RAGBRAI 2014 Day 4, promised to be a short and sweet affair. Despite the challenges of the previous day’s rides, I felt as though I was getting stronger. The soreness in my legs had begun to subside, I was finally catching up on my sleep and I was beginning to relax and let loose. I had been looking forward to getting to Mason City. I am an architecture dork and I was looking forward to seeing the Music City. Mason City was the home to the Music Man and some Frank Lloyd Wright’s works. If that was not enough, I was going to have a special riding companion for this ride. I was going to be riding a 2014 Bianchi Infinito CV Ultegra. This is a nice machine and will be the subject of a future review.
Day 4 was going to be easily, but hopefully not a breeze. I headed out late with the plan of finding breakfast on the road. At 16.5 miles, I arrived at Ventura, IA. A cute little town on Clear Lake. It was also the day’s home of the Iowa Craft Beer Tent. It was before 9:00 am. Should I stop for a BEER? Hell yeah! This is RAGBRAI! I also picked up a nice breakfast/lunch sandwich. It was time to get rolling.
The route from Ventura to Clear Lake was quite nice, rolling on the banks of Clear Lake. On the way we passed the Surf Ballroom. The Surf Ballroom was the last place Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper played before their tragic plane crash. The Surf Ballroom has a museum and a 2,100 performance theater. Unfortunately, it was very close to the RAGBRAI route and I missed it! Damnit! If only my glasses had not been blown off of my face and run over! 🙁 Luckily I had a day to kill after RAGBRAI. I went back for a few exterior shots. The Surf still has some great shows. Seeing one is now on my bucket list.
After clear lake. It was only 16 miles to Mason City where I had to return my friend, the Bianchi. Luckily there was plenty to keep me occupied in Mason City. There is Mason City Brewing, (2) Frank Lloyd Wright buildings to tour and a Bret Michels performance. The BEER was great! I came back to stay in the Frank Lloyd Wright hotel (the last remaining) after RAGBRAI. The ladies certainly brought their finest throwing panties for Brett Michel and Warrant, but the performance wasn’t all that I was hoping for. Warrant had some new skinny blonde kid in place of their original lead singer. Bret Michels’ performance was rather lackluster and ended early for fundraising for his various causes. Mason City deserved better.
Mason City was a lot of fun, but day 5 has us rolling on to Waverly, IA.