Scott and I got underway by 7, and Justin was on the road by 6 (we found out later). About 5 miles out of Algona, the tone was set for my day. My chain slipped off the big chain ring going up a small hill. As a result, I lost Scott, but was able to catch up to him and blamed him for pulling a 'Contador' on me (if you followed the Tour De France, you'll get it).
Shortly after that, I had a flat tire, and didn't see anyone from our group the rest of the day. I had an incredibly frustrating day in the saddle. I had 2 more flats after the initial one, all in the first 15 miles of the ride. I finally came upon a mechanic tent and spent $70 on a new tire, rim strip, 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cartridges.
I have to shout out a HUGE Thank You to team Air Force. Part of their mission while riding RAGBRAI is to assist riders who need help. They gave me 2 tubes and used a can of fix-a-flat to get me in to the mechanic. Those guys and gals were awesome!!!
The ride today felt like a series of 5 mile rides. I never felt like I got into my groove completely. And the heat. It was darn hot today. 91 degrees with a heat index of 103. Add to that a swift wind from the south, which has a head-wind for a 6 or 7 mile stretch, and you've got a pretty challenging day in the saddle.
Justin however had a great day. He made it to Clear Lake by 11:30! I'm not sure when Scott got in, but I didn't get in until 3:30. Mom and Dad showed up around 4:45.
The ShuttleGuy was setup at a UCC church and Clear Lake is hopping. There aren't many roads around the lake, so we were battling more vehicle traffic than usual, which was interesting. But most importantly, Justin got his bike. Tomorrow he will ride a carbon fiber Trek Madone and he is looking forward to it. I suppose the only down side is that it is one of the shortest days of the week at 51 miles.
We are planning on walking down the road to a Chinese restaurant after showering up. As I type this latest post, my battery is giving out so that will be all for today. I'll charge things up and continue posting tomorrow. We're looking forward to another light day tomorrow, 51 miles to Charles City. The wind is forecast to by NNW at 10-20, which should suite the day's route well...