Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pedaling Across Hog Heaven - The RAGBRAI Experience

RAGBRAI – Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.  It's a bike ride that crosses Iowa from the Missouri to the Mississippi. It's the largest organized bike ride in the US, typically drawing over 10,000 riders each year. It started over 30 years ago. It’s so large, riders/participants are selected by lottery. For serious bikers, it a right of passage. I rode it for the first time in 2006, doing  471 miles on one of the hilliest routes they've ever had.  As a serious cyclist, it was a bucket list item for me.  I was in great shape for the ride, but little did I know about what I was to experience with such a large group riding 70 mile days in the Iowa summer heat. What follows is my daily journal about the ride and the RAGBRAI experience.