Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In Which The F***ing Pigs Have A Great Day

Pie, such as one finds on RAGBRAI. I have found a lot. I am a pie piggie.

To be honest, he had a point. I don't like seeing piles of garbage left by RAGBRAI riders by the side of the road.

Earlier today, a dairy gave away chocolate milk. It was a welcome treat—and later in the day, the conservationists were giving out free bananas. Both were nice to get.

And I indulged in each. But I also property disposed of the remains. Many riders did not—especially in the case of the milk, where cartons were left scattered on the side of the highway within the mile after the milk giveaway.

At least the milk tossers pretty much tried to pile the milk cartons in groups, which would make cleanup a bit easier. But it would be nicer if cleanup were not necessary—if all RAGBRAI riders kept their trash until they could dispose of it correctly.

However, to be fair, if you run a marathon and pass a water station, you're expected to just drop your cup. Others will come later and pick them up. The many riders who assume that someone else will pick up their trash are often athletes—a number of them runners. They are following their running habits.

And, again to defend the litterbugs a little, many bikers don't have a big Wicked Witch of the West basket like mine on the front of their bikes. So they can't easily cart their own garbage, as CR Biker can.

So, while I wish cleanup would not be necessary, or at least less necessary, than it is, nonetheless it's a reality that, if given a free beverage, many RAGBRAI riders will chug and then chuck.

Little mermaid Kimbalton.
Which leads me to an odd “welcome” I received in Des Moines, today. After passing through a nice balloon arch, I headed down a hill. I got a text from team members who I had inadvertently evaded in Valley Junction in West Des Moines, so I pulled over. Bikers were tossing plastic bottles from free drinks they had been given up the hill. Several ended up on the street. When it was clear, I quickly kicked some to the side.

When the owner or manager of the business I was in front of came out and yelled “quick kicking bottles into my yard!” He then said: “Those people (RAGBRAI riders) are f***ing pigs!” And then he directed a harried looking minion (any minion of his would probably be harried) to toss the bottles back into the street.

Well, I understand his frustration. I would not like bottles in my yard either. But I kicked them out of the street because a biker coming down the hill at 20 mph could be killed if she or he hit that bottle. And this idiot wanted to toss them back into the street. True, he was probably steaming all day—it was not a retail business that would benefit from RAGBRAI, it was a concrete company and doubtless RAGBRAI was just a huge pain. But, come on.

I think I was doing OK by trying to clear the street. I wish the RAGBRAI riders had not tossed bottles into his yard. But 20 bottles in his yard does not make 10,000 riders pigs, either. I had snacked at the edge of his grass and had the wrappers in my pockets. I felt like emptying them. Instead, I just moved down the street to meet my teammates.

Welcome to Des Moines. OK, the greeters at the arch were friendly and one bad man doesn't spoil a town any more than a few bottle tossers should tarnish all RAGBRAI.

And, it was just one incident in an otherwise great day. The ride was fairly short, even if I made it longer by going past the point Brigid had planned to leave the trail. We had some headwinds, but the cool temps were a pleasure.

I've done, I guess, 2 days of RAGBRAI now. The ride has gone on for 3 days, but I had some driving duties. Today was the first full day, and it was a great day despite Mr. Grumpy Business Manager.

Last night, we had indoor plumbing, courtesy of the head librarian in Perry. Tonight is the stop at Brigid and Eldon's house. Tomorrow, I ride in the morning and drive in the afternoon.

It will be slightly challenging for me to assemble all the tents, but I think I'm ready. We will see!

In the meantime, points to ponder:
Bones and a sister. Be afraid.

  • I'm hoping to get team members to guest post. If you know any, lobby them.
  • Today, I photographed a pile of deer bones suspiciously close to my tardy twin sister. Should we be worried?
  • Methodists still hold the edge in the pie baking, but despite delays, Catholics do well at noodle dishes.
  • My tent stayed dry in the Perry storm. Here's hoping it does not get tested again.
  • All team members had had to resort to corn field Kybos now and then. Once, two my team members and I were in the same field (not together). I am developing a corn field rating system--points for ease of access and height, deductions for mud or tall weeds or a ditch to wade through.
  • The "Team Joe" shirts have made saying "hi Joe" a sport among RAGBRAI riders. Not sure why, but it's fun.
That's all for now. I will again try to update several times this week, and I hope to talk some others into some posts, too.

1 comment:

  1. Keep an eye out for Team NPR. Three of the national political reporters are in the crowd. They were joking on Morning Edition about how not flat Iowa is and how big the pork chops are.