Riders on the annual bicycle trek across the state are enjoying some of the best weather in years. Jon Cook pedals with a bike group called the Tall Dogs.He says there was a “wonderful” tailwind Monday through yesterday, today it’s been a crosswind but as they turn from Ackley southward it looks like a headwind the rest of the day. “You just kind of grin and bear it,” he says. Some may stay in their tent an extra hour in the morning hoping to wait it out but eventually you just jump on your bike and ride and accept that you’ll get wet. Cook says many riding in the group of around ten-thousand have not yet heard of the death of one RAGBRAI participant who fell on a country highway the first day — but he says many remember that location. The road there had a centerline crak perhaps an inch-and-a-half wide, the width of many bicycle tires, and if a rider crosses it lengthwise, it’ll grab the tire and you’ll fall. You might think you’d just go around the crack, but when you’re on the ride you’re surrounded by nine or ten thousand other riders and can’t steer anywhere you might want to. He says people are out of touch while they’re on the road, and he’s heard at least five different rumors, all untrue, about the Sunday incident that marred the start of the ride. There’s unexpected fun times, too, like the greeting by a trooper after some took a rest stop along a rural highway.Ten or eleven club members noticed the state trooper coming, so they were standing all in a line when he drove by, rolled down his window, aimed a big water-gun and squirted them all. RAGBRAI lands in Marshalltown tonight, and goes through Hiawatha, Anamosa and Maquoketa before winding up Saturday at Clinton.
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