After the long century day, I was anxious to have a shorter, 73 mile ride. My knees are a little sore, not to mention my tush.
Some highlights of Tuesday- it seemed to be my day for water. I drenched myself in every water spout, garden hose, and sprinkler out there. I yelled for all the kids to squirt me with their water guns which sadly had very very warm water in them. What's up with that?! I swear some of these kids could be expert marksmen- they can soak you through from about 100 yards away! Talent.
I came up behind a rider who was riding a little erratically- I decided to stay on the other side of the road from him, and when he came up next to me to chat, I realized he must have something like cerebral palsy- his legs, though fit, were oddly contorted out, I don't know how he even stayed clipped in. We chatted, he was swervy, I dropped back.
I could not pass up the opportunity to do a water slide, though it was not naked and there was no beer aiding my descent- it was a long stretch of black plastic into someone's lake. That had my name all over it- it took off my sandals and helmet and went down. I got so much gravel in my butt I thought I shredded my shorts! My new friends from Bikejournal got it all on video- I'm sure it'll be up around here soon.
Rode some more and stopped to pet a goat and enjoy the shade. Man I loved that goat! Road a little more and stopped to pet a mini horse. Rode some more and stopped for the Iowa staple, rhubarb pie. It was delicous and had the largest serving of ice cream on it that I think I've ever seen. And I ate every bit of it!
We've gone through some great towns- they come out in full force to welcome us and treat us right. In Lauren's we got "Leid"- I signed their totem pole and gave a shoutout to bikejournal.com (pictures to come when I get home)
In Eagle Grove, a freight train came through that was so long hundred and hundres of us piled up to continue riding- felt like the Five Borough Bike Tour!
Also, I met a guy riding who is an amputee. I was so excited to see his prosthetic leg was made of carbon fiber!! He said he had the choice to get it "flesh", but liked it better in the gun metal grey- I agree- it looked so bad ass. He rode like the wind too- passed me like I was standing still.
Had a great day yesterday riding with my friends from Bikejournal- Rob and I did some sprinting and fast riding- poor guy, he couldn't keep up with me. (Ha! Ok, he held on pretty well...in my slipstream, but I digress...) Rode with DecafBeanBoy for a long time too- he rides with a basket on the front of his bike and throws lollipops to children and anyone with a flat. And he's super funny and sings "Jenni" songs which is so entertaining.
Went swimming in the local water park (maybe that was monday) with an impressively large water slide system- there's nothing quite like a couple hundred guys in the pool in their bike shorts, many of them playing in the "kiddie" section. That felt great!
I've been riding with my "Jenni" license plate and have been getting tons of conversation out of it- where ya from in NY, or just "Hi Jenni". I highly recommend something like that for anyone else to do this ride. It's just the coolest to hear people call you by name and chat without knowing them!
And of course because it's NY I can say, "How YOU doin'" and "Faggedaboutit" over and over and it's always funny. Ah stale jokes.
And yes, Iowa is pretty flat. It's good because you don't have to climb so much, but bad because you're ALWAYS pedaling. Yesterday the biggest hill we went over was the interstate. Really. But add the headwinds and it's still tough.
I've felt super strong through despite my knee hurting. At times I"m cruising along 17-18 ish, at times I"m going 10. I maintained 23 for a good while yesterday- don't know where that came from, we were in a crosswind. Some guys passed me, I think they were doing a hundred. There's no justice. The biggest thing is just to finish- I could care less how long it takes me.