RAGBRAI 2014

 

RAGBRAI is a bike ride across the great state of Iowa (my home state) where 20,000+ riders bike from all over the world ride together on the world’s biggest bike tour.

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Twenty years ago my dad and my friend Leanne’s dad rode RAGBRAI together finishing the entire route.  This year my friend Leanne and I held court over RAGBRAI for 2 of the 7 days.  It doesn’t sound like much but my one spin class in preparation was going to be my downfall.  Leanne had at least been riding.

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The team arrived in Waverly, Iowa on Thursday night to get ready for our 69 mile ride the next day.  Tents were set up.  Ours is the green one.

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We had one last carb loading dinner with a few beers.

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Around 1am a severe thunderstorm hit Waverly, IA and proceeded to pull the tent stakes out of the ground and almost blow our tent away.  It didn’t blow away because I was holding it down from the inside but it was close.

The poor tent:

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With not a lot of sleep to go on, we prepared for the ride bright and early at 6am.  But the rain , wind, thunder, and lightning never let up.

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We waited, and waited, and waited for the sideways rain to stop.

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Finally around 10am the skies started clearing and we were off.  Unfortunately this put us 4 hours behind on a very long ride.

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The first small town water break in Bremer. Water/Gatorade/snack breaks are generally every 7-16 miles. At this point with the wind and rain I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.

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Tripoli, second town with a bathroom, apple and banana break. Feeling good at this point, I’ve finally figured out how to use my bike gears properly 🙂

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There was some excellent scenery of cornfields and beautiful blue sky. Some may find Iowa boring, I find it beautiful.

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But the leftover wind from the storm was a beast and we were heading right into it.

Sumner, IA:

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Lunch was a welcome break in Sumner with a pork tenderloin as big as my head. I almost finished it along with a large Diet Coke and a big water.

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After lunch the wind just got worse.  Around Mile 44 I was dragging and looking for a water/Gatorade stop, when out of nowhere appeared the Iowa Craft Beer Tent on the side of the road. I pulled in as fast as I could and hobbled over to the kegs.  One delicious IPA later, I was almost feeling human again.  Beer has a lot of carbs and calories which is exactly what I needed.  And it was cold.  Bonus!

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Leanne and her cousin Laurie pulled in as I was doing some yoga stretches along with my beer.  A random woman came over and gave us some condoms “Have a safe ride and safe sex”.  Okay lady- it was pretty funny.

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We arrived in Oelwein, IA around 5:30pm just as the State Troopers were announcing Oelwein vendors had to close due to another storm.  Unfortunately we needed a 15 minute break (as we were at Mile 50 and had hit a wall).  10 of the 13 of our group called it a day and played some giant beer pong.

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I opted for some delicious Iowa sweet corn.  You really can’t find better sweet corn anywhere. FACT!

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Overall Day 1 was a RAGBRAI biking success, despite not being able to finish due to time constraints.

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