When one is posting on a daily basis to a blog as well as trying to train for a 500 mile ride, something has got to give. Last weekend I was one of 20,000 cyclists who gave a week of their life to bicycle across the state of Iowa in the Register’s Great Anuual Ride Across Iowa (Ragbrai). It was my first ride and a goal that I have had for a long time.
Seeing 20,000 riders is hard to describe, other than at the top of a hill along the ride and in any direction all I saw was corn, soybeans, and riders. With each small town that we entered, we were greeted as if we were the riding along a huge Fourth of July parade route. Everyone in the town came out to greet us regardless of the time 3 p.m. in the afternoon or 7 a.m. The food is tremendous with everything from porkchops and homemade pies to sweet corn and carmel rolls for breakfast. Through out the week it felt like each town from Rock Rapids to Eagle Grove and Laurens spent as much energy on Ragrbai as they would for their county fairs.
You can’t say enough about the welcome and hospitality we received. There are several oddities regarding Ragbrai and our Iowa adventure that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. But, I will obviously also continue on with the World Beat in Minneapolis.