July 14, 2015

The Journey to RAGBRAI

I first learned of RABGRAI (The Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) on New Years day in 2008. My high school friend Jacey had mentioned it and then Lance Romance chimed in sharing that he had done it himself back in his twenties. Lance and I talked about it here and there but never submitted the application.  We were all talk and no action. Until now.  We applied  to particpate in the 43rd annual ride back in December.

Such an abundance of cycling enthusiasts show interest in the 450+ mile ride every year -that they have actually established a lottery.  I would find out on May 1st if I was one of the 8500 lucky people to experience the heat, headwinds, and hog of Iowa in July.  I was coincidentally on a "bikation" to the Oskar Blues bike farm in Brevard, NC with when I got the email confirming that I was in.
But no- the training did not start at that moment. I just worked my way through the Oskar Blues portfolio and a few Asheville watering holes instead.
I started to take it (somewhat) seriously about a month later. Lance and I rode 30 miles on Memorial Day.  I joined him on his commute to Iron Hill Chestnut Hill which he does  three times a week.
I did okay.  No personal records. No stroke.
I got miles in where I could. Whether on foot or wheels.  I started a 7 week beginners yoga class, cut out a lot of carbs, took my vitamins and juiced my little heart out.  I even eliminated all alcohol for two weeks straight (No- really- I did).
 I was down a few- but then went up to the brewery.
But then got back on track!
 Then it was 4th of July weekend.
But then got back on track!

Then I was in Maryland bikeless for four days.  I did run the first three days then managed to pull a groin muscle. You see the theme.

So now it's nearing midnight on July 14th.
We head west on Thursday night. Drive 14 hours to Davenport, IA. Saturday we hit the expo, hopefully see Huey Lewis and the News play "Stuck with you" and rise and shine at 5:30 am in Souix City to start our trek across Iowa.

I wonder what will happen first?
Cemetary sighting? Corn field? Bike Crash?  Or perhaps pie from a churchlady.  I will be documenting it all. I heard a rumor that ATT is spotty in Iowa and I totally believe it. So I will try to keep up with updates as often as I can- but won't know until I go. Wish me luck. Godspeed.

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