It's over, for me, anyway. I rode two days in Iowa and that was enough. As I expected, it was nice to ride with 10,000 other cyclists and the party-like attitude of the riders and the people in the towns was really nice. The problem was that it took place in Iowa. I was glad that when I rode, it was overcast, had head winds, and occasional rains. Otherwise it would have been hot, muggy, and unbearable.
Nothing ever dried off or cooled down. Sure it was nice to be able to wake up at 4 am and have it only 70 degrees for packing up camp and heading out on the road by 5 am in the dark, but that meant it would end up about 90 degrees and be so humid that no clothes ever dried off. Then I decided to ride sort of slow to see what festivities were along the way in the towns to not arrive at the end destination in the middle of the day. The end towns had booths for food and bike equipment as well as some other activities, but I was too busy trying to leave to really see it all.
I was lucky that somebody else decided to quit the ride and that they were heading through Des Moines, so they could drop me off there. Then I took a bus to Osceola, IA, where I took the train back home.
"There's no place like home," said Dorothy!
A couple of photos
Here I am in Kingsley, 30 miles from the start on the first official day but my second day of cycling, and further on where fresh ice cream was made and served.