Marshalltown's up next, and it's almost ready...it's got the drought-defying colors flying...and the Johnnies on the spot.
RAGBRAI riders will spread across the square, but certainly bottleneck one block east...where the glass doors at Taylor's may just swing off the hinges.
"We are hoping maybe 390 dozen sandwiches," says owner, Sandy Taylor Short, whose grandfather, Cliff Taylor, opened the iconic Taylor's Maid-Rite in 1928.
390 dozen Maid-Rites! A typical day means maybe 65 dozen! It means almost 4,700 buns, 200 pounds of onions, 14 gallons of pickles and a ton of meat.
"We started the day with over 2400 pounds," Short says.
Alright, OVER a ton of meat.
"And now we'll double-grind it and that's where you get that fine texture."
The basement is stocked like a bomb shelter...supplies ordered and readied in advance...upstairs, there's a plan.
"First thing in the morning, we dope the buns. It used to be a good term. We put mustard and pickle on them."
Extra wrappers, extra condiments…what else?
"We also were told today to have a lot of pie ready, because RAGBRAI riders like a lot of pie."
That they do. There will be extra staff on hand…they’ll open an hour early and close two hours late…this staff thinks it knows busy, but not RAGBRAI busy.
"I'm looking forward to the beginning," Short says, "by the end of the day I'm sure I'll be looking forward to the end of the day."
Much like the RAGBRAI riders, themselves. But bring ‘em on. Marshalltown is ready.