The ride from Coralville to Muscatine was pretty uneventful. I stopped for a while in Atalissa to get gatorade and look for a post card to send Sophie. No luck with the post card, even at the post office — it said it was open, but nobody was there. I had planned to stop at every pass-through town, but Moscow didn’t have anything at all, as far as I could see. There were still about 13 miles from Moscow to Muscatine, so I was looking for someplace to stop and put on more sunscreen. Up comes a little church with a farmhouse across the road, and signs saying “free water”. So I stopped, as did a slew of other people. They had two big igloo coolers and they were refilling them repeatedly from a standpipe in the back yard. I went straight to the source and wet my head, as it was getting hot already.

They had some baked goods to sell, though by the time I got to them the cookies were gone, as was the pie. I got a muffin and some kind of bar cookie. It turned out to be sort of like pecan pie without the pecans. In other words, basically pure sugar. You could feel it going into your veins immediately after taking a bite.

Anyway, I got back on the bike, went just a little further, and there was the Muscatine city limit! So I stopped and got out the camera, wanting to get some pics of the “entering town” views. The route was lined with people, both locals waving and greeting and riders stopped to assemble their teams. From the city limits to the river is about four miles, and it was all downhill, so I just coasted, took pictures, and tried to keep the camera dry — people had sprinklers set up all along the way.

I cruised down to the river and dipped my wheel — some kindly members of team loon were there; I took a picture for them and they reciprocated. Then I headed back to the baggage truck. This was a problem. No camp site to go to, of course, so what do I do while waiting for Robin? I called her, and she was at least two hours away. Finally, I just got out a few items, left my bag, and went downtown looking for shade and something to do. Inspiration struck! They have bars! So I had a beer in a bar by the river, watched a little arena football on the first TV I’d seen for a week, and just generally killed time until it was time to go meet Robin at the baggage.

Oh, the ride was 50 miles at 16.5 mph. Not counting a little riding I did on the bike trail down by the river.

Back at the baggage I ran into Matt and Jimmy. Jimmy has resolved to come again next year; Matt seemed a little less certain, but I think they’ll work it out. I haven’t decided yet myself. I enjoyed the ride, but I might like to try something a little less crowded. I’m going to look into GRABAAWR, for instance. Or perhaps do RAGBRAI with a group next time; a couple of them are based in St. Louis.

I’ve downloaded all the pictures, and put them on my pictures site. Next I’ll start posting some selected ones with commentary.

One Response to “Muscatine”

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