Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa
sponsored by the Des Moines Register
In 2003 RAGBRAI started on Sunday, July 20, in Glenwood and followed a southern route through Shenandoah, Bedford, Osceola, Oskaloosa, Bloomfield, Mount Pleasant, and ended at Fort Madison on Saturday July 26. We rode 7 days and camped 7 nights, including Saturday night in Glenwood. This is such a phenomenal ride, I recommend every biker do it at least once, there is nothing else like it. Bikers ahead of you, bikers behind you, all day long, anywhere on the route. Bikers practically own the road, cars go slow for us, what few there are. To find out more about this great ride, visit the RAGBRAI web site.
This was my second time on RAGBRAI, my first was in 1993. I rode a mountain bike with my 14 year old son and my nephew. This year I rode a tandem with DeAnna (neither of our spouses ride).
Start and Finish Gallery (5 pics)
Here I am with my tandem rear wheel up to the axle in mud at the Missouri River. (Click on picture for larger image)
Sights Along the Way Gallery (12 pics)
Iowans treated us and greeted us all along the route of this week long trip. Libraries let us use their internet connections. Towns had entertainment along the way. Streets were closed at night to provide dancing and other fun.
Many places advertised free Kybos. Me, being from Michigan, had no clue as to what a Kybo was. I thought is was some sort of toy, or perhaps a Greek sandwich (a variation of a gyro). What a disappointment to find out it is only a port-a-potty.
There were a lot of interesting sights along the way, some of them were other bikers. (Click on picture for larger image)
Food Gallery (4 pics)
There should be a ton of pictures here, because there was food every where we went. Chris Cakes followed us around every day with his breakfast. There were other vendors who followed us every day, with barbecues, smoothies, burritos and probably other things I can't remember now. There were luncheons and suppers from churches and other fund raisers. I think I spent about twice as much as I had planned on for the trip.
Teams Gallery (6 pics)
It's not necessary to be on a team to ride RAGBRAI, but after having done it twice independently, I think I will try a team the next time. A team provides encouragement and lots of support. Support by providing transportation to the starting city and/or back from the finish, having a good place to pitch your tent every night, providing food and drinks along the way, carrying your baggage, and providing a ride on the bus if you don't feel good or the weather is bad, and especially by having a group to ride with.
Teams are all different. Some like to party all night, some like quiet peaceful camping away from the noise. Some wear outlandish costumes. I don't remember all the different teams I saw, but I guess at least half the riders are on one. A lot of teams are not shown here, including the Whiners (from Michigan, the Out Of Staters, SKUNK, and even a deaf team. (Shown is Team Blond - click on picture for larger image)