No portapottys ever showed up so it was a long walk over to the nearest ones at the fairground. I'm sure most people are fairly dehydrated so it didn't matter much!
Today was Karras Loop day on RAGBRAI, meaning that riders had an option of turning the 65 mile day into a 100 mile day by riding around Rathbun Lake.
Jim, Judy and Abby declined to think an extra 35 miles would be fun, so I set off alone as early as there was light to see the road, about 5:45. I finally took a picture of the FREE BEER sign at mile 3. It's there on the route every day, but somehow 6 in the morning seems to early to start drinking.
At mile 20 I started drafting behind a guy wearing a plastic helicopter on his helmet. After a couple of miles I took a turn. When I looked back, we had 6 people in a peloton! The 6 of us stayed together for about 15 miles going 20 mph. The pace was so consistent that it was almost lulling to stare at the back wheel of the guy ahead of me. I had to remind myself to look up ahead instead.
The fast miles put me halfway on the route by only 9 am! Seeing it was starting to get hot I was happy to be that far. The turnoff for the Karras Loop came quickly, and once I was on it the road got lonelier. I was so early that most water and snack stands hadn't set up yet. Which was unfortunate since I was almost out of water. I managed to make it to Honey Creek Resort, where I got my patch for doing the loop, and met John Karras, the guy who helped start this whole event. They had cold water and real bathrooms and lots of lunch options so I looked over the lake, ate and relaxed for a minute.
The lonely road ended when I rejoined the main RAGBRAI route. The bulk of the riders were now coming through, so the road was more crowded. I only had 20 miles to go which felt really nice. Then I was amazed to see how many people were turning off to START the Karras loop at noon. They still had about 40 miles to go and it was getting hot.
I pretty much plodded the rest of the way to centerville with a mild headwind. Jim had beat me into camp and set up the tent. Now that's love. We were again lucky to be close to showers. We would have to walk downtown to the food vendors to find our supper. Later. When it's cooler. Now, for a nap in the shade....
Here's some interesting facts about todays route from the official RAGBRAI Pre-Ride back in June: