My RAGBRAI Team LIVESTRONG Fundraising Page

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


RAGBRAI is an event that anyone can do.  On Day 1, I saw riders out there, and I give them all the credit in the world for being out there, that I thought wouldn't make it up the first hill heading away from Missouri River in Sioux City.  There were families riding together.  There were "characters."  There were teams with spirit.  There were young riders.  There were old riders.  There were fast and fit riders.  There were casual riders.  Riders on road bikes, on recumbents, on tandems, and on other contraptions.  Below are some of the other riders I spotted during my week on riding across Iowa.

The Wheels 
There were actually two guys riding these single speed bikes.  I saw the other guy on multiple days and understand he rode the entire week.  He was also passing out business cards - selling these bikes, perhaps?

Because riding a bicycle isn't enough of a workout.  This is basically an elliptical machine on two wheels.  No relaxing on your rear-end here.

Not sure whether to put this pic in the "The Wheels" section or the "The Characters" section.  Tandems, regardless of who is riding them, seem faster than single rider machines.  These two were part of Team Cow.  Yes, the bike was painted with the spots as well.

Borrowed from the pic gallery at
Maybe 10% of the riders were on recumbents.  I don't know, but does it really count as exercise when you can sit back like you're in a Lay-Z-Boy?!?  Yes it is!  They're just doing it smarter!

This is Al.  Al rode this 65-lb tricycle all week.  He says it has an incredibly comfortable seat.  I didn't see Al at all during the week, but he found my blog and provided a link to his recap here, check it out.  Awesome story.

I saw one rider on.... a UNICYCLE!  Yes, a unicycle.  He pulled up into camp on Day 2 had ridden the full 80 miles.  Amazing.  I don't know if he rode that the rest of the week or not, but just going 80 miles in a day is incredible enough.  I wish I had gotten a picture of him pulling in.  He had to be exhausted.

The Characters
The Banana Man.  He was in that costume all week.  And his recumbent was properly dressed as well.

"Shark Boy," another rider on a decked out recumbent.  He was infamous with our team.  He surrounded his bike with blue corrugated plastic board (like cardboard) and painted a shark mouth on the front.  Our beef with him was that he was a rude rider.  He would fly up on you without announcing his presence and then be upset with you for not yielding.  He also buzzed by riders fairly closely.

The Biking Ballerina
This guy was greeted riders in Parkersburg on Day 5.  I saw him again on Day 6.  I don't know if he rode like that or not.

Team Pirate only rode a few days, from what I heard.  (Something about 90 degree temps in those costumes...)  But there was a group of these swashbucklers out there lootin' and plunderin'.  Aaarrrgggghhh!

Team RoadKill would stop and pay their respects for all the dead critters we passed along the way.  OK, maybe not stop, but they would slow down and drop a string of beads on the poor thing.  Picture it, skunks covered in beads in the middle of the road.

Of course, there had to be this team from Indiana:

The Riders
RAGBRAI family style.  This was a family of 6 on a 5-wheel machine.

The youngest rider, riding solo, that I saw was probably about 10 years old.  The oldest was maybe in his 80s.

But nature calls for everybody.  And when it calls on RAGBRAI, you can rest assured that there is always a corn field around to give you cover.

The Crowds
The people of Iowa were universally nice and supportive of RAGBRAI and the riders.  They came out in force to cheer the riders on.


 In the pass-through, meet-up, and overnight towns, I only experienced hospitality and generosity.  I heard from other riders whose teams solicited and received the chance to overnight an with individual families (vs the community ad hoc campgrounds like HS practice fields and town parks) who opened not only their lawns but also their homes and kitchens.  It was an incredible experience.

One final shout-out, to Algona HS, you were awesome hosts!  Thanks for the spaghetti dinner!  It was delicious.

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