RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) Day 1.
This is definitely a different style of touring and I very much enjoyed this first day. The only problem is that there are many stopping points along the way for food and drink and so the potential to end up a bloater is high:
Stop 1: Breakfast Burrito, coffee and chocolate milk
Stop 2: Peach smoothie
Stop 3: Blueberry Pie and Ice Cream
Stop 4: Fresh Lemonade
Stop 5: Tropical Smoothie
Stop 6: Bloody Mary (Indeed, until I saw the handmade sign advertising said beverage, some ten miles out of town, did I realise that I really wanted a bloody mary, which then plagued my mind for the next ten miles!) and Watermelon
Stop 7: Freshly made Ice Cream (a scoop of Raspberry and a scoop of Peach)
Stop 8: Pint of Craft Beer
So not only did this make for a series of short rides, the wallet took a hit. However, it would appear that most of the money is going to local groups (scouts, churches, fire brigade, schools and kids rasing money for scholarships) or local businesses. So all in a good cause one could say. And, like I said, it certainly makes for a different kind of touring, especially as I met a lot of interesting people along the way.
Oh, and by the way, today I passed the 7,000 mile mark for this trip.
Unfortunately, the showering facilities were less than good: long queue (which I joined); six bucks (which I reluctantly handed over); for an ice cold shower (indeed the lake water was probably warmer, which I'd originally considered before going down the shower route). Hopefully things will have improved for tomorrow.