If you got back to me I missed it, sorry, but no big deal.
As it turned out I did hit Hamlin about noon on Monday but had plenty of my own to deal with. Hadn't thought abut the century loop being before that and those hills around Elk Horn and Kimballton really kicked my ass- I was 45 miles in and gassed with 62 to go. Made it and earned my century patch but is was tough, wouldn't do the loop again if I knew what I was biting off. That was also the hottest day.
BTW, not sure what the deal was but I think the sign out before Hamlin was asking for Lance Armstrong to drop in to the local joint and wish Meaghan happy birthday. Do you know if that happened or did I get it wrong?
Dipped in the Mississippi yesterday and all in all it was great fun. However we did have a couple injuries in our group, one fairly serious, and I took a spill outside of Packwood. It is a whole lot of humanity riding at all speeds and a lot of different road conditions.
Unless we get a special crew together I probably won't do it again but we did it!
Couldn't have asked for a better 7 day stretch of weather- got rained on Mon night but we'd just finsihed making camp and Thursday night we were under a roof in Oskaloosa. Never got much over 90 although on Monday my bike thermometer hit 120 on asphalt in a valley with no wind.
PS. Nodody should ever get on a bike in any circumstances without a helmet. My old one is now in the Oskaloosa dump because I cracked it when I hit a centerline crack and flipped. I finished the ride and otherwise would have taken a helicopter ride to Iowa City.
Re: Hey NewAgJudge
N Il crop looks great, as it usually does and things look pretty good west to Iowa City and then it gets spotty, Lots of corn just beginning to push tassels, most did through the week, beans small and a very few likely PP fields. SW Iowa looks average at best plus behind. Not a disaster and could be decent but probably needs a good August and a normal frost.
SE Iowa looks good, some of the Tama/Muscatine soils look very good although as with N IL, usually does. Very late and some PP fields evident along the river from Ft. Madison to Burlington.
Of the 600ish miles of the route the thing that really struck me was there were nothing more than a few very short stretches that looked dry- grass green and corn not under stress throughout.
Granted I didn't cover the NC part of the state and the dry parts, or so I hear, in the NW, just reporting what I saw.
Didn't see anything that led me to beleive different than the trade notion that we'll have a crop.
Re: Hey NewAgJudge
If I would have been on this year's ride, I would have taken a short cut on the new Raccoon River Trail from Perry to Des Moines on the third day. The trail goes right down to Waterworks Park and is smooth as glass.
Maybe we will see you on the road someday.
Re: Hey NewAgJudge
Ride every day for at least 20+ years approx 20 miles if the temperature is above freezing, roads aren't covered with snow or it isn't raining. Rode more when I was racing, more like 200+ miles week during the warm months, not enough fat to venture out during the winter, couldn't stand the cold. Rode rollers or trainer instead. Much fatter today so the cold isn't such a problem. Also have toured Ireland and the British Isles. Bottom line is that I never wear a helmet unless riding in a group or racing. Did wear one touring but was frequently mocked by the locals. Typical example: why do you wear a helmet? Answer: To protect my head if I crash. Rebuttal: So you crash often? I believe at the speeds most individuals ride that a helmet is seriously over-promoted/emphasized unless you are infatuated by how fast you can ride down a steep slope.