Last day! Day 7 on RAGBRAI is always a great experience. Often it's the shortest day of the week, as people like to get finished with time to pack up and head for home. Also, the terrain approaching the Mississippi River is a nice change of scenery and the long downhills are welcome after a week of pedaling. I wouldn't have any big rivers or tire dipping for Day 7 of the virtual RAGBRAI, but I did plan for a relatively short day and a mostly flat course with a mix of gravel and pavement.
The Rock Creek Trail starts only about a mile away from home, so it was nice to save it for Day 7. I'd take this trail and join up to the Coal Creek Trail on my way to Erie.
It was nice to be able to sleep in a bit and take my time getting ready, but I couldn't take too long because of the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. On the regular RAGBRAI, you don't have to worry about the North American monsoon, but you do here in Colorado from late July through August.
From what I could make out, the sign above the door says "Gooding School." I always wonder what old schoolhouse treasures are locked up inside, if any.
How many times have I ridden past Boulder Reservoir? A hundred? More? For whatever reason, I've never stopped until today. There are some gravel paths around the reservoir that seemed to be a fitting way to end my mixed pavement and gravel week.
I may not have gotten 22 miles of gravel on Day 1 to qualify for the gravel loop patch, but I probably did double that if I added up all the gravel I rode during the week. The bonus on this day was catching these great views of the Flatirons as the afternoon storms rolled in.
I rode past this same field on 75th street three times during the week and stopped to take a picture each time. Here on Day 7, you can see the hay bales are being picked up using some pretty antique-looking farm equipment that seems to suit the rustic setting.
And that's all for the 2020 RAGBRAI! The ride might have been "virtual," but the pedal strokes and the miles were not. All told, I rode 451 miles with 14,254 feet of climbing, which exceeded the Iowa route's 424 miles and 12,487 feet of climbing. All my miles were solo and self-supported, and each day I packed and carried all the food and water I consumed along the way. I know here in Colorado I could have added a lot more feet of elevation gain, but in the end, I'm pretty happy with the routes I chose to give the week a RAGBRAI feel, at least in my legs. Let's do this again next year, but in Iowa.