Thursday, July 28, 2011

The crazy people are coming!

For those of you who don’t live in the Midwest, this is RAGBRAI week: the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Or, the Register’s Annual Great Beer Run Across Iowa, take your pick. Check it out at

It involves about 10,000 people riding bicycles across Iowa, from the Missouri River on the "west coast" to the Mississippi River on the "east coast" over a 7-day period. This year’s route brings the ride through Iowa County tomorrow.

I think you have to be mental to ride on this thing. On the surface it sounds like one huge fun rolling party, with tons of food vendors (emphasis on homemade pie!) and entertainment in all the pass-through towns and a great party at each overnight stop. I’m all about that except between the food and the parties, you’re spending about 400-odd miles with your butt perched on a hard little bike seat while you sweat and strain to pump through 50 to 70 miles each day. In July. No matter the weather. Or the hills. Iowa is not flat. I can be exhausted and sore after two days at an agility trial in a climate controlled building. Doing something like RAGBRAI would be the end of me.

I’ll spend tomorrow doing photo coverage as riders come through the Amana Colonies. It's going to be a fun day! People from all over the world come to ride in this event. They wear crazy costumes and have crazy team names, like Team Skunk, Team Cheesehead, etc. Plus the theme for Friday is “College Spirit Day” so I’ll have an excuse to wear my Iowa State “Friends don’t let friends go to Iowa” T-shirt. Like I need an excuse to wear it. Really.

Bring on the pie.


  1. My husband just returned from RAGBRAI. It's like the 20th year he's done the ride (or part of it anyway). You don't see ME thinking that is a fun vacation for sure!
    Melinda, enjoy the crazy riders, the beer and the pie as they make their way through your area.

  2. My coach and her husband and their friends do RAGBRAI every year - they are uber cyclists so they get it done quickly but the stories are just hilarious!

  3. One of the local veterinarians around here does this. Sounds like quite an event.