In retrospect, I don't think I did an adequate job introducing the crew that allowed me to spend the week with them. And as I think back on the week, I wish I had spent more time getting to know each of them more than I did. They are all wonderful people.
And the network of connections between them, between us all, is like a web.
Let's start with Britt and Mike. They got married last August ('09).
They live on the eastside of Madison and both graduated from the UW. Mike works in the media world, Britt in politics. For a long time, she worked for Rep Tammy Baldwin.
Mike's dad is my wife's uncle. So, I guess we're cousins-in-law.
Britt's mom, Karen, rode, too. (She and I were the only non-20-somethings on the team, or 30-somethings for that matter.) Here's a pic of the two of them from Thursday at the end of the day in Waterloo. In addition to being the longest day of riding, it was also Britt's birthday that day.
Funny tidbit about the ride. On Day 3 (Tuesday), RAGBRAI took us through the towns of Britt, IA and Garner, IA, consecutively. Britt's maiden name... Garner.
One of Britt's bridesmaids was Rachel. Rachel and Maddie are sisters.
Maddie (L) and Rachel (R)
Both are UW grads. Rachel now lives in Boston. Maddie is starting med school here in Madison. After they finished RAGBRAI in Dubuque, they were met by John (Maddie's beau, I think) and drove to Colorado to ride in the mountains!
Lindsey is another UW grad. She's a teacher in Sun Prairie now. She started there shortly after I left SP for Wis. Heights. She and Britt are close friends. Brandon is her older brother (and the first to turn 30, about a week after RAGBRAI, or was it 13?!? He is a kid at heart!). Both are runners (1/2 and full marathoners). Brandon was stuck with me for several hours in the U-Haul on the way to Sioux City. Poor guy. He is not a Badger alum, but did attend a UW system school (Eau Claire). Great guy.
Lindsey's long-time friend is Holly, another runner. Holly is a Marquette grad and lives in the Milwaukee area.
Our last rider is the one I got to know the least, Meghan. A really nice girl, and very quite. She and Qing are married. I believe both are Badgers as well. Qing was one of our SAG guys - the unsung heros of the group.
Finally, there's Jim. Jim was our other SAG guy and the driver all week. Jim was Mike's best man. And, yes, he's a Badger, too! (BTW, did you figure out where we got our team name?!?) Jim's another great guy. He and Qing busted their humps to make sure camp was good to go for us. Thanks guys!
"Give me the damn beer, Jim!"
So, there you have it, Team WiscAwesome. The folks that made it a great week across Iowa.