of Stan Anderson of Cedar Falls who lives only two miles form the UNI dome. Another nice Iowan opening his house to us and letting us get a great night sleep! Thanks Stan!

RAGBRAI Day 6 Report

Today's Stats:


Miles: 63.5

Average Speed: 14.2

Today's Ride Time: 4 hours 13 minutes

Total RAGBRAI miles 448.7


This morning we awoke at (guess what time) 5:00 - only this time to a majorly wet campground, tent, bike, - well you name it. The clouds overhead were still dark and threatening to rain more as we broke down camp. We managed to get our luggage loaded on the truck and start our journey today at 5:37.


Today was hill country - or at least the start of hill country.... we would go down the hills passing everyone at 28 - 37 mph (to get a good run at the next hill) and then everyone would pass us as they went up the hill and we would be plugging along at 6 - 8 mph. It was extremely funny to a lot of people ad we were glad to make their day. We stopped for breakfast at 6:43 at the Farm Boys for our breakfast burritos again so things were getting back to normal.


As we passed though Manchester the bank read 9:29 am and temperature was still only 73'F - only it did start to sprinkle on us but it never did actually rain - or at least enough to make it a nuisance. We welcomed the misting for about an hour total - as it would sprinkle for a few minutes the quit again the remainder of our ride today.


We arrived in Dyersville at only 10:58 and something happened then that has not happened the entire trip.... Pam and I both said, in unison, wow we are already here?!?!?! I guess we are getting conditioned when you ride for over 4 hours and over 60 miles and say is that it????? Very nice!!!


We set up camp (on high ground) and started drying out our tent, sleeping bag, mattress, etc.... and then had the best meal of the trip at the Dyersville Family Restaurant - an all you can eat buffet for only $5.95 which included a salad bar, pulled pork, green beans, - you know all my favorites!!!! The town is really cool and the forecasted high is supposed to be 82'F so life is good today in Dyersville!


Well until tomorrow! Only one more day to go! (of course that is the most hilly day...) Take Care!


RAGBRAI Day 5 Report

Today's Stats: Wednesday 7/26/07


Miles today: 62.8

Average Speed: 14.0

Ride Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Total RAGBRAI miles: 380.2

Total bike odometer miles: 4,501


After last night going down and paying $11 to see Lance Armstrong at the UNI dome followed by Blues Traveler (which Lance only talked for 5 minutes thanking everyone for donating $11 to Cancer...) We slept in a comfortable bed and at 5:00 the alarm went off so we started our day...again.... Our poor host (Stan) was so wore out from yesterday's activities that he did not even wake up to see us off..... oh well.....


We hit the road at 5:40 starting out of Cedar Falls. Another beautiful morning! Got Pam's coffee at 5:55 donating $3 to organ transplants of Iowa.  The wind was only 2 - 5 out of the South. At 7:26 we stopped at DAD's Belgium waffle stop for a change of venue for breakfast. $7 was the ransom and only one Belgium waffle with a glass of milk or coffee..... we won't be stopping there again......


At 9:00 we stopped just outside of Hazleton in the heart of Amish country, at a country bakery. Zach was about 12 running the cash drawer and they were all dressed in traditional Amish clothing except none of the kids (under 18 or so) were wearing shoes. I did not remember kids without shoes last time I came through but maybe so.... We bought some nice peanut butter cookies and a slushie and enjoyed the shade. After our stop the wind went up to 5-7 mph out of the South. It was cool riding through the Amish country as each farm had a sign out front "Blacksmith" or Dry Goods" or Seamstress" - just like the old days - and no power lines for miles.


Along the way we met with Paul from Flint Michigan who was on his 4th RAGBRAI and about 65 years old. His wife bought him a new "Specialized" carbon fiber 4.5 pound frame bike just for the ride. So far he was the happiest person we have encountered - you know- somebody who enjoys every day! We also talked to a lady who had her dog strapped to her belly who would put her little paws on the handle bars and ride the wind - how cute!


We made it into Independence at 11:29am before the heat. It looks like it will be over 90'F today. so after we set up camp we head for the town swimming pool. Due to the demand they limit everyone to 45-50 minutes inside the parameter for the $3 admission - to shower and/or swim. The water was very cool and the showers were the coldest on the planet. I swear they ran the water through a ice pit before it came out... my fingers, toes, and other unmentionable body parts were purple after the shower. But hey, it was HOT out now anyway.....


At 8 o'clock were informed a storm was moving in so we moved camp up hill about 100 feet to get out of the flood plane. At 9:26pm it started to rain. At 9:28 we found out the tent did not keep all the water from coming in, drip, drip, drip, but it was still very hot out so the little drops felt good and after an hour of thunder and lightning we both fell asleep to the rhythm of the falling rain.... or as the song goes..... so that has been the story as I will tell it... Pam's version may be a little different....


RAGBRAI Day 7 Report (Final Day!)

