The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 27, 2013

Riders are approaching the end

By Ted Schultz Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald

---- — FAIRFIELD — It seems we began the 2013 version of RAGBRAI just yesterday, and now it’s about done.

The sixth day of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa on Friday took riders 52 miles from Oskaloosa to Fairfield.

First, let me back up and thank Rod Schultz again for volunteering to fill in for a day and write the RAGBRAI column. It’s fun for me to read about it from somebody else’s point of view.

Thursday night as we slept in Oskaloosa, a steady rain fell for quite some time. But thankfully it stopped right before I woke up!

The ride began with a nine-mile journey to Cedar in overcast, and somewhat cool conditions, and then another five miles to Fremont. The route was, and continued to be for most of the ride, flat as a pancake. That was welcomed by all riders, I’m sure.

From there it was nine miles to Hedrick, a town that has always stood out to me because of the school’s athletic nickname – Foxes. That’s one of the 10 coolest in Iowa, I’d say (although I’m pretty sure the school isn’t open anymore).

We then traveled three miles to Martinsburg and 12 to Packwood. During that journey, I did something most veteran RAGBRAIers will be surprised to hear. I ate at Mr. Pork Chop for the FIRST TIME EVER!

I’d biked by that pink bus for nine years and enjoyed the smells, but never stopped by – until Friday that is. And yep, the chops are all they’re advertised to be.

A short bit after that I stopped at a roadside stand that was a fund-raiser for the Pekin High School volleyball team. I had a great conversation with the coach and wished her and the Panthers success in their 2013 campaign.

After Packwood it was a mere 15 miles to Fairfield, home of the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment (wow, try saying that fast three times).

Anyway, Saturday we wrap up the ride when we head to Fort Madison.