RAGBRAI Day 1: Council Bluffs to Harlan

July 21, 2013 § 2 Comments


Dad and I had an excellent introduction to RAGBRAI XLI today. This year’s route is a relatively short one through southern Iowa, ending Saturday at Fort Madison. Today was a 56-mile journey from Council Bluffs to the town of Harlan. We anticipate that today was one of the hilliest of the entire week as we rose out of the Missouri Valley. Luckily, it is only hilly in Iowa terms – compared to the Continental Divide, today was a piece of cake, even though I just got out of camp yesterday and haven’t touched a bike in over a month.

As with most days, today we got started before 7:00. We made quick progress through the fields of corn and soy, stopping in several towns along the way to explore the food offerings or to use an actual restroom instead of a corn field, as is common here. Even with frequent breaks, we arrived in Harlan well before 1:00. It’s a classic American small town, with tree-lined streets and a town square now flooded with thousands of cyclists. Pork Belly Ventures, the organization we’re using to lug our bags and set up our tent, has a camp in a wonderful park just outside town. Should be a great place to sleep after a great ride!

All kinds of costumes on this ride.

It’s quite a beautiful ride – the scenery is great, and it’s good bicycling alongside others who are experiencing the same thing.

Every town we went through had ridiculous amounts of food for the riders. It was nice biking to breakfast here in Underwood!

Towns like Neola offered a lot – live music, entertainment of all kinds, and plenty of food.


Quick rest in the shade of a tree.

Surprisingly few windmills so far!

Our tent city upon arrival.


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§ 2 Responses to RAGBRAI Day 1: Council Bluffs to Harlan

  • Janet Harris says:

    I’m following you guys every day this week . . . good luck! Jan

  • annesquared says:

    Enjoy the journey. I hope to take the time, especially in the small towns, to talk to the people who live there. They are incredible, loyal, cautious, yet welcome over 15000 people through their hometown and make sure they are safe, watered and fed.

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