Today' Stats:

Miles for Saturday: 57.7 mph

Average speed: 13.8 mph

Maximum Speed: 46.9 mph

Ride Time: 4 hours 12 minutes


Total miles: 512.7

Total ride time: 35 hours 25 minutes (actual peddling time)

RAGBRAI average speed: 14.47 mph

Total RAGRAI hills we climbed: 13,624 feet

We started today waking at 4:41 to the noise of EVERYONE breaking down their camps - so we started to break ours down as well. We started on the road in the semi-dark at 5:17 am (sunrise at 5:58 am). We were VERY tired from the lack of sleep in the campgrounds for the second night in a row and the excessive partying going on - personal fireworks up until after midnight, air horns, and the usual loud drunks up very late.

Our first stop was for Pam's organic cup of coffee (and today they offered a little Bailey’s in your coffee for free) at 5:25 just outside of town. This was after a HUGE hill just outside of town that we crept up at 4 mph for about 10 minutes. We then were able to fly down the backside at 40.2 mph...yeah!!!! This would be the our day today - HILL day - and a lot of them on the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi - up them at 4 mph and then down the other sides at 30+mph. The problem was the valleys were wide enough you could not get a run up the next hill so we stuck it out and did our 4mph up them. We could not find the Farm Bros for breakfast this morning so we went without......

We rolled down the final hill into Bellvue coasting down at up to 46.9 mph - what a beautiful sight, not having to peddle, the hills, the river, awesome! We dipped our front tire in the Mississippi at 10:27 am and beat the heat. Our luggage was delivered at 11:30 am and mom arrived at high noon to pick us up. After our last group shower we were on our way home. We drove with mom back to Hampton where we loaded our Cessna with the bike and gear and started our flight home. We made it to Wichita for the night and ahead of all the storms last night and today (Sunday) and have since then made it back to Casa Grande. What a trip! As the song goes: "On a bicycle built for two...."

Would we do it again???? You bet! What an experience! Now we know why over 10,000 bikers participate and they have most people who do it more than once. 

Top ten best memories of RAGRAI 35

10. Iowa's people and towns. Every town we passed through had the majority of the town's people sitting on their porches or in the shade of their trees to cheer us on and say hello. Many offered free water.

9. State troopers at every major intersection letting all of us bikes go through and holding up cars - very cool!

8.  Over 512 miles with no saddle sore due to our tandem recumbent bike.

7. 1,000 kids saying "Wow - that's a cool bike!!!" as we rode by. (it made us feel special)

6. The Eagle (man dressed in eagle suit) in the tree as we rode into Eagle Grove.

5. The countless sweet smelling corn fields to relieve our bladder discomfort in.

4. Cruising down the Mississippi bluff into Bellevue knowing there were no more hills.

3. The two Iowans who opened up their homes to us in Humboldt and Cedar Falls - knowing we were from Arizona (talk about out of town) giving us an air conditioned comfortable bed with a private room to sleep in. They proved to be even more valuable after camping in the general population.

2. Riding into Hampton at the end of day 3 - knowing the town and knowing we had a nice quiet place with a nice comfortable bed to sleep in.

1. We went 512.7 miles with no flats or mechanical issues!!!!

Top ten list of worse RAGBRAI memories:

10. Pam's leg rash (no sure what or why but for the first two days....)

9. Hot Iowa days with no clouds.

8. Riding past the plethora of Iowa hog farms.... they conveniently placed all of them at the crest of every steep hill so we had to ride by at 4mph holding our breath as we rode by.

7. Taking a shower in the Spencer fair grounds hog washing area. They did clean it up but the thought......

6. Riding uphill on the recumbent at 4mph while 95% of everyone else is passing you.

5. Too many bikes on the road at times we had to ride breaks down the hills.

4. Wet cornfields on day 3. (now how are we supposed to......)

3. The noisy general campgrounds in Spencer, Independence, and Dyersville.

2. The two major hills right outside of Humboldt. We were not ready for that and it made day 3 start off a little rough.

1. Leaky tent during rain storm.

Funniest moment: 13 miles from the end we stopped in our final cornfield to relieve the excessive pressure from our bladders. After we got back on the bike I kept asking Pam what is that banging noise coming from the back of the bike. Well it turns out it was the visor on my helmet had come loose and was banging on my helmet - Pam could not hear it and I asked her 3 times what is that banging noise before she finally figured it out!

Best Bike: A recumbent bike (trike) with a 12 foot mast and sail on it. The best part was we figure we only had about 5 miles the whole RAGRAI with a tail wind - the rest was mostly (75% or so) a head wind. This 20 - 25 year old peddled harder than us up those hills!!!!

Best Restaurant: Tie The Mongolian grill (Huhot) in Cedar Falls and the "Family Restaurant" in Dyersville.

Best view: Tie - three days as the sun rose up out of the corn fields with a farm house and barn in the foreground.

Well that's bout the memories of our first RAGBRAI ride in 2007. We still can't believe that we finished the ride, but hey, if 10,000 people do it every year - so can we - right!!!!! Take care and go ride your bike!

Brian & Pam