Monday, February 13, 2012
RAGBRAI 2012 - It's ON!
I am now signed up for this year's ride across Iowa and will again be joining Team LIVESTRONG, fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF).
I'm really looking forward to being able to ride the full week again this year, having only ridden two days last year. RAGBRAI is a fun and challenging way to push myself to be healthier and stronger than I have ever been. (For example, my Cycling For Life post documents the improvements in my health since I started riding in 2010.)
The Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa is a week-long adventure. This year, the 40th edition, is scheduled for 477 miles from Sioux Center in the NW corner of the state to Clinton on the Mississippi. The week looks to be challenging with three long days (75+ miles each) sandwiched between two shorter days to start and to end the week. And then, there's the Karras Loop, an optional loop of additional miles to bring one of the days up to about 100 miles. The reward for completing the Loop is ... a patch. But well worth it!
But really, it isn't as daunting as it sounds. The key, I think, it not think of it as a 60, 70 or 80 mile day, but rather 10 or 15 miles to the next town. And the next town always has at least two things: PIE! and BEER! And while the beer is not always the best, the pie always is!
This year, there is a new event to coincide with RAGBRAI. There is a Gran Fondo ride from Sioux City to Sioux Center the day before. The feature ride is a 100 mile timed ride. This would be a fantastic way to kick off the week. (And will likely result in the first day or two of RAGBRAI being ridden at a more leisurely pace.)
If you are interested in RAGBRAI, I encourage you to check it out. The website is http://ragbrai.com/. Info about the Iowa Gran Fondo can be found at http://igranfondo.com/.
Fundrsaising for the LIVESTRONG.org
And, as in the past, I am using this opportunity to fund raise for the LAF. In the last two years, thanks to the generous support of my family, friends, colleagues, and readers, I've raised over $7500. These funds are used to support programs and services dedicated to serving cancer patients and their loved ones as they fight like hell against this scourge.
As you likely know, the reason that supporting efforts to fight cancer and support patients fighting cancer is important to me is that my sister died at age 21 of cancer. Hard to believe but it will be 30 years ago this summer - not long after I finish this year's ride.
The reason I chose LAF was easy - it was an obvious connection between cycling and fighting cancer. Only after I signed up in 2010 for the ride did I learn that there was a team of riders from across the country doing the same thing.
I'm proud to be associated with LAF and be a member of Team LIVESTRONG. After camping with the team for the days I did ride last year, I know that the work LAF does is helping people. And that's what it's all about. (You can read more about my experiences with the team last year in this post, scroll down to the "Camp Life" section.)
If you want to support my fundraising efforts and support the work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, you can make a donation on my fundraising page, here. Thanks!