Last year, I did the full week of RAGBRAI with my son Jon. The decision to do so was fairly spontaneous, based mostly on the fact that he invited me while Audrey and I were staying in Seattle with him and his lovely wife Nalena.
It turned out to be quite an experience. I had avoided RAGBRAI in the past because it seemed like the kind of noisy, circus, crowded event that doesn’t appeal to a person who prefers a good book or an old movie to a disco.
Yet, I had a great time. It was, I think, the combination of hanging around with Jon and conquering the physical challenge. Serial eating, a key part of RAGBRAI, didn’t hurt either—I don’t mind Hobbit-like eating habits. Second breakfast—eggs in some cheese sauce with sausage, for instance, or a ham ball on baked beans—seems like a good idea.
And I met up with a Mount Mercy group for one day, although I managed to miss them for lunch. Oh well.
Anyway, so this year I figured I would do a day or two. Frankly, that’s still the plan, but the route is very tempting. See the Des Moines Register map that I took a screen shot of on Ragbrai.com. It starts in northwest Iowa and passed close to the area where we lived—I wonder how close the route will go to Early, Iowa? It goes from Cherokee to Lake View, which means it cuts through that area of Sac County …
And it ends in Clinton, Iowa. I went from third through eighth grade in Clinton, and played a lot a Riverview Park, where the ride will terminate.
It’s going to be a while before the full route is announced. I will be curious to see how they get into and out of Cedar Rapids. Last year, eastern Iowa was the worst due to traffic—hopefully CR will put Iowa City to shame on that score.
A day or two? For sure. The full week? Don’t know. That worked last year partly due to the group I was in.
But, now that I see the overnight stops on the route—being advertised by the Register as a much easier ride than last year’s—I will confess it.