Tuesday, July 27, 2010

RAGBRAI 2010 - Day 1: Sioux City to Storm Lake

Well our 6AM wake up time did come early. After a short and fast night's sleep, we did get on the road around 7. The route wound through the north end of Sioux City for awhile before really getting 'out on the road'. The early morning fog was still hanging around and as the sun burned it off, reveled a beautiful cloudless morning. Pam, from LA, whom I met later on the ride, said the early morning day brought tears to her eyes. She's not used to wide-open spaces and is loving her first RAGBRAI experience.

Justin did great the first day. He wanted to 'test-drive' a carbon fiber bike for a day, but they were all spoken for in Sioux City, so he will try again in Storm Lake. He said RAGBRAI was pretty much what he expected, but some of the teams, buses and weird bikes, etc. were a surprise.

We got to Storm Lake in good shape and found our campground easily. The ShuttleGuy service, for those who don't know, is a full service luxury cycling tour operator. They provide the tents, which they setup and take down. They provide air mattresses, which they inflate. They fill your camp shower bladder and let it heat in the sun. The provide towel service, air pumps, complimentary snacks and beverages after each day's ride, and camp chairs, which they put away. They are 'uber' organized and provide an amazing service. Highly recommended!!! There are 76 tents on this year's ride and the 15 or so employees work very hard to keep us happy and oblivious. In Storm Lake our campground was setup at the middle school, which was an easy shuttle bus ride to the main action.

I don't think any of us took in enough calories on day 1, so we sought out a baked potato bar at a local church. Unfortunately after spending over a half hour in line, they ran out. As we were walking to vendor row, we saw another sign for baked potatoes at the historical society and we got there just before the line grew. It was a good cyclist's meal.

We slept wonderfully Sunday night in preparation for our 100 mile day on Monday.

More later.

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