Last week, Eric and Casey left for RAGBRAI on their 7-day bike tour. The whole route is just under 500 miles across the state of Iowa, touring through small towns with huge hearts. Each day, over 10,000 bikers pedaled an average of 70 miles from one town to the next.
They came home with farmer’s tans and a ton of stories. Like the one where Casey almost missed the Shuttle to Davenport and went chasing after it, waving and flailing. But it’s ok, because the REAL last shuttle showed up 10 minutes later. Or that time when they camped 200 feet from the band stage were a Styx cover band was singing “Come Sail Away,” and Eric could be heard yelling, “Shut up Styx, I’m trying to sleep!” And then there was the weird wonderful towns and people along the way. “Hey! Can you hold my pig and take a picture with me?” or “Come see our pride and Joy, the Largest Corn Cob in the State!” or “Have another slice of pie!” were uttered while kids with supersoakers baptized the bikers into their town.
All in all, the guys admit that the greatest takeaway was the shared culture and camaraderie. Between the people in the towns and the fellow riders, all spirits were high. Even the gripe stories at camp amongst the bikers were transformed into jokes as they laughed about their shared frustrations (“That hill, man! You remember that one? And then the minute we crested the damn thing, THERE WAS ANOTHER ONE!”) As Casey put it, this was the Great Equalizer. You get up each morning, hungry, sore, and tired, and then you show up and everyone is so excited to see you, pat you on the back, and give you a glimpse of their proud town. Great ride, Great pride, Iowa.
Glad to have the guys back!