Saturday, July 19, 2008


Tomorrow is the beginning of Iowa's 36th version of RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI stands for Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Maybe you've ridden in it; maybe you've wanted to; maybe that many bikes on the road would drive you nuts. And we're talkin' about thousands of bikes! People come from all over the nation and beyond to participate in this event. Last year we were blessed with the presence of Lance Armstrong, John Edwards (who brought his young son along for the ride), and various members of other political hopefuls' families. This is what today's Des Moines Register printed about the first day of this year's ride:

SUNDAY'S ROUTE: Missouri Valley
Beebeetown, Underwood, Neola Minden Shelby Tennant Harlan
Mileage: 59 miles Climb: 3,797 feet
"You can thank the founding fathers for locating the town of Missouri Valley on the downhill side of the Loess Hills, nestled in the Boyer River valley. However, it is still a river valley and the riders will eventually have to climb out. Climbing is the operative word for most of the day as the route winds its way through Beebeetown, Underwood, Neola, Minden, Shelby and Tennant on the way to Harlan. The good news is that there are only 59 miles to our first overnight stop in Harlan. The other good news is that this will be the fifth time that Harlan has hosted RAGBRAI, so the folks there are old hands at meeting riders' needs."

Here's a map of this year's complete route.

Once the bikers arrive at LeClaire, they'll celebrate their completion of the ride by dipping their bike wheels in the Mississippi River. Some get so excited they also celebrate the romance they've found along the way.

The bikers plan months ahead for this event and decide on what their image will be for the ride.

Some ride unconventional bikes; some bring their dogs along; some wear decorated helmets.

Some entire families ride together, often with a toddler on a seat behind the rider.

But one thing is always certain; they have to sleep sometime. Here is a typical campsite.

Here's another certainty; when nature calls, there isn't always a convenient place to 'go'. This here is how we 'water' the corn in Iowa. That's why it's called sweet corn.

This here is how we eat the corn in Iowa.

Not much cogitating going on, but for sure, RAGBRAI can't be ignored if you live here! I'll update when I get pics from this year's ride. They're guaranteed to be just as interesting as these!

1 comment:

SherbitShandy said...

thats some size of a bike ride and it looks real fun ..we have nothing like that here cept small bike trails which usually fizzle out half way round Edinburgh as they run out of stamina , maybe if we had pork chops the size of the ones in the pics they would finish the race... just to get to the chops!