Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids 85 Miles
Good thing we were prepared for last night’s storm because things were well saturated when Logan threw me out of the tent shortly before 6 am. The rain seemed to cool the ground a bit as the morning started a little later than usual. Forgetting his Fairdale Kit on top of the tent seemed to make it hard to put on, shamed further by changing in the middle of the campsite. A risky move made possible by not tripping.
Today’s 85-mile journey began similarly to the others, loads of bikes and loads of humans pedaling them toward the next quiet Iowa town. Today I overheard a conversation while surfing the B.O.B. Trailer that, the route is decided by a group of Iowa Cyclists who decide on a number of criteria and a number of factors they take heavily into account are economic.
The mass of people buying 9000 slices of watermelon for One dollar a piece from the local high school Drama club seriously puts money directly back into the community. That watermelon goes great with a piece of pie from this social group, or this school athletic team. I am not in charge of the funds for the trip because of some previous negative experiences with the financial responsibilities, but it was nice seeing the money that was spent go to the communities who welcomed the group of riders.
Logan looked sunburned as we made our way past Garwin and Garrison. We ran across some college kids who had a sign that said pool and shouted “your dog can swim too!” so I made sure to give Logan the “turn around and let’s cool off” look so he hit the brakes and we turned around. After the typical small talk about where we were from and such I got ready to jump in the pool and the kid told Logan that it was $5.00 for a swim. I immediately trotted back to the front yard and heard Logan thanking the dude for his time but that was a bit out of our price range. Some Humans on the route sure are funny.
Some bikes we saw were amazing. One bike that stood out seemed to catch my attention by the contents of the basket on the bike. The boy in his mid 20s, riding a bike that predated him by at least 40 years and looked like it sat in the barn the rest of the year, had a peculiar accent. He spoke about how he kept the bike well maintained over the long hot miles by using WD-40 every forty miles or so. “Just a little spray, not too much.” He also mentioned that the WD-40 can was from the early 1950’s. I sadly don’t have thumbs but Logan managed to snap this sketchy photo of the contents of the rider’s basket. This was truly a unique rig with an interesting human.
We made great time today with significantly less wind. Cruising the long ride into Cedar Rapids was cooler than the rest of the day. The last four miles or so were along a lazily winding river. Not to be fooled twice on the same trip I stayed out of the water. We reached camp and got things set up with plenty of time to kill so we headed into town for some people watching and a lasagna dinner at a Cedar Rapids Church.
After reaching town we immediately got hassled about not wearing a leash. Logan is pretty well trained by now so I don’t see the need to put him on a leash. The cop wasn’t having it… Hassled by the man. I didn’t want to see counting crows anyway. The Lasagna dinner was awesome. Not only did I get a full plate of lasagna served hot by church grandmothers but they fed Logan too.
The Shuttle ride back to camp was very educational. There was a guide on the bus who was born and raised in west Cedar Rapids. He pointed out how high the water had gotten in the 2008 record setting flood of the area. This area had block after block of empty foundations that once held proud working class houses. It was a pretty heavy scene. We got back to camp a little later than usual. Humans make some wild noises when they’re sleeping, snores of all types echoed through the camp.