Archive for July, 2008


I was going through my movies a few weeks ago and I saw Field of Dreams; I couldn’t help but watch a few favorite parts. Last year on RAGBRAI XXXV we camped in Dyersville, however we never made it up to the field, so I decided that I wanted to go this summer. Driving, however, wouldn’t cut it.

The trip to the field is about 55 miles from Marion, it will probably be closer to 60 once I take into account some backroads needed to stay alive on a bicycle. In the summer of 2005 I did 3 back to back weekends: 55 miles, 100 miles, and 158 miles, so I knew I could make the 110-120 mile trip, I just needed a little training.

Last Saturday I decided I’d like to see a little more of Iowa between Marion and US 20, so I set out on an 82 mile loop at about 10am (I needed to wait for storms to pass). It was a great day for biking, cool and almost rainy in the morning and then sunny but still in the 70s all afternoon. My route took me 6.5 hours (which is still slower than my 12h 36m finish of the 158 mile RAIN 2005), and even as it got hard at the end I was having a good time. I got attacked (physically) by two of those black and red birds this time, so I might have to grab a new helmet next year (one that isn’t back and red).

My Route: Marion – Alburnett – Central City – Coggon – Robinson – Monti – Quasqueton (halfway point) – Rowley – Urbana – Center Point – Robins – Marion. Unfortunately, Routes 13 (Central City to Coggon) and 150 (Rowley – Urbana) were busy 2-lane state routes, so I’ll have to avoid them next time.


Next Saturday I plan on heading up to Dyersville via: Marion – Anamosa – Buck Creek – Delhi – Delaware – Earlville – Dyersville, and I’ll try to return: Dyersville – Earlville – Delaware – Buck Creek – Prarieburg – Central City – Alburnett – Marion. We’ll see if I have to call someone to rescue me.

Route There (65.6 Miles)

Route Back (63.9 Miles)

Also, while I was out on Saturday, my new GPS unit came. John recommended this unit to me, so I purchased a Qstarz BT-Q1000P GPS logger. It can act as an external unit for a PC or a Pocket PC, or just run in log mode and store data points (it’s not a navigation device). I tested it last night running around my neighborhood and it performed exceptionally. Plotting the coordinates on Google Earth, it even displayed me running on the correct side of the road. I’ll put it to use on this next bike trip to get some real statistics.


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