What a day. We started out with overcast skies, which was a good thing. Temperatures this morning were actually reasonable. Then around noon the clouds broke up and the mean sun came out and temperatures rose back in to the 90's. Some of the RAGBRAI veterans that I have talked to have told me that this is one if the hottest rides they can remember. It has certainly been pretty wicked so far.
In the early part of the day we heard something that we all dread: someone yelling "rider down". We all moved to the left side of the road and slowed to a stop to make room for the ambulance. Still not sure what happened but at least two riders were involved. I heard a rumor later that one was taken to the hospital with a broken leg.
With the accident behind us we rolled on to Elk Horn, where I had a breakfast pizza: scrambled egg, sausage, and cheese. It was surprisingly good. I also saw a rather unusual RAGBRAI rider: a schnauzer that was rescued from a shelter in Chicago. On the way through Elk Horn we passed by a nursing home, and the large windows were completely lined with its residents, watching and waving at us. The next town, Kimbalton, has a replica of The Little Mermaid statue in its central park. There was also a real live mermaid and merman posing for pictures along the main road.
In Wikey, the final passthrough town, as I was resting in the shade two nuns walked up to me carrying a cooler and selling freezy pops for $2. I bought one and it was delicious. It is fun to roll through these small towns and see all the effort that the local community puts in to welcoming us.