Waking up in a hotel is always a great way to begin the day because you do not have to pack up all of your sleeping materials and can take advantage of being able to sleep in for about another ten minutes because of that. On top of that, we often get to begin our days with a hotel breakfast where we can load up on food before getting on the bilkes. This is especially nice on a long day such as this one which was a 90 mile ride to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the breakfast definitely gave us some much needed energy to get us off on the right foot.
I rode sweeps with Gradle, Everett, and Adam which was a nice change of pace because we got to take the ride a little bit easier than the rest of the cyclists as we are required to be the last group behind everyone else in case people in front of us have bike issues throughout the ride. Overall, the ride was pretty similar to what we had been seeing ever since we crossed into Iowa with mostly rolling hills throughout the entire day. Luckily, it was a pretty cloudy day so the heat didn't up being too much of a problem for us. Due to some minor medical issues, some of the guys in my paceline ended up not being able to ride as much and I eventually ended up sweeping with Griffin and O'Brien about midway through the ride. Once we transitioned into this paceline, we started to get into a rhythm and the miles started flying by. Everett was able to join us again around mile 80 and pulled us the rest of the way to our lodging at the Arc of East Central Iowa. When we arrived, our lovely sponsors had Powerades and snacksn waiting for us which was a great way for us to cool down from the ride.
Later on that night, our sponsors at the Arc provided us a fantastic dinner with sandwiches and spaghetti before we got to enjoy a friendship visit with some new friends from the Arc. At the friendship vist, we played many different games like Jenga, Scattergories, Connect Four, and Deal or No Deal, Everyone seemed to enjoy the games and the Arc also provided delicious cookies for everyone to snack on throughout the night. Despite the weather outside being pretty terrible, we were still able to make the most out of the night and have a great time with our gracious hosts from the Arc before heading to bed and gettingf prepared to get back on the road the next day.
- Austin Bourne, Cyclist, Virginia Tech