Like most every bike ride, today's 42-miler to Anamosa seemed more difficult during than after.
After a night indoors - most of us in our own beds - breakfast on the 16th Avenue Bridge of Lions closed a historic RAGBRAI overnight in Cedar Rapids. Then it was off to Mt. Vernon, where the street was packed like none other, vendors sharing space with a huge influx of riders for the shortest stage of RAGBRAI XL.
A stiff head and cross wind made the 10-mile ride to Springville tougher than it should be, but all were in Anamosa soon enough. Personally, I struggled to get comfortable in the saddle, but persevered to the Anamosa city pool to go 6-for-6 in post-ride swims.
That streak will end tomorrow with a 69-mile ride to Clinton to finish the adventure. Our numbers have dwindled in recent days, but the Coe crimson and gold will be on full display as Team CoeBRAI dips front tires in the mighty Mississippi at the end of the world's longest, largest and greatest bicycle touring event. Sore muscles will be soothed by the pride of a difficult mission accomplished. And on Sunday, we'll begin planning for 2013.