RAGBRAI (n) : A rolling county fair in which one eats and drinks their way across Iowa.
Mention to someone that you just rode the RAGBRAI and you’ll either get a blank stare or a high five. For the uninitiated, RAGBRAI stands for (Des Moines) Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The route is selected each year in late January and starts on the western side and winds its way to the eastern side – Missouri River to Mississippi River – with overnight stops in small towns along the way. My buddy, Bud, has been trying to get me to do this ride for about 5 years and, frankly, the very last place I wanted to vacation in late July is Iowa. However, I did cave in last summer and, due to a back injury, I drove the support truck for Ted and John. Yes, I did find it entertaining – but nothing like the act of bicycling from town to town and savoring each stop’s wide variety of vendors.
It is almost impossible to describe the esprit de corps among the people associated with RAGBRAI – the 10 to 15,000 riders plus vendors, support drivers and town’s people. I’ll have to let the pictures do that. I’m sure this ride is on no one’s bucket list but it should be. Just do it.
Missouri River to Mississippi River
Glenwood, IA to Davenport, IA
Carroll, Boone, Altoona, Grinnell and Coraville
7 days 449.9 miles
July 24 – July 30, 2011