Anamosa To Clinton 70 Miles
The final morning was uncharacteristically quiet. The humans partied harder than usual last night, with most talking about how relaxed and cool the next day’s ride would be. Our campsite packed up quickly as both of us were eager to get the ride started. I sat at the bottom of the ramp into the truck while Logan loaded our gear for the last time. We rolled our rig through camp making sure to say good morning to the people who we saw regularly. Hearing Logan give the rundown of my breed, age, name and the usual info every fifteen seconds for seven days gave me the idea that there were quite a number of people who recognized me. It’s hard to tell the humans apart when they all are wearing such funny colored spandex, but I always appreciated the kind words.
The ride was bittersweet, Logan seemed settled into a groove and the miles seemed to drop quickly. The evenly spaced towns on today’s 70 mile ride broke up the last day of the trip pretty well.
While the hills rolled past and we began the long descent into the Mississippi river valley I had some time to reflect on what I had experienced. RAGBRAI was not a cycling event. RAGBRAI was a celebration of the wholesomeness that the Midwest has to offer, more specifically the wholesomeness that is nurtured in the green rolling hills of Iowa. The best way to experience such an amazing collective feeling is by using the most humble of Human innovations; the Bicycle. These humans have come to Iowa from all over North America to pedal through the small towns that some have forgotten exist, for a variety of reasons but the one common factor that keeps humans returning is the hospitality of everyone involved. RAGBRAI offered me quite a bit of hope for the Human race.
Upon our arrival in Clinton Iowa Logan made his way through the crowd to the water’s edge for the ceremonial front wheel dip in the murky water. The miles were taking their toll and Logan seemed to be moving like a Zombie. Logan arranged for a ride on his cellular device and shortly after both of us were fast asleep in a Hy-Vee parking lot on the edge of downtown. Logan’s parents pulled up and we packed up the Fairdale, B.O.B. Trailer and all our gear for the return to East Moline and the following day back to Austin. Next Year should be even better.