BBIKE Rides RAGBRAI: Days 4 & 6
Since I last checked in, I've been continuously ticking off the miles across Iowa during RAGBRAI's 50th edition. Day 6 is over which means my dad and I have completed 5 full days of riding along with the initial arrival day. It's so hot and humid but— as this year's slogan goes— it's one "L" of a ride!
Day 4: This was the first actually hard day. We were faced with a strong headwind almost the entire day which meant my father and I were in a two-man pace line, occasionally joined by others or tagging onto other snaking echelons. I spent a lot of time in the drops to make myself more aerodynamic and thankfully the BBIKE EXP Gravel's handlebars, with their flared out design, were plenty comfortable all day long. Maybe we took fewer breaks than we should have, but I was motivated to arrive at the overnight town, shower, eat, and relax. One cool thing was riding through the Iowa State Cyclones stadium upon arrival in Ames— so sweet!
Day 5: A much-needed respite. This day was the shortest day of the week, totaling only 59 miles between Ames and Des Moines, the state capital. Helping us along all day was a breezy tailwind and a slight downhill gradient. Compared to the day prior, it felt like we were flying. Cyclists were chatting and in good moods, plus many new members that were joining just for today's ride between some of Iowa's two largest cities. Early arrival into town meant plenty of time for a nap, lunch, and exploration of Des Moines-appaloosa, the huge concert event hosted at the campgrounds. But the longest day of the week loomed ahead as we set our heads on our makeshift camping pillows that night...
Day 6: The hardest day on paper was simply a great day on the bike. Over 85 miles and 1,000+ meters of climbing was going to be a challenge but we took it patiently and had plenty of breaks to stay fueled and hydrated. I've been getting stronger every day and am in good shape thanks to the BBIKE's level of comfort. The wide gravel tires soak up the pesky potholes and irregular surfaces on the less-than-perfect Iowa roads, saving my arms and back. Plus, there was a surprise gravel section today! The BBIKE performed excellently with tons of grip and speed over the loose gravel and dusty paths. A late arrival into town meant not many activities before hitting the hay and preparing for the final two days of RAGBRAI L! So until then...