A bike ride event that stretches across an entire state is daunting enough — but when you add in scorching temperatures — you have another major obstacle to clear.
With heat indices expected to climb up to 105-110 today and tomorrow, riders in RAGBRAI are looking to beat the heat. Dave Morris of Orange City is making his first ride.
At the overnight stop in Fort Dodge, he says his approach thus far has been to get an early start. He says they got up at 5:30 in the morning and got on the road by seven to try and avoid the heat.
James Townsend of Nebraska is a veteran of the event. He says over the years riding RAGBRAI , he’s learned to adjust to the conditions while riding. “If you sweat a lot you can do the heat — so the heat actually doesn’t really bother me,” Townsend says. “The heat bothers me now, the heat will bother me tonight when I am in the tent. The heat doesn’t bother me that much on the roads.”
Californian Juan Ramos is riding in RAGBRAI for the fifth time and says he’s had past experiences with heat exhaustion during the ride. “You get really dizzy, so if you ever start to see spots in your vision, or you start to get chills — that’s a really good indication that it’s time to stop and go in the shade for a little bit,” Ramos says. “It’s really weird because you start to get cold.”
Riders leave Fort Dodge today and will make their way to Iowa Falls for the overnight stop.
(By Rob Jones, KFVD, Fort Dodge)