Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pella days in Algona

Aug 6, 2008
Today is the longest scheduled ride of the tour, 114 miles. We started out in rain and ran in and out of it for much of the day. The rain was a little bit of a nuisance, but the temp was warm enough that you didn’t get cold, yet it helped you stay cool enough to keep right on truckin. We also had a bit of a tailwind, which always lifts the spirits. About 30 miles out from Algona (our stop for the night) I received a call from my cousin Dan W. He was in the area and wanted to meet up -- he and his wife Kris and kids showed up just before I did, it was a treat to see them. I was able to give them the camp tour and they helped set up the tent before they headed back to Pella. The showers were a few blocks away at the YMCA. As I was checking in there some one behind me called me by name; it was another friend from Pella. It’s always fun to meet old friends in places you don’t expect. Since we ran in rain most of the day the bike was a mess, so I worked on cleaning it up a bit and fixing the 2 broken spokes I discovered. 1 of them had started flopping around about 10 miles out of camp. I think that makes 5 broken spokes, really the only problem of any sort I’ve had with the bike. As I was working on the bike a couple more friends from Pella showed up: Brent P and Wes V. I knew they were coming but it was sure nice to see them! They took me out for supper and then stuck around camp for the peloton meeting, so they could get a feel for life in camp. (For those who don’t know what the Peloton meeting is, it is just a meeting we have every night for the whole camp. The day's ride is discussed a little bit, and it includes taking some stats like how many flat tires for the day. Ed, the tour director, then hands out maps and goes over the route and any changes to it.) Brent had also brought a big basket of Lifesavers candies and a poster made by his wife Susan -- that has been a big hit. They headed back to Pella about 9:00 pm and I crawled in my tent and slept very well. We found a very large insect that no one knew what it was. Well it was a Dobson fly -- a very large, science fiction looking insect. In the larve stage it is called a Hellgrimite and is even more scary looking.

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