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Our new second and first graders headed to their new classrooms. It was all down from here for Zach, his drop off was tearful and he wanted his blanket, but once we left he was fine (I peeked in his class when we came back with his blanket). Dena will be taking the kids to school this year, so our daily photo diary is done.

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Day 7 – Anamosa to Clinton (70 Miles)
The last day of RAGBRAI kind of stinks. We’d ridden a lot of miles without a rest day and were only getting 5-6 hours of frequently interrupted sleep. We’ve only had one day of decent weather, preceded by 5 days of draining heat and constant sweat. I wake up for the last day, and I’m tired. My legs feel fine, but I could really use another four hours of sleep. It was pretty cool overnight and my throat is scratchy as I get up, like maybe I’m getting a cold. My bladder woke me up before my alarm, but when I get to the kybos there’s a line and for several minutes it isn’t moving. I go back to camp and take a bottle into my tent to solve that problem. I get dressed, donning my  Oscar the Grouch jersey for the last time. Everyone is slow getting started. Tired, but also sad that this adventure is coming to a close. We may not be rearing to ride, but that doesn’t mean we want to go back to the real world.
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Day 6 – Cedar Rapids to Anamosa (44 Miles)
The second to last day was the shortest all week and we were looking forward to having much nicer weather. We’d decided beforehand that today would be “Hawaiian shirt day” so we traded our cycling jerseys for flowered shirts. Eric won the early judging by forgoing the Hawaiian shirt and opting instead for a flowered tankini that he wore over his University of Michigan team kit. Since we were staying with a construction company their day started pretty early, so despite the late night ours did too. Our hosts brought us a very nice breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage, and other treats, which we all appreciated and enjoyed. We took our time getting ready to roll out and left close to 8, I think. We also picked up another rider, a fellow also named David, who was friends with some of our Michigan contingent.
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Day 5 – Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids (84 Miles)
After the rain storm we woke up to cooler temperatures and winds that had shifted to the west. We were looking forward to both the longest official day, and also the one with the most elevation gain, despite the fact that there were no big climbs. We packed up wet tents and got our bikes out of the garage where they’d weathered the storm overnight. Not everyone was going to be riding today, so we were going to be a smaller group out on the road.
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Day Four – Webster City to Marshalltown (77 miles):
The fourth day on the road would be the hottest and windiest day of the ride, our fourth day with temps near or above 100 degrees. We were expecting a front to come through overnight after the ride and someone on the route said, “If it rains, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to lay down in it and THANK GOD!” No one in my group would have felt much different. We were tired, and RAGBRAI isn’t as much fun when you’re just trying to get through the day’s ride. When it is just too hot to stop and enjoy the pass-through towns. When you need water more than you want a beer.
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