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Monday, August 02, 2010

Wish I Was There...

Roj and Jill made the Trek Recovery Ride this evening, fresh off RAGBRAI XXXVIII.

For the uninitiated, this is the oldest, biggest cross-state ride going. According to their website, they limit it to 8,500 week-long riders and 1,500 per day on single-day passes. That's 10,000 people riding across Iowa over the course of a week.

It has a reputation of being a great party, too. Pedal all day, party all night seems to be the notion for some, while others never pass a beer garden or tavern without having a round. Me, I'd probably fall into the former category, as a beer might inspire me to have another beer but it won't inspire me to get back on my bike and ride to the next town.

Actually, I'd take it easy with the party part anyway, riding 60 to 100 miles a day, it'd be hard enough to stay hydrated and avoid cramps without boozing it hard on top of it.

But hearing of people lining the road in the little towns the ride winds through, wanting to high-five passing riders, shouting out to find states people are from to try and collect all fifty states, etc, I was suddenly even more jealous of Roj and Jill than I already was.

It's like the Tour de France for the common man: the only thing that stands between me, 40 years old and a good 60 pounds overweight, riding a Franken Hybrid about as fast as a line at the DMV, is the RAGBRAI lottery and the fees/expenses associated with RAGBRAI.

Which I can't afford at this juncture in life, but this is a doable thing: it's cheaper than a Caribbean cruise, Disney World or a lot of other things people do for a vacation. And while Lance Armstrong, two years younger than me, is too old for the Tour de France, there are RAGBRAI riders drawing multiple pensions and Social Security benefits.

Another thing RAGBRAI has on the Tour de France, some of the outrageous costumes and whatnot are on the riders. I hear there were two Penny-Farthings and a unicycle this year, and of course Roj on his Mongoose BMX with aero-discs, wearing a motorcycle crash helmet and an old school BMX face-mask.

The discussion turned to aerodynamics, and after hearing Roj say, 'No, I talked to Shark Guy about it a lot, and he said...' I thought, gawd, how could I miss out on a ride like this?

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