My RAGBRAI Team LIVESTRONG Fundraising Page

Thursday, August 30, 2012

RAGBRAI Day 1

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Since RAGBRAI ended, I have changed jobs and have moved.  And there has been other stuff going on in life.  As of today, I haven't even ridden a bike in two weeks. :(
 
After completing the 107-mile iGranFondo ride in Sioux Center on Saturday, I rode over to the community's high school/middle school campus to hook up with Team LIVESTRONG for the week.  This was my third year fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (hint: follow the link to my donation page!), but my first riding the whole week with the team.  (In 2010, I rode with Team WiscAwesome and in 2011, I only rode with Team LIVESTRONG but only for the last two days.)  I only knew a few of members on the team, most notably Jim and Linda from Iowa City.  (Jim and Linda were instrumental in me getting back to Grinnell last year.)  So, I pretty much laid low that night.  Being exhausted after the day's ride didn't hurt either.
Every night with Team LIVESTRONG, we gather at about 6:00 to talk about operational issues (where will the next camp be, when to get your gear on the truck, etc) as well as the work of the Foundation and personal stories from team members. That night's meeting was focused on logistics.

After the meeting, we are on our own.  That night, I hung out around the campus, grabbed a shower and some food and started to meet teammates. And then it was bed time.  In a tent.  On the ground.  You'd be surprised how well you will sleep on the ground after a 100-mi day in the saddle.

Sunday was scheduled to be a short, but very hot day.  It was scheduled for 54.4, ending in Cherokee.

I took my time this day, stopping in most of the towns.  The most notable was in Orange City, a small Dutch community that takes graet pride in its Netherlands heritage.  The town square was designed to reflect the aesthetic of Holland.  Multiple windmills and beautiful flower beds.  There was also a local making wooden shoes using traditional methods (and he spoke Dutch).  Residents were in traditional garb as well.  Beautiful little town.

The other towns that day were not as memorable for me, except that I got to watch an old guy dancing with a bunch of women from Team Whiners in the meet-up town of Marcus.  Maybe it's because it's been a month and I'm writing this from memory.  For the most part, I rode alone.  Well, as alone as one can be in the middle of 20,000 other cyclists.  But I didn't partner with anyone for most of the day.
Team Whiners living it up and giving dance lessons in Marcus!
But in the last hour of the ride, I hooked up with a rider from California (and I've already forgotten his name).  We started talking when I slowed down to take a picture of a guy riding a penny-farthing (see pic below).  The guy on the penny-farthing, by the way, was riding his fourth RAGBRAI on that (type of) bicycle.  I saw him multiple times throughout the week.  And yes, he was planning on riding the full week.
Anyway, back to my riding partner.  We talked about past RAGBRAIs, where we were from, how we got there this year, family, etc.  Turns out, the guy's wife was from Dubuque and she went to high school with my little brother.  They graduated together in '86 from the not-to-named Catholic HS in town.  Ron recognized her name, but they didn't hang around together.  (The school had about 1400 students at the time, I believe.)

We rolled into Cherokee and split up - him to find his wife and kids, me to find my team.  After a shower and setting up my tent, I headed downtown to get something to eat and to drink.  I popped into a tavern and I ran into same guy!  He was there with his wife, son and son's girlfriend shooting pool and having a beer.  I met the family, bought a round, and hung out with them for an hour or so.  Great people.  Damn if I can remember their names though.

All in all, Day 1 was an awesome day.  Yeah, it was hot, but it was a short day and a great chance to stop and take one's time if you wanted.

6 comments:

  1. It's really,really hard to get out on the bike between work and family, Bob. I've only been out twice since the MS 150. We just get out when we can, and thank our families for their understanding and for supporting us when we do get to go. ;) Nice post, and yes, we will not mention the name of "that" HS. :)

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    1. Thanks, Matt!

      And, oh, I remembered the wife's name - Diane Dilmeyer. Still don't remember his though.

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  2. Great recap. I love that you took the time to write it. Sounds like a fun day.

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    1. Thanks, Jules! I appreciate your reading it!

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  3. Great recap Bob! Looking forward to reading more!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com
    @thinfluenced

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'll finish the week as soon as I can. I have days 2, 2, 4 and 7 to do yet.

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