My RAGBRAI Team LIVESTRONG Fundraising Page

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Overview of a Week in Iowa

8 Days. 600+ miles. 55 Iowa towns, villages, and cities. 1 Tweep. 75 Teammates. $225,000.

What an incredible week and a day.
Ready to roll!
After driving west across the state of Iowa,from Dubuque to Sioux City, with my little brother (Thanks, Ron!), I arrived in the start town for the iGranFondo. This ride, a new event created by the Sioux City visitors' bureau (or maybe by the city), was scheduled to ride from Sioux City to the RAGBRAI start town. This year, that town is Sioux Center, about 60 miles from Sioux City.

But I'm ahead of myself and getting too deep into details for this post. I'll do posts with the detes about the riding in the coming days/weeks.

So, Friday night, I met up with a cycling pal I got to know via Twitter, Krissy (aka @futuremrschaps), a librarian from Omaha, was also riding the iGranFondo and has family in Sioux City. We stayed at her grandmother (Lois)'s house - they even had a room for me in the basement. And her grandmother took us out to the Olive Garden for dinner (carbo loading!).

Saturday morning, we headed to Riverside Park to start the ride. We both had signed up for the 100-mile ride (aka a "Century") so we chose to ride together so we could support each other on what was sure to be a tough day. And we needed each other. About halfway through Krissy was struggling. At the end of the ride, it was me. But we finished, together. It ended up being closer to 107 miles.
107 miles later, we finished the iGranFondo!
It was a tough ride to Sioux Center. But we made it. And, thanks to her family, so did my gear! Her dad and uncle delivered it from Lois's house. I can't say enough about the generosity and kindness of Krissy and her family. THANK YOU!

We rolled over to the middle school in Sioux Center, where Team LIVESTRONG was setting up camp.  I got to meet up with some people that I met last year on my abbreviated ride and, over the course of the week, got to meet a number of new people.  
It was with these folks that I’d spend the next seven days, riding and camping … and eating and drinking. Everyone on this team was committed to giving the finger to cancer.  Collectively, the 75 of us raised over $225,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. With your support, I was able to raise over $2500 of that. (The team's top fundraiser, Laurey M, who raised over $25,000!, was not able to join us on the ride, unfortunately.  She was recently diagnosed with a relapse of cancer and had to start treatments right away.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Laurey!  And FUCK YOU, CANCER!)  There is still time to contribute to the Foundation if you want to add to that - just go to my donation page here. The Foundation exists to provide support and education to cancer patients and their support team – friends and family.  Our team includes survivors, family members of survivors and of those who have passed, as well as those that just want to support LIVESTRONG
Over the next seven days, we pedaled from Sioux Center to Clinton,covering over 470 miles (plus another 23 for those crazy enough to do “TheLoop”).  We would spend the nights in Cherokee, Lake View,Webster City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, and Anamosa.  We would ride in groups, large or small, or ride solo.  We would ride hard, cranking out the miles, or go easy making many stops along the way.  
RAGBRAI comes through one of the many small towns in Iowa on the 2012 route.
It was a great week. I met up with Krissy and her dad later in the week (while we were all doing "The Loop").  I also met and rode with the husband of someone who went to high school with my little brother, as well as another guy from the Madison area who it turn out is going to sell his tandem bike once he gets back home.  (Hello! If Olivia wants to do RAGBRAI withme, it will be on a tandem for the first year or two.  Hmmmm.)

So, I’ll be writing up posts for each of the days and about some of my many new friends.  I hope you find them readable, enjoyable, inspirational, and encouraging.  One thing about RAGBRAI is that it never lacks for providing material for many, many stories.  I hope I do the stories justice. 
A personal greeting just for me!
As always, your comments and feedback is more than welcome.


  1. I had such a great time riding with you, Bob, especially on our iGranFondo day. That was the hardest day on the bike I think I've ever had, but it was so nice to have a great friend to ride it with. The company and encouragement made it that much easier, and every time I look at my little medal we each received I will think of how awesome it felt to cross that line with you after the hills and miles we made it through. Hope to see you again next year!

    1. Right back at ya, Krissy! The pleasure was all mine! And a little of the pain, too.

      And thank you and your family for their generosity and kindness! Your family ROCKS!