One of the things Travis wanted to do on our vacation, was ride in RAGBRAI, a classic Iowa event. For 35 years (I think) RAGBRAI has been in existance. It is an acronym that stands for "Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa." The week long ride is planned a year in advance and the route takes you from the western border of the state to the eastern border of the Mississippi river. The tradition is to dip your front tire in the Mississippi on the last day to signify that you rode all the way across the state. Each day is broken up in a ride that is approximately 60 miles long. The routes are designed so that you ride from one small town to the next. What makes it so great is that each town rolls out the red carpet for the ragbrai riders and there are tons of vendors, bands, and activities to participate in. Oh, and there are about 25,000 riders who participate, so for most of the small towns that means huge bouts of revenue. In fact it's grown so large and popular now, that this is the second year that Lance Armstrong rode in it all week! He rides with a team of cancer patients and survivors and they raise money for his cancer research foundation. It's pretty cool to see.

Everyday, there is a town designated as the overnight stop and in that town there are all of the sudden 25,000 people camping out in tents and buses all over the place! That was crazy. Another fun thing about the ride is to see all the crazy teams of people who ride together every year. For some people, RAGBRAI is a serious ride, for others it's totally social and fun, and for others, it's a big beer fest across the state! I posted a picture of one funny bus, out of the many that we saw. Most people ride with a team who carry their gear from stop to stop in a bus. Most of the buses are old school buses with new, neon paint jobs and crazy graphics! We saw Team Dirt, Team Moore-on, Team Cow, Team Flammingo,'s quite creative. We also saw Lance's foundation's gear bus (pictured above), but trust me that he is not camping out in a tent everynight! He has a big plush bus that puts all the rest to shame!

Anyway, Travis decided to participate in one day of the ride this year, just to see what it was all about. Travis first heard about this ride when he married me (aka-when his life took a dramatic turn for the better!) Of course 60 miles seemed like no big deal to him, so on Friday morning, we drove him to Independence, Iowa to jump in with everybody. He started at 7:45 am and arrived in the last town at 1:00pm, 64 miles later! He made it with a sore butt to boot, but he loved it. He arrived in Dyersville, Iowa (home of The official Field of Dreams) and he got to know some of the other riders around him. I have to say, even though I come from a golf family, not a bike family, I did enjoy the RAGBRAI hype and I think we'll plan to do it again next year. Travis seems to think I'm going to ride with him, but we'll see about that! 64 miles a day doesn't seem like too much fun to me!! Check out the official RAGBRAI website so you can join us next year!!

1 comment:

sheltonfamily said...

ONLY TRAVIS!!!! We are very impressed with his bike and outfit....Also, 65 miles sounds crazy...What a great vacation day! So I will blog about this later, but we are moving to Dallas.... We are beyond pumped! Not so much for Dallas, but for the opportunity to work at this church. God is definetly sovereign and there is of course a very long "shelton" story to tell about it!