Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RAGBRAI Highlights...

Why does it seem that the bad get forgotten over time and the good times seem to be what sticks?  I keep on thinking about my RAGBRAI time (the whole four days) and I can’t help but smile at some of the things that happened. 

Like the night before when the team had a dinner and we loaded up the truck.  During the dinner, we went around and introduced ourselves.  As we started introducing ourselves we discovered that the newbie’s got a little something extra written in black marker on their calf.  Here’s all of us newbie’s lined up on the loading truck ramp.
Photo- All the newbie's with VIRGIN written in black marker on their calves. 
I'm near the middle in light green shirt.

The real funny thing was that this is a common thing done to people who are doing their first time at RAGBRAI.  I ran into quite a few “VIRGIN’s” as I rode along.  Some even had it on both calves!

Another time, it was an afternoon after I had finished the ride for the day.  I had stopped in the downtown in the overnight town to have some lunch before looking for the host house where I would stay for the night.  I ended up eating with this married couple who were from South Carolina.  The gentleman was originally from Waterloo, Iowa.  As I was talking the wife said that her husband was concerned about having her come along because she’s an organizer and usually has everything planned down to the last detail.  As she was learning, RAGBRAI is not one of those rides that you can plan; it’s a more go with the flow type.  But she said she was having fun opening her mind and boundaries.  Meanwhile, her husband had decided to get a little treat while we gals were talking.  He came back with a plain little white paper bag.   “What’s in the bag, dear?” She asked.  It was a Maid-Rite sandwich.  She rolled her eyes,” It MUST be an Iowa thing!”  I told her it was and Iowa was the only place you could get a true Maid-Rite.

Another morning, I riding in a pace line with these guys from Chicago area.  It’s nice cool and the sun is coming up as we are cycling along a picture perfect rolling hills of corn fields.  There’s a slight haze of fog off in the distance giving a golden pink hue to everything.  One of the guys in the group, says” Is this heaven?”  Another guy in the group says,” Don’t say! Don’t you dare say it!  I DON’T want to hear THAT line again.”  I was just cracking up and was half tempted to say the famous movie line from Field of Dreams… “No, this is Iowa!”
Photo- First night of RAGBRAI and a Beautiful sunset over the golf course near where my tent was set up.

Another night, the cycling team was out shooting the breeze with all of our lawn chairs forming a big circle.  We were all talking and one of the guys had been interviewed on TV and also been interviewed for the newspaper.  I asked him why he was so news worthy.  One of the other guys piped up that he had been seen streaking naked through the main street area of town.  I quickly came back with a retort,” And THAT was considered news worthy?!”  Everyone cracked up at that and there were even retorts about hitting a man when he was down.  Awww… it was all in good fun!

There were several more highlights such as discovering one of the gals in the group graduated the same year from the same high school as I.  Another one of the guys grew up down the street from me but was 7 years older so we never really knew each other.  All kinds of weird little coincidences and quirks.  It really was a good time except for the heat.

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