Today’s route took us from Council Bluffs to Harlan, about 55 miles there with 2,500 feet of vertical climb.  Unlike the BRAN ride where bikes are the minority on the road and one has to compete with cars and big trucks, on RAGBAI there really are no cars or vehicles.  It’s just bikes, but Oh My, thousands and thousands of them.  Most riders know the rules of the road and practice them, but on this ride there are hundreds of riders with just no sense!  They can suddenly stop or swerve in front of you with no notice, they ride six across taking up the entire road, they are too busy talking to see road hazzards or other bikers, they are looking at their phone or have headphones on and not clue you are warning them of passing them.

The rules of the road state that one should pass on the outside, so it is practice to announce “On Your Left” as you approach a rider you are about to pass.  I’m a good rider, and fortunately, as I am a slow rider, most people pass me and I don’t have to yell that all day.  Even though, it can be tiring so I bought a cute little gadget that is a bell and also has my voice recorded on it.  Bought it a couple years ago, never really used it, anxious to see the results on this long ride.


Took this picture while riding so it’s a bit blurry, but just had to capture the beautiful sunrise on our first day.


Typical view of the road at any time during the day on RAGBRAI.



View as I approach one of the many towns.  It becomes a very slow moving procession and you have to get off your bikes to do it.


The town of Shelby went all out and even made this wonderful entry sign.  Not sure if you cans see it, but they hung bikes (all painted in primary colors) across the street and up the poles.  There was also a bike and planter on every pole in town.


This is my companion on the trip, a one foot tall troll named Ziggy Stardust (Google David Bowie if you don’t get the name).


Just had to stop and check out this VW as I have a 1983 one similar to it.


The good news is the rain from this missed us!

  • Amy:

    Love the updates and the pictures, Dad! Especially the troll 🙂

  • Pat:

    No, you cannot bring the VW home! Looks like you are having a great time. Enjoy the pics and comments, and insights. Keep on bikin’! Love ya.

  • Andrew:

    I didn’t know you had to dismount to go through cities. Seems like that would add a lot of time onto the ride for the day, but I guess it’s probably a welcome break, too. 🙂

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