Well, it's 2:15 Iowa time and I just finished my first day of riding. The morning was gorgeous- 70's and very breezy. Got to chat a lot, met some amazing people so far. The plane trip in was uneventful, met up with the charter and drive on a comfy bus to the start. Our tents were already set up which was so nice.
I got Baby and was so relieved to find she arrived in one piece. The charter mechanics unwrapped her and deftly reassembled her, much to my delight. He even said, "You bike works REALLY well." Well that was like manna.
Unpacked a little and got some "dinner" in town. It was just a potato and some corn, but it filled me up. Didn't do any partying- I was more interested in getting to sleep. I'm so glad I brought my battery-operated Christmas lights- they're perfect for putting on top of the tent- makes it much easier to find your tent in the dark. I'm not the only one to think of that. One guy came up to me and said, "Me too- they told me to pack LIGHTs". Hardy har. Fun guy.
I turned on my battery operated fans and fell asleep, needing my ear plugs.
I woke up at 1:15 am. Then 3:00, then 4:45. I finally just stayed up- I was too afraid I'd oversleep with the ear plugs.
Packed up and headed out. The first 40 miles or so were easy. I at times rode 18-19 mph, then slowed down to chat and visit the towns. I think I stopped in every town, though I didn't eat too much along the way. Took a little extended stop in Hartely with DecafBeanBoy from Bikejournal. We rode together the rest of the way singing songs to get stuck in your head- if you get the other person singing it, you get a point. (Think, "Sweet Caroline")
Some of my favorite things from today: seeing jokes posted along side the road
the responses I got from my "jenni" license plate
meeting bikejournal friends
kids excited to see us
riding through water being squirted at us
the gorgeous weather
I finished with just over 78 miles today. Tomorrow is supposed to be the century day. I don't know, it's supposed to be hot! I'll drink water all night and think about it. The wind was fierce. Maybe I'll start extra early. I'm very much looking forward to going to sleep tonight.
One down, 6 to go.