RAGBRAI L, Saturday July 22, 2023

Sioux City Saturday, and the trouble begins…

After multiple phone calls Saturday morning, I finally was able to make arrangements for the second charter to fetch me from my hotel to get me to Sioux City. Finally around 3:30 pm a bus pulled up out front and I loaded my gear underneath. I should have just gotten an Uber to the other hotel – it would have been much easier (as I learned next Saturday on my return to Omaha). Regardless, I made it to the other location and after a couple of hours, boarded the bus for Sioux City. My bike was loaded on a U-Haul truck separate from the bus, causing me mild separation anxiety. My premonition was correct.

When the bus reached Sioux City, it dawned on me that we were headed to a completely different location than the one where my weeklong charter was located. After the charter clients disembarked, I was able to convince the driver to take me to my campground, and she happily did, which was a relief. We reached my charter campground soon after, and I grabbed my duffle and headed over to check in. Still one problem – I didn’t have my bike. It was on the U-Haul truck, which was headed to the OTHER campground. Multiple calls to my contact at the second charter, and finally a van arrived with my bike, but now it’s starting to get dark, and I still have to assemble my bike.

The whole second charter arrangement had pretty much wrecked my Saturday plans. I was going to assemble my bike and do a shakedown ride to the Expo, where I was to pick up my Team Duzer t-shirt. Ryan Van Duzer is one of my cycling heroes, and I was hoping to meet him in person. But the Expo would be closed before I could get there. So no expo, no t-shirt and no Duzer.

The van driver took off before I could get my bike out of its case, because I wanted him to return the case to the second charter where it would be delivered to the end city, Davenport Iowa. But I needed to get the bike assembled before it was too dark to see. I’m drenched with sweat and stressed to the max. In my haste, without realizing it, I cross-threaded the pedals reinstalling them. I would discover this on the ride to the first overnight town, Storm Lake.

After an uneventful Friday, Saturday was a mini-disaster and the ride hadn’t even started yet.

Author: brianbartleyberlin

Adventure cyclist. No spandex, carbon fiber or cleats. My ride is a 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker, made of steel, built to last.

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