I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


22 July 2009

Ragbrai (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa)

(Team photo missing Justin and Tyler as they arrived late - sorry boys!!)
This was my first year to ride in Ragbrai – I had always thought it sounded fun but was never brave enough to try it. This year the starting town was Council Bluffs so the prefect time to give it a go. I gathered a great team together and we rode the first day as a trial to see how we liked it.

We were Team Drinkstrong (knockoff of Livestrong) and our shirts said “Lance Fears Us”. Cheesy but funny and we had loads of people taking photos throughout the day. The shirts were so bright they glowed but it proved very usefual as always easy to find each other throughout the day.
We started off with a great breakfast (to include mimosas) at my parents house and same last minute additions to our shirts.

Then we loaded up the sag bus and were ready to roll. My mom also went along on the sag bus to be our cheerleader. She is the best and always so supportive.

Justin rocked the bike outfit.

Another team camped at my parent’s house in tents. They were riding the full week and ride every year – they definitely looked more professional than us!

Next year that will be us. Unfortunately within the first 10 miles I crashed – hard!! We rode Wabash Trail to Minneola. Great plan as very peaceful and scenic but part of the trail was suddenly all torn up and there were no warning markers. My road bike hit a super deep spot and stuck -I flew off.

I am sooo very grateful I had a helmet on as my head hit first and it was not a soft fall. I can’t imagine the shape I would have been in had I not had a helmet on. I ended up getting the wind knocked out of me and some good scrapes but no broken bones and the bike was still rideable so onward we went. Upon arrival in Minneola (the first meet town and home of the crazy Thursday Taco Rides) I had a quick trip to the first aide stand for clean up.

Tom thinks the EMT’s purposely dug up the trail so they could meet chicks….It was crazy how many bikers were in each town.

Then a bloody mary to help with the pain.

Gotta love Ragbrai as not only do you get in loads of exercise but you also get to mix in just the right amount of party! Every 10-20 miles you stop in a different small town for food, drinks, and fun. There are also stations along the route.

The ride itself was very scenic and amazing. Cornfields and farms galore which I love. Makes me want to live on a farm right now.

But there were also hills, hills, and more hills. The first day we rode 52 miles and climbed almost 3800 feet! Seriously. But I can proudly say I never walked my bike up a hill – miracle really.

Our next stop was Henderson where we had another chance to refuel with a bit of alcohol and take a much needed break after all the hills.

Then on to Emerson which was the big party of the day as after that just a short 9 miles to Red Oak.

It was packed in Emerson and the tiny town bar really was not equipped to handle that many people but we had a lot of fun.
Finally we rolled into Red Oak I have never been so happy to see a sign welcoming me to a town. Just a great sense of accomplishment to have finished the first day – even with a big crash.

The whole team rode the final leg and finished strong. I was proud of everyone.

Since everyone rode at their own pace we waited for our group to arrive.

Somehow part of the team took a detour to the bar instead of town center though. Who would’ve guessed? By the time we found them we were partied out but really it was an amazing day with a great group of friends. We are all excited to ride a few more days next year and I am ready to get back on the bike now that the injuries are healing.

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