No, I did not do the century. The possibility didn’t even cross my mind. So why was it best? A combination of lucky circumstances, including good weather, lovely scenery, and friendly winds. But mostly, fewer riders surrounding us. Because of the extended distance, people started leaving very early. Jacquie, Ethan, and I got going about 6:45 (it would have been 6:30 but for a crunchy brake cable on my bike that completely stopped functioning Thursday morning). We had moderately light bike traffic until the loop (i.e. century (100 miles) riders turned off). After that we had incredibly light traffic. We enjoyed Sully, where there were no lines for Kybos (porta-loos) or Chris Cakes (pancakes) and there were many seats at shaded tables.
Our next stop was Deep River, where the Iowa Corn Growers provided “pay what you want” (delicious) corn on the cob, dipped in a vat of butter. They also were giving away swag, which had not been available to those of us in the middle of the pack previously.
We continued on to Keswick, where we had hoped to get lunch and beer. Sadly, though, the only beer on offer was mass-produced American beer (yep, we’re those cyclists), so we ate pizza and drank soda instead. We had only 9.6 miles to go, and that stretch did not contain a craft beer tent 😢. We even passed up ice cream in our quest for beer.
We reached camp before reaching the overnight town. Happily, Brancel Bicycle Charter provides (for a very reasonable added cost) a great selection of beer (and soda, water, etc.) so we were able to satisfy our craving once we had collected our team’s luggage and staked out a campsite. I had a Hoegaarden, followed by a Cherry Jane from Lagunitas. As we finished our second round, our fearless team leader Jim returned from the century. He had a great day with light crowds too.
We eventually found our way downtown and had (variously) mac and cheese and pulled pork in a local coffee shop, Barn Wired.
I got some S’mores Ice Cream from a truck that was at the expo all week (I can’t remember or find its name). It was pretty good. Creamy texture and just the right sweetness and the graham crackers weren’t soggy.
By the time we walked back to camp, I was too tired to blog or even read. A good day, all in all.