73 Miles of biking- 5th Day on RAGBRAI

The Fifth Day on RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) was the longest ride of my itinerary and was also the hilliest. My riding group switched up today from my aunt to my high school friend Leanne and her cousins.

Read about my other days riding my bike across Iowa: Eldora, Day 4, and Day 6

5th Day on RAGBRAI- start in Cedar Falls

Photo by Kerri

This is their first day of riding so they have fresh legs. My legs have ridden for 110 miles already and are tight, sore, and tired. After a few miles as my warm up out of Cedar Falls, I was back in action.

Overall, the 5th Day on RAGBRAI was rough.  It started out great with cool-ish temperatures at Farmer Boys with breakfast burritos and flat terrain through LaPorte City.

5th Day on RAGBRAI group at bar in Springville

This group is a lot of fun to ride with during RAGBRAI. They stop often (yay breaks!) and like to carb up with beer.  Our first stop in La Porte City was a beer stop.

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$2 Flat Tire special.  I love Iowa pricing! Smile

5th Day on RAGBRAI Corn sign in Vinton

Vinton was the main lunch spot on Day 5. Over lunch the temperature skyrocketed, the clouds disappeared, and the bicycle crowd was all here.

5th Day on RAGBRAI Vinton

The lines for fun food were really long so I settles for a slice of pizza and another ice cream sandwich from Thelma’s- this one was peanut butter cookie with banana ice cream!

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Trying to find some shade in a tent in Vinton.

5th Day on RAGBRAI Vinton beer garden (2)

The town after Vinton was Shellsburg. This 11.3 mile stretch between the towns was killer- nothing but hills- mostly of the uphill variety. Quite a few bikers of the 20,000 riders were complaining loudly through their huffing and puffing that they thought Iowa was flat- some of it is but not all of it!!!!

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In Shellsburg, we stopped for a pickle (which is awesome on a hot day!) and some music with a side of cute ponies.

More hills and many miles later the Iowa Craft Beer Tent appeared!

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Leanne, her brother, and I were leading the pack of cousins and veered off for a $5 beverage. This was an amazing multi-grain Farmer John Beer from the brewery Confluence in Des Moines. I would order this again in a second.

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Tired legs that also have heat rash. Fun times.

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The cousins arrived for a beverage and we gathered our strength for the remaining 5 miles into Hiawatha.

Iowa Craft Beer Tent- 5th Day on RAGBRAI

This is by far the longest ride I have ever done.  I was just bone tired by the end.  We cruised into Hiawatha for some grub and some rest before tomorrow- my last day on RAGBRAI.

73.2 miles and done!  (3 day biking total of 186.6 miles)

5th Day on RAGBRAI mileage


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7 Responses

  1. Chaitali says:

    Ooh… I hadn’t seen that your recap had started. I’m going to go check out your other days. This sounds like an amazing experience and so impressive that you managed all that biking! I love that this group had frequent stops and carbing with beer 🙂

  2. Wow! So impressed with the long distance riding. That is one area I would like to improve upon. Looking fwd to catching up and following your blog.

  3. I’m really impressed with all your cycling! How lovely to do it with such a big family group. I’m sure beer helped too 🙂

  4. Iowa seems like the place to drink beer – great prices and yummy beer! We’ve gone on cycling trips in Europe and knowing we could stop for beer from time to time was one of the things that got me through the long days. Did you guys carry your stuff on panniers on your bikes or was that transported separately for you?

  5. This sounds like an amazing experience! I am sorry about the heat rash, that in addition to the tired legs must be so uncomfortable. I am so impressed with your stamina!

  6. Glad to see you are up to a challenge like that! I am not even sure how many miles I can pedal. I know the other day I did about 10 miles and was almost dead that night (couldn’t sleep because of the pain).

  7. Connie Reed says:

    Wow, congrats on the ride. It sounds amazing but something I wouldn’t even attempt.

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