History: RAGBRAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its 42nd year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.
The route starts on the west side of the state traveling east, passing through different towns each year. It’s tradition to ‘dip’ your back tire in the Missouri River at the start and then ‘dip’ your front tire in the Mississippi River when you finish, a symbol of riding across the entire state. This year, along with my tires, I’ll be dipping the heels and toes of my boots.
Route: Iowa is not flat! Ok, it’s flat compared to some other states but you really get an appreciation of the terrain when you are pedaling up a hill. Add in some head wind and it can make for a tough ride. However, while traveling 16 miles an hour on a backroad highway, you really do get to experience the views of Iowa: farmsteads, beautiful landscapes, and of course CORN. You’d probably miss seeing a lot of those items while speeding down the main interstates. It’s also wonderful to see the communities welcome the riders. It’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their town (some not even big enough to be towns!) and the hospitality is always welcoming after a long day. This year's route is 418 miles and we will be traveling the upper portion of the state.
My team: For the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to ride with a wonderful bike club call the Tall Dogs. There are about 125 of us that will be riding during RAGBRAI. They are based out of central Iowa but we have a large group that are located in the Kansas City area. We also have members that come from all over the country as well as a couple guys from Finland!
|Tall Dog Bike Club|
My Op's RAGBRAI plan: During the week I'll be stopping at the VFWs and American Legions in each town (if available). Additionally, if the town has a memorial I'll be stopping to pay my respects to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. I hope this will help showcase the local community support as well as put faces to the inspiration behind my campaign.
Thank you for your support!