Finally, finally, finally day 1 of RAGBRAI has arrived! Many months of waiting, training, a couple of days of driving, and a some more days of waiting later, I’m ready to get my very first RAGBRAI underway.
The night before’s sleep wasn’t great. I didn’t yet have that road tired, sleep-through-anything feeling, and I was anxious to start the day. Would I be ready? Had I trained enough? Would there be enough vegetarian food to eat? Plus, I woke up often wondering if it was so quiet outside because everyone else had left me behind. But no, it turns out no one starts the ride at 2AM, or 3AM, or even 3:30AM. (thank goodness). I rolled out of bed, packed the tent, and found the road at 6:15 along with Scott, a fellow alum on the charter.
Townspeople lined up on the way out of town and offered water and well wishes, and sent us on our way.
The ride was slow at first as people found their bike legs. The first town came fast, and riding into the swell of people gave me an instant understanding of why this event is so fun and repeated by so many people year after year: the town had gone all out with food, stands, and entertainment, and everyone was eager to welcome us, even if you declined their offer of a $1 temporary tattoo or an ear of corn. A breakfast burrito was obtained (served up with good-natured peer pressure to take an apple), stories were swapped with a 90-year old woman from town, and we were off again.
It was at this point that Scott was probably tired of hearing me exclaim with no end how cool I thought all of this was and how I was re-falling in love with Iowa all over again. Lucky for him, he got to hear it the whole 70 miles, and tolerated it without complaint.
The rest of the ride was a blast and included sightings of a little Yorkie pup along for the ride, a serious PB&J ++ sandwich, meeting and talking with folks from all over the country, hearing tunes blasting from bikes, a giant slip n slide by the side of the road, and even where’s Waldo in a cornfield (followed by a guy with a creepy striped likeness to the man himself).
After today, I’m feeling steeled enough to attempt tomorrow’s 100-mile century ride, but not without getting a temporary tattoo and an ear of corn along the way.
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I'm Robyn. Thanks for stopping by! This is my craft blog.
Contact me at robyn [at] dognamedbanjo [dot] com.