Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gonna Ride Like the Wind

The whole wacky gang with our hostess in Boone.

First, I just want to say that Stinky had a good friend die in a moped accident on Friday and she has been very, very sad about it. The girl was only 17 and Stinky had just been at camp with her a week or two before it happened. We did a lot of talking about living our lives to the fullest, because you never know how much time you'll have. My heart goes out to that poor girl's family. I don't know how people ever recover from something like that.

I have no idea how these guys were able to see when they rode in this get-up.

Okay. So, now I'm finally back to RAGBRAI again. Before I left for RAGBRAI, I had noticed an old bloggers FB status update asking people to stop by his gray house in Boone by the Walgreens. At the time, I thought I might try stopping by, but then the day we were supposed to ride there, we still needed a place to stay, so I let the driver know to try that guy's house. Of course, I had screwed up the direction of the house and the driver went to the wrong one.

Instead of the ex-blogger, he came upon a family and they said they knew nothing of any blogger, but they would gladly let us stay on their yard and Walgreens said we were welcome too.

Us taking a break with our hostess.

The family turned out to be very sweet. They had three kids and ordered us pizza at night and fed us oatmeal in the morning. We gave them the money and they went and picked it up for us. They also let us use their shower - which, on RAGBRAI is a HUGE luxury.

They were very christian, so we were careful not to get too rowdy or to swear around them. It was the first time I've ever heard The Guy use the word, "Gosh!" before.

The mom stayed at home with the kids and from what I could gather, probably home schooled them and didn't get out much. The boys in our group tried to talk her into riding a day with us. She said she'd love to, but she didn't probably have the right kind of bike and who would watch the kids while her husband was at work? The boys said they'd work on her bike and one of our rider's daughter's was 16 and would babysit the kids. Her husband agreed to pick up the sitter and the kids after he got off work and meet us where we would camp in Altoona at the end of the day. How sweet was that?

At our carwash camp site. The cops stopped by and told us our tents were too close to the Casey's store and we had to move them.

The mom seemed to have a great day. We rode slowly and tried to coach her on the important stuff about riding a 50 + miles. She got pretty hot and tired at one point, so we stopped more often and made sure she ate and drank enough.

Us taking a very cold RAGBRAI shower/laundry behind the car wash.

We finally made it to Altoona, to our car wash camping spot. Our hostess' husband was there with the kids and a bucket of chicken for them all for dinner. She thanked us over and over again and told us she had never done anything like this before in her life. We thanked her right back and all agreed that Iowa in general, but RAGBRAI in particular can renew your faith in humans as a species.


Tara said...

That's so tragic about Stinky's friend! I can't imagine what the family's going through right now, but the grief and sadness must be terrible.

laura b. said...

That is incredibly sad about Stinky's friend. I'm grateful to be unable to imagine that kind of pain.

Speaking as someone who remembers being very, very tied to the house with small children and not a lot of back-up, you guys taking her out like that probably made her year (at least). Really a nice story.

rel said...

Isn't it great to know that neighborliness hasn't gone out of fashion?

Death of a young friend is the hardest of life's lessons I think.

SkylersDad said...

So sorry to hear about Stinky's friend.

silly rabbit said...

I am so sorry to hear about Stinky's friend. I was about her age when my best friend's brother died suddenly. It is such a terrible experience. Give her a big hug for me!

I think it is so cool that you all included the mom. I bet you have inspired her to get out more and do things to challenge herself. Woot!

Wow... I've seen Blue Men, but never a Red Man and a Green Man on bikes! What an interesting twist.

NoRegrets said...

Such a wonderfully written post! And bookended with death and living life to the fullest, to helping one woman live life to her fullest (or at least do something she'd never done before). All my best to Stinky and the family.

Brando said...

I am very sorry to hear about Stinky's friend. With all the things one has to deal with at 17, you don't need death of a friend on top of it.

The ride sounds like a blast, and what better way to end a hard day riding than with a bucket of chicken.