"You can't always get what you want" is not only the greatest lyric ever, it's also the first, last and only rule of RAGBRAI -- and, apparently Swine Trek.
We had last-minute plans to camp, but scrapped them at the last minute when a steady rain settled in Friday night. We left home shortly after 6 a.m. in order to arrive in time for registration and a 7 a.m. departure from Pleasant Creek State Park.
It was cold and we were under-dressed, but determined. We felt good arriving in Center Point about 8 a.m. and stocked up on fruit and cherry donuts. But when we went to leave I discovered my front tire was flat. Inflation proved futile, so I replaced the tube with the spare I always have with me. (Lesson #2)
By the time we discovered the route out of town, my front tire was flat again and our ride was over. We summoned a sag wagon and rode back to Pleasant Creek, 10 miles in to what was supposed to be a 50-mile ride.
I traded a two-hour wait for the chicken dinner for getting our bikes in for a tuneup (Lesson #3) and proceeded immediately to Northtowne Cycling. They tell me it will be two weeks; I pray it will be shorter.
Lesson #1 -- "you can't always get what you want."
Lesson #2 -- carry a spare tube
Lesson #3 -- get your bike tuned up at a reputable shop that will assure RAGBRAI readiness