Three days, 198 Miles

Posted by on Jul 27 in RAGBRAI

IMG00101-20100727-1309Today we road 60 miles from Algona to Clear Lake, Iowa. While this was shorter than the 68 and 79 miles of the previous two days, we had a headwind coming right at us for about half of the ride, which was very difficult! We left at 6:00 a.m. and pulled into Clear Lake at around noon. I’m really glad we got here early as it is now about 100 degrees here in Clear Lake.

Each day we’ve ridden hard, had some great food along the route, and gotten into the overnight town hot and tired. But the towns have all been very, very friendly and opened high school showers or public pools for the riders to clean up. Then the local party has begun – every overnight town has a downtown “Expo” with food vendors and bike shops, and great local entertainment.

That headwind we experienced (and which I’m sure we’ll see again on another segment) is one of the reasons that Iowa is one of the leading producers of wind power in the country. We passed rows upon rows of windmills that farmers had constructed to earn extra money from their land.

I have to say, my legs are tired and the seat hurts a lot each morning when we start riding. Plus it is hot, hot, hot.

Our team met up with Daryl Sanders, who is a Senior Art Director at my grandfather’s advertising agency, Hellman. (L to R): Michael Mahon, Daryl Sanders, Mike Mahon, Bob Hellman Jr., Robert Hellman III

The people in each of the towns we pass through are super, super friendly. They are sitting out in their front yards as we ride through, waving and cheering. You feel like a sports star as you pass through. And they are always ready to lend a hand, offer a cold drink, or simply offer a friendly conversation.

Tomorrow we are on to Charles City – a 52 mile ride which looks to be the easiest of the trip. But then its 82 miles to Waterloo the day after that – oh boy!

-Robert Hellman III