SAC CITY - Thousands of cyclists braved the stifling heat Monday as they continued a seven-day trek across Iowa on the annual RAGBRAI bike ride.
Monday's ride brought riders from Cherokee in northwest Iowa to Sac County, with a final destination at Lake View, where they would set up camp for the evening.
As riders made their way to Lake View, many stopped in Sac City, where several churches offered a break from the heat in the air conditioning and meals to keep riders going for the last leg of the 61-mile ride.
-Messenger photos by Emilie Nelson
Cindy Howell, of Cumming, takes a photo of the world’s largest popcorn ball in Sac City during a stop on the RAGBRAI bike ride Monday.
Along the way, the world's largest popcorn ball was a popular attraction and many cyclists stopped to take photos and sign a guest registry at the shed where the Guinness-certified record-breaking 5,000 pound treat is housed.
For Cindy Howell, of Cumming, the popcorn ball was something she had heard about and sought out along the route.
"I'd heard all about it, and now I finally get to see it," said Howell.
A water pipe connected to a fire hydrant off U.S. Highway 20 in Sac City provided a place for riders to stop and rehydrate, or for some, such as Tim Sweeney, of Verona, Wis., a place to cool off by placing his head under the running water.
"This might work for a few miles anyway," said Sweeney.
Many riders also rode in costume or as part of themed teams. Some donned pink feathers and pink cycling jerseys as part of Team Flamingo. Others wore tutus. But for Matt Rhoden, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and his friend Kurt Rosenberger, of Atlanta, Ga., Elvis Presley was their theme of choice. They braved the 100-degree heat and pedaled into Sac City wearing long-sleeved white sequined jumpsuits.
"We do this every day," said Rhoden. "We have a different Elvis costume for each day of the ride."
As cyclists made their way south to Lake View for the final 10-mile stretch, there was something to look forward to at the end - a nice cool dip in Black Hawk Lake.
RAGBRAI will continue to make its way across the region today with stops in Lake City, Lohrville, Farnhamville, Harcourt, Dayton, Lehigh and will overnight in Webster City.