The week is almost a wrap, and final RAGBRAI packing is underway...

I've enjoyed working with the high school students attending the Orpheus Music Festival this week at Simpson College.  A lot of very talented students are here this week learning and enjoying the music camp.  Today and tomorrow's lessons are the final things I will do with the students I am working with before attending their Friday afternoon recital.  They rehearse all day Saturday for the final concert on Sunday, but I will be gone on RAGBRAI which means I will have to miss it this year.

Following Friday's recital, Tara and I will attend a "lobster party" being hosted by our good friend Lisa Seidenkranz.  We had a choice of lobster or steak and I chose steak as I don't want to risk eating crustacea the night before I head out on a week long bike trip.  Not that I would get sick, but I don't want to even tempt fate.  It's not a part of my regular diet, so no need to chance it.

After that, we come home and do the final packing while we host fellow Team Simpson RAGBRAI member Bev Thiele (Simpson Alum/Opera Singer) who is flying out from New Jersey for the ride.  Everyone is getting excited for it and looking at this morning's updated forecast - my excitement has improved.  I am always skeptical about a forecast beyond 24 hours, but things look good for Central Iowa according to the latest forecast.

If this forecast holds, I'll take it for sure!!!!


Tara and I have our bags packed for the most part and they are sitting on our bedroom floor.  I washed both of our bikes yesterday as they were covered in Mulberries that had fallen on trails here in Iowa.  The berries, when they ripen, turn a dark purple and they were stuck on the frame, tires, brakes, etc... like glue.  This required a good scrubbing to remove them from all of the nooks and crannies on the bikes.  I dried everything off, lubed what needed to be lubed, and announced that the bikes were good to go.

Tara and I will do our last recovery ride this evening and take tomorrow off.  Not to worry, we will avoid the mine field of Mulberries on the trail as they are drying out thanks to the Flash Drought we are in at the moment.  We want our legs and bodies to be itching to ride come Sunday, so the taper this week and several days off the bike have helped stoke that itch.  I have to remove the pedals from the bikes for transport and I'll wrap my nice clean white bars and saddle in some plastic wrap so they don't get too mucked up in the truck on the way to Council Bluffs.

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