July 23, 2008

RAGBRAI in Jefferson!

Jefferson, Iowa is my hometown and on Monday night Jefferson was an overnight town for RAGBRAI, (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). I arrived early Monday morning to help my parents prepare for the 40+ guests that would be staying at our house, shortly after their support drivers began to arrive. My parents house was en route into Jefferson; I spent several hours enjoying the beautiful day and watching riders go by.
I cannot begin to describe the enjoyment I found in getting to know the riders that stayed with us. We had several middle-aged women from Iowa, a couple from Fremont, NE, four riders from Colorado, a group of men from Aurora, IL, a bus from around the country, including New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. and a couple riders from good old KC. It was so interesting talking to the riders, some were RAGBRAI virgins, others had done it for years, one thing that everyone mentioned was "Iowa hospitality." At our house, some of the riders dubbed me "the hostess with the mostess," which suited me just fine! I miss Iowa and love it dearly.
RAGBRAI is such an great event, because it's not a race, but instead a simple bike ride with 10,000+ friends. You see all kinds of people on RAGBRAI, young and old, athletic and determined, from all regions of the country and world. This experience has really inspired me ride next year, even if it's only a couple of days. I can't wait to start training...

Images above (clockwise starting in upper left corner): Riders leaving Jefferson, riders in the rain around Scranton, Nate Guess from Band KounterTop performing downtown, riders leaving Jefferson (next two), crowd in downtown Jefferson enjoying the concerts (center)

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