RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) is the largest bike ride in America. It’s tough to capture the true spirit of RAGBRAI in a photo or blog. Ultimately it’s something you need to experience to appreciate. 10,000 people riding 70-80 miles each day, camping out, live music every night and for the vast majority everyone doing it with a smile on their face and a can do attitude. If you’re wondering about people in this country, just come spend a week on RAGBRAI and you’ll leave reassured about America.
Matt and I are so fortunate with the group of people we’re riding RAGBRAI with. No matter the heat, wind or mileage we spend everyday with smiles on our faces and constant laughter (we do have Ed with us). Now that’s not to say we don’t have our moments where we just want to be done riding, but our group has a great attitude and are just good people to spend time with. Holly and Pete have done an incredible job with all the logistics of the trip from our accommodations each night to shuttling the cars and are always happy. Plus Pete has about a hundred great stories to tell. My favorite so far is when he was in the seminary and played trumpet at the strip club! Ed, Scott and Brenda all have an infectious positive personality and liven up the ride. So our ride across Iowa has started with great riding partners and then you add in the hospitality of the people in Iowa and it’s a formula for a great week.
Today was one of those challenging days where we had a 82 mile ride, 100+ degree heat and a headwind for 60 of those miles. We started the morning by shuttling from our over night spot in Sac City back to our ending yesterday in Lakeview. Luckily we made the wise decision to leave the Johnny Holm Band concert at 10:30p even though Holly and Brenda could have stayed until the end dancing! We rode 20 miles and then had our morning pancake feed with Ed setting the new record with 12 pancakes.
Like I said it was Hot and windy today which we encountered after our breakfast stop. As a result there was more of a “survive the day” attitude with the riders and not the same chattiness we saw the first two days. We rode to Farnhamville and stopped for lunch under a nice big shade tree. We then said we’d ride the final 45 straight to the end unless we found Beekman’s. We’ll sure enough after about 25 miles we found Beekman’s homemade ice cream they were making on the spot and Kelly’s Pies. Needless to say it was the stop of the day.
We then finished the final 20 miles at a rather slow pace as the heat and wind took their tool on our group. However when we arrived in Webster City what seemed like half the town was there to greet us and cheer us on. What a spirit lifter! We then rode over to Webster City Day Care (our home for the night) and we’re sleeping in the “Green Room” (kind of funny to Brenda and I as Eric and Sarah were in the Green Room in preschool. After showering at the high school we head over to the middle school for a great pasta feed and more wonderful homemade pie! Tonight we wanted to go see Three Dog Night, but they don’t start until 10p and we have 77 miles to ride tomorrow and the group just couldn’t quite rally. There’s so much more I could say about RAGBRAI but one I’m exhausted and two they’re getting ready to turn out the lights at the preschool. Take care and thanks again for all your support!