Tuesday, July 17, 2007

They're waiting for you at Bellevue

In three days, Team CoeBRAI will embark on a 477-mile bicycling journey across Iowa. Below are some tidbits about each overnight town on the ride.

Saturday, July 21
Rock Rapids
RAGBRAI theme: “Wild Wild Northwest”
Population 2,576
Elevation 1,388 feet (The highest point on this year’s route, so I guess it’s all downhill from here.)
RAGBRAI history: start town in 1999 and 1979
Trivia: Called “the city of murals” for scenes from city history painted on walls of downtown buildings.
Most famous citizen: Jerry Mathers (gee beav)
Dipping Tires: The boat ramp in Island Park will be open for riders to dip their rear tires, a RAGBRAI tradition.

Sunday, July 22
Spencer
RAGBRAI theme: “Licensed to Thrill”
Population 11,059
Elevation 1,316 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1999, 1990 and 1979
Trivia: Home of what is billed as the “World’s Greatest County Fair.”
Highlights: Lance Armstrong will speak with registered RAGBRAI participants age 21 and under at 6 p.m.; fireworks at 9:55 p.m.

Monday, July 23
Humboldt
RABRAI theme: “A Holiday in Humboldt”
Population 4,390
Elevation 1,070 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1985 and 1979
Trivia: The town was originally called Springvale for numerous springs in the area. Highlights: Recently opened a new aquatics center with two “huge” slides (open for swimming and showers for $4 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
Need to know: After stopping for lunch in Havelock with Brady Krischel ’07 and family, we’ll be staying seven miles south of Humboldt at a home with a picturesque view of the Des Moines River.

Tuesday, July 24
Hampton
RAGBRAI theme: “Hot Fun in the Summer Time”
Population 4,221
Elevation 1,112 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1990
Trivia: Originally named Benjamin so it would be read as Benjamin, Franklin County, Iowa, to honor the famous American. Renamed Hampton in honor of the famous (??) Hampton Roads of Virginia.
Site to see: The Franklin County Courthouse, built in 1892 in Romanesque style.
Need to know: Our hosts have generously offered to provide us with a free barbeque dinner.

Wednesday, July 25
Cedar Falls
RAGBRAI theme: “Live Large”
Population 36,940 (biggest town on this year’s route)
Elevation 853 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1998 and 1989; pass-through town in 1985
Trivia: Originally called Sturgis Falls; what is now known as the University of Northern Iowa began as the Civil War Soldiers’ Orphan Home.
Site to see: Lance Armstrong Foundation concert featuring Blues Traveler at the UNI-Dome (tickets required).
Need to know: Dinner catered by Famous Dave’s courtesy of the Coe Alumni Office;

Thursday, July 26
Independence
RAGBRAI theme: “S.S. Independence”
Population 6,114
Elevation 922 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1982, pass-through town in 1989
Trivia: Located on the scenic Wapsipinicon River, the countryside features one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in the nation.
Site to see: Team CoeBRAI defeating Team Knight Riders from Wartburg College in kickball.
Need to know: Our hosts have generously offered to provide us with a free barbeque pork loin dinner.

Friday, July 27
Dyersville
RAGBRAI theme: “Ride the Distance”
Population 4,167
Elevation 942 feet
RAGBRAI history: overnight town in 1989, pass-through town in 1983, 1993 and 1999.
Most famous citizen (almost): Although Ernest Hemingway didn’t live here, he visited his grandparents often.
Trivia: Home to the “Field of Dreams” movie site, the National Farm Toy Museum and the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier.
Site to see: “Field of Dreams” movie site (nothing says America like competing land owners)

Saturday, July 28
Bellevue
RAGBRAI theme: “Soaring into Bellevue”
Population 2,361
Elevation 600 feet
RAGBRAI history: hosted in 2002, 1999, 1991 and 1989
Trivia: shortest day in terms of mileage (56.6), but the worst in terms of climb (3,195 feet).
Site to see: Beautiful view of the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam No. 12.
Need to know: We’ll gather at the high school on the edge of town before descending as a team to the Mississippi River to celebrate our accomplishment.
What I’ll be thinking:
Princess cards she sends me with her regards
barroom eyes shine vacancy, to see her you gotta look hard
Wounded deep in battle, I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted
To her Cheshire smile. I'll stand on file, she's all I ever wanted.
But you let your blue walls get in the way of these facts
honey, get your carpetbaggers off my back
you wouldn't even give me time to cover my tracks.
You said, "Here's your mirror and your ball and jacks".
But they're not what I came for, and I'm sure you see that too
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free

Crawl into my ambulance, your pulse is getting weak
reveal yourself all now to me girl while you've got the strength to speak
Cause they're waiting for you at Bellevue with their oxygen masks
But I could give it all to you now if only you could ask.
And don't call for your surgeon even he says it's too late
It's not your lungs this time, it's your heart that holds your fate
Don't give me money, honey, I don't want it back
you and your pony face and your union jack
well take your local joker and teach him how to act
I swear I was never that way even when I really cracked
Didn't you think I knew that you were born with the power of a locomotive
able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?
And your Chelsea suicide with no apparent motive
you could laugh and cry in a single sound.

And your strength is devastating in the face of all these odds
Remember how I kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god?

You were not quite half so proud when I found you broken on the beach
Remember how I poured salt on your tongue and hung just out of reach
And the band they played the homecoming theme as I caressed your cheek
That ragged, jagged melody she still clings to me like a leech.
But that medal you wore on your chest always got in the way
like a little girl with a trophy so soft to buy her way
We were both hitchhikers but you had your ear tuned to the roar
of some metal-tempered engine on an alien, distant shore
So you, left to find a better reason than the one we were living for
and it's not that nursery mouth I came back for
It's not the way you're stretched out on the floor
cause I've broken all your windows and I've rammed through all your doors
And who am I to ask you to lick my sores?
And you should know that's true...
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free

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