When we take a day off the bike, perhaps you are imagining that we are relaxing poolside somewhere, sipping a drink with a cute little umbrella in it. What is more likely the case is that we are:
- doing laundry
- dealing with bike issues
- catching up on the blog
- trying to map out the next week or so of our tour
- looking for accommodations, food and aid stops along the route.
This particular rest day was no different. Roger went off in search of a car wash where he could clean the bike. I stayed at the hotel doing the laundry and catching up on photos and blog posts. I started trying to "connect the dots" for the next leg of our trip - we are here, we want to get there - and then got sucked into researching routes, potential lodging, Warm Showers host sites, etc.
One of the towns we hoped to stay at (it was at the right distance) had three options: The Ringneck Lodge, Pheasant Hotel, and Recoil Lodge. When do you suppose their busy season occurs? Turns out these places were all 5 miles off route - which turns into 10 extra miles in what were already going to be longish days. So scratch that town.
And that's sort of what you do. When you are not using one of the established routes (like the ones that Adventure Cycling publishes), you have to do this research yourself. It's hard to imagine how it worked back before we all had smart phones, Internet searches and RidewithGPS to help.
By the way, we walked down the street to AAA to return a big old heavy camping guide that we had taken for reference but were not going to bring with us. All the ladies in the office were RAGBRAI veterans! So I guess we are getting close enough to that sphere of influence to be running into fans of the annual ride across Iowa. We do not have any plans to cross Iowa on our trip, so I guess we will just have to wave as we pass by!