Homer's Travels: Commence Peddling!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Commence Peddling!

Not The Bike I Will Ride.
Well, today I pulled the trigger and registered for RAGBRAI (Thank you Mother and Father in-law. Your Christmas money paid for the registration fee).  I could have registered last month but I've been dragging my feet.  Every time I think about riding a bike across Iowa my palms sweat and I get a weird feeling in my stomach.  It dawned on me that I was feeling exactly like I felt before I did my first Camino.  That turned out OK.  I'm sure this will turn out OK as well.

The trigger for me registering was the announcement of this year's route.  Each year it changes.  This year goes 462 miles (743.5 km) starting at the banks of the Missouri River in Sioux City and ending at the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport.  Along the way you travel through Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, Cedar Falls, Hiawatha, and Coralville.  The longest segment, the first, is 74.3 miles while the shortest is 56 miles (66 miles per day average).  There are two optional loops: one adds fifteen miles of gravel road to the second stage and the other extends the third stage an extra 28.2 miles making it a tough one hundred miles.

Many people believe Iowa is a flat state but the truth is Iowa is covered in rolling hills resulting in the actual route climbing 15,948 feet (4,871.9 m).  This will be one of my biggest challenges as I have done very little hill riding.  If you would like to get more information on the route, check out the RAGBRAI site here.  This link gives even more details.

The Wife thinks my biggest challenge will be riding in a pack.  My first reaction to this is to say I will probably be behind the pack most of the time.  As I've thought about it more, I have come around to agreeing with her - riding in a pack will be a challenge for me.

The next step in the RAGBRAI process, beside continued training, is to wait for the lottery.  The race provides services such as luggage transport, repair services, and medical services.  They also provide campsite spots along the route.  They also have a limited number of slots.  I will find out on May 1st if I've got a slot.

Damn it!  Now I have to go wipe the sweat off my palms and calm my stomach down again.


  1. I know that fear too well. I think of it as existential fear. It's the sort of thing that's outside your comfort zone, you don't have any idea what will happen but you know if you don't do it, that fear will clamp down a little harder and you'll always have a small piece of regret. but when you face it and do it, there's that bubbly feeling of "YAY! I'm DOING THIS!"

    This is super cool, Bruce. I hope you have a lot of fun!

  2. Autumn! Thank you! I think I can I think I can ...