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Jenny Howell closed her eyes and smiled up at the summer sun.

“It’s nice enough to wear my Christmas sweater,” she said.

Howell, 52, was in fact wearing such a garment. Her tree farm businesswas along the route of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowaon Tuesday, and she had created a human-sized snow globewhereriders could pose for a picture for $1. Howell, tasked with taking photos, wanted to look the part.

She was thinking about her “snow” —a mix of distilled water, bath bubblesand rubbing alcohol—and whether it would hold up as thesoapy concoction billowed onto the globe. The last thing she was thinking about was the presidential candidates tromping around Iowa.

“RAGBRAI is a good way to do something and not think of politics,” she said.

t was a sentiment shared repeatedly along the427-mile route. Among the more pressing issues:"Anyone need Tylenol?" asked a rider before digging into pie. Another, travelingalong a slow-building hill, wondered aloud, "When will it end?"

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