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Updates from RAGBRAI: From College to Jail

A bicycle “insect” stands above the crowd in Mount Vernon.

Day 6: Cedar Rapids to Anamosa
42.2 miles; 1,907 feet of climb

A short route and perfect 80-degree temperatures made for a great bike ride today. We left Cedar Rapids and rolled out to Mount Vernon through the campus of Cornell College. A lone bagpiper and whole plethora of food stands welcomed the riders.

We crossed through rolling hills of corn and soybeans—the picturesque territory that captivated Grant Wood. Riders were more relaxed than they have been at any point so far, and that paid off for the towns in extended visits and more frequent stops.

A shop in Mount Vernon.

It was an afternoon of slip-n-slides and ice cream before we pulled in to Anamosa. This town’s claim to fame is the home of the state penitentiary.

Made of limestone from the quarry in nearby Stone City, the building was constructed in the late 19th century and was known as the “White Palace of the West.” It still houses prisoners today. The accommodations at the Farm Creek Country Club, where we’ll be spending the night, are rather more comfortable.

Daily tally
Pork chops: 3
Ears of corn: 1
Pieces of pie: 0

Today’s fact: Iowa is the country’s #1 producer of soybeans.