I got out early again this morning to beat the heat. I was on the road by 6:15. As I was leaving camp so were two other riders, so we rode out of town together, and one of them (Mike from chicago) wanted to do about the same pace as me. We rode the entire route together. It was great to have company and the conversation made the miles go by faster. We had a good pace and got the first half of the ride done quickly. As we departed Colfax we had to climb a monster hill. Some folks walked it but I still had enough energy in the legs to make it. At the top, unfortunately, someone fell over which caused quite a bit of confusion. On the plus side a group was giving out free water as a reward for making it up the hill. Then the ride got tough. The road was a never ending procession of rolling hills, some of them steep.
We stopped for "lunch" just outside Baxter at about 10 am. While we were resting a few rain showers came through, but by the time we were ready to leave the rain was gone. The weather was otherwise improved today, as cloud cover kept the heat down.
To make it more interesting we started hitting headwinds after we left Baxter. I even had to peddle on the downhills to keep from slowing down. This road also had some vehicle traffic, including a few tractor-trailers. The wind and the hills were so bad that one cyclist sought relief by hanging on to the side of a tractor-trailer as it slowly made it's way through the traffic.
It was a relief to climb the last hill and ride in to Grinnell. Tomorrow we hope for less wind (or at least wind on our backs), fewer hills, and no rain.