10 days since my last post. Iâ€™ve been keeping pretty busy, busy enough that it now feels like I have a very short time left here in Sioux City, and so much left to do.
Earlier this week I headed off to see what RAGBRAI was all about. RAGBRAI stands for: Registerâ€™s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. This year it is a 477 mile ride across Northern Iowa comprised of some 10000+ riders from all over the world. They start by dipping their tires in a river on the Western side of Iowa, ride for 5 days, and then dip their tires in an Eastern river to finish.
Sunday I arrived in Rock Rapids around 8am and the majority of riders had already set off on that dayâ€™s 77 mile leg. I drove back home for a few hours sleep and then set back out to see what the nightlife of a RAGBRAI stop was like. So back on the road to Spencer, I arrived about 7pm and saw fields and fields of tents and more bikes than Iâ€™d ever seen in one place.
The population of Spencer, IA had literally doubled that day. The eveningâ€™s festivities were held at the Fairgrounds â€“ although I doubt there was a single parking lot or side street that wasnâ€™t active â€“ I ended up spending the night drinking and people-watching in the Fairgroundâ€™s beer garden until it closed at 12:30am. I made my way back to the van in a nearby parking lot and passed out.
I awoke about 5:30am to find that everyone else was already up and on the move. I wiped the sleep from my eyes, hopped in the driver’s seat, and headed off for a vantage point to get some pictures. I followed the route of the bikers, which meant I was driving with the tide. Literally it was like a stream of bikers flowing past me. I was the huge obstruction on their street and once I was in the path there was little to be done about getting out of it. I was surrounded on all sides and turning off to a side street just wasnâ€™t an option. I didnâ€™t get out of the mass until the route turned right and I was able to continue straight. I considered following the event to the next city but decided to drive back home instead.
I had a lot of fun that night and riding RAGBRAI is now something that is definitely on my list. I will really have to train up though, Iâ€™m nowhere near the physical shape Iâ€™d need to be to finish the ride, but hey, goals are good.