Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

I never saw Lance either, but I did see his support vehicle drive by once.

So, I'm back from RAGBRAI. I'll probably blog about each day of it in a different post. I will say, overall, it was a wonderful experience.

Me and some girlies the night before the ride started in Glenwood, Iowa.

For those of you who aren't from around here, RAGBRAI stands for (Des Moines) Reigister's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa and happens every year on the last full week of July. This year it was attended by 25,000 to 30,000 people of all ages, from many parts of the world. It generally starts at the Missouri River, at the Westernmost part of Iowa and we ride to the Mississippi river, the Easternmost part of the state. We invade very small towns along the way and are greeted by folks with beer, food and yards and parking lots to sleep in. It is dirty and stinky and hot and hard and hilly, but it is one of the best and biggest spectacles I've ever had the pleasure of participating in.

Me trying to close the RV's window, as my friend Bry creeps me out.

We had a larger than average group this year (18-24 riders, depending on the day). We don't register, so it's up to us to provide our own support and find places to stay every night.

We took an RV and a van to the first town (Glenwood, Ia) on Saturday. The trip there turned out to be a bit of an adventure. First we got stuck in crazy traffic on I-80. The crawl and heat caused the van to freak-out so we had to sit in 100 degree heat indices, without air conditioning, in a van for almost an hour. After we finally crawled to an off-ramp and took another ramp, we had a mishap where one of the bikes fell off the roof of the van. We were going slow enough that it wasn't a danger to itself or others and we stopped at a hardware store to get better twist ties.

Me "sword fighting" with one of our group members with our tent poles.

After the bike mishap, we ran into some low hanging electrical wires and then a thunderstorm. We joked that our trip was like a video game and we were on level 11 already.

We finally made it to Glenwood and set up camp next to the YMCA. We had a great first night and checked out the sights and sounds of RAGBRAI. The Guy had gone with a friend of ours and didn't get to camp until after 8'ish. He missed some of the earlier fun, but made it for the sittin' and drinkin' a spell before bedtime.

At that point, I still had no idea what to expect from our adventure, but I was ready for it.


silly rabbit said...

Ha! Well sometimes the curves that life throws at you turn into good times. Glad you overcame them, no one was harmed and found better twist ties!

Tara said...

Welcome back! That does sound like a video game with all of the obstacles you ran into on the way there! It sounds like some of it was fun, though.

I still have to blog about my walkathon, and I totally missed out on swordfighting with tent poles.

laura b. said...

I like the beginning of this tale with all the mishaps overcome by spunky determination :-) Can't wait to hear more.