Monday, July 25, 2011

RAGBRAI - Party in Carroll

I'm right now in tent city, Carroll, Iowa. Just back from the concert lot, and even with all the warning, I've got to say - I'm astounded by what a -party- this is.

The city of Carroll doesn't stick us in a park, no. They take all these cyclists pouring into the city and spread us out. Every park is a tent village, every street full of blinking lights and RVs. Folks are on their laptops in the churches, sleeping in the school hallways, crowding in the rec center. Every shop has bikes parked in front, team buses are parked in driveways all over town. Seen from the school bus shuttles, its clear that RAGBRAI has taken over the whole damn city.

Downtown, the open space is given to the concert stage, vendors, bikes bikes bikes, and hordes of party-goers, well supplied with alcohol. A pair of pretty blond girls flirt with the state troopers, who seem to be enjoying the attention. A young man bursts through the beer garden gate on his bike, blinking lights and panniers and all. There are people jumping, shouting, grinding and line dancing. Women in tank tops, tiny skirts and boots, old men in bib shorts, young men with mullets and tweed vests, a whole crowd of men strutting in kilts. Every once in a while, a monsterous coal train blasts its horn and thunders past the stage as the band plays.

All this excitement is nothing I'm used to, but I need to get to sleep and haul out early. Heres to tomorrow being so crazy....

Loaded bikes waiting for their people. Recognized a few of these from the folks in Breda.

Men in kilts on bikes(well, with bikes).

I've seen this bike before...

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