Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | July 20, 2016

Day 34: Early start, heat and more radio play

Day 34
Destination: Onawa, Iowa
Wednesday’s mileage: 53. Total: 1,935

I woke up today at 4:30 a.m. to try and beat the heat. That worked (though the heat has trapped us in a Super 8 in Onawa). What didn’t work was thinking an early start would help me beat the wind. That did NOT happen. The wind won today.


That’s some EARLY morning sunlight over the Missouri River. Welcome to Iowa!

But I accomplished one thing: I arrived in Iowa, crossing the bridge over the Missouri River and heading into Sioux City. That’s when I turned south and felt the full force of that wind. I maade it to Onawa, kind of a halfway point on the way to the beginning of RAGBRAI, but that was as far as I got.

A note about RAGBRAI and this blog. During the entirety of the event (which begins Sunday), it’s really hard to break out a computer and write. First, we’re camping every night (power/connectability issues). Second, I’m with a charter company — Pork Belly Ventures — that sets up camp, feeds us, and moves our gear each night. Because of that, I’ll be leaving stuff locked up and away from the tent so blogging might be a little tricky most of the time because, well, no computer! It’s also such a social journey across this state (10,000-15,000 bike riders all on the road together!), that meeting new people, swapping bike stories with friends and family, and avoiding the day-to-day comings and goings of the world take priority. So, in short, starting Sunday, you might get a week-long break from my musings. But once I return, you’ll get all of the Iowa dope and then more as we head into Illinois, Indiana and Ohio on our way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Of course, because Melody will be continuing to shoot photos along the way while documenting my journey and the spectacle that is RAGBRAI, you should keep a close eye on our social media channels and the website for any updates.

A quick note about today’s ride. It was hot, but I finished early enough to miss the worst of it. The best part about today was that I checked off my fourth state (Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska). I left Jackson, Neb., this morning and within an hour crossed into Iowa. So that’s four down and another seven states (and Washington, D.C.) to go.


More radio tonight
I’ll be joining the fellas at “Sports Middle” in the Bay Area for another guest spot on their weekly sports radio chat show. My spot comes up around 8:30 p.m. CDT, so check it out if you’re interested. The archives for a couple of my past appearances (June 30 and July 14) are also there (the archives generally go up the next day).




  1. Bravo, Mark! Have a wonderful time at RAGBRAI.

  2. Have a great ride through Iowa! Sorry we missed you in Minneapolis. I’m out in Las Vegas for a Photoshop conference. A little different adventure than riding a bike across America, but an adventure nonetheless… Will look forward to the return of your blog when you’re ready for your next state.

  3. […] I mentioned in the last post, it’ll be a little tricky to blog while we’re biking and camping across Iowa. […]

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