Tuesday, January 26, 2016

And the Backs of My Eyes Hum With Things I've Never Done

The 1st RAGBRAI I did was a group of 15'ish. Now we're unwieldy 40'ish
They announced the RAGBRAI route on Saturday. I knew it was probably going to be Southern, since it's been a while. I also know the reason it's been a while, is because Southwest Iowa is not the best RAGBRAI route. The towns are small and many of the inhabitants have not been all that welcoming in the past. We did joke about how Southwestern Iowa, being the meth capitol and all, might make it the first RAGBRAI where we actually lose weight...

The big problem with some of the towns we're going to for our overnight stays, are their very small size. One of the town only has 400 some families in it. Imagine what 10 to 20,000 people converging on that town might look like. Hopefully, they'll have enough vendors in the towns to accommodate everyone. John said in the past, they arrived at a small town that was out of all food from the vendors, so they headed to the only grocery store in town that had a sign that read, "closed for RAGBRAI". They ended up foraging at the only Casey's in town and basically had chips and candy for dinner.

I loved the route the first year we rode. Straight through the middle of the state. Here is the stop in Templeton.

So, now John and I are kicking around RAGBRAI ideas. We still could go with our group from beginning to end and just deal with trying to forage for food in these smaller towns. The other idea we had was to drop our bags off with the RAGBRAI group, but then start from Iowa City and meet them half way. We could map out our own route and hopefully, my sister would let us stay there our first day, and then we could stay at a hotel in Centerville the next and meet our friends in Leon. I also found this cool map:http://www.iowadot.gov/maps/msp/pdf/bikemap.pdf , so we can figure out which roads would be the safest to ride there. Also, we could use this for any kind of bike trips we want to take in Iowa. Lord knows, I love bike trips. Anyway, it would be a fun adventure and John and I thought it could be fun to document what those couple of towns look like before and then during RAGBRAI. We'll see which way we go. I kind of like the second scenario, because I wouldn't be so sleep deprived and I'd get better food for a couple of days and get to ride without 10,000 - 20,000 other people for a couple of days, but then still do the fun spectacle that is RAGBRAI with our friends for the last three days. Win/win.

Our group is also getter really large, so the logistics get trickier every year. I want to ask my sister if we can stay with her with our whole group for RAGBRAI, but it's a lot to ask of people without a lot of money to let over 40 people shower and use the bathroom at your house. I wish we had gone through Ottumwa on my first RAGBRAI, when there were only 15 of us...

Either way, we'll have a fun bike adventure and that's all that matters.


Todd said...

That looks so fun! I've always had it on my bucket list but never get around to it. Going with a group would be a lot of fun. I've heard it's a big party on wheels!

Churlita said...

It's a crazy party on wheels. If you do it, I highly recommend doing it one year when it's a Northern route. It is so pretty in Northern Iowa.