Saturday, August 4, 2007

Post-ride Musings

August 4, Saturday Looking Back

So it was only a week ago that we rode the hills and pedaled against the wind into Bellevue (poor Lance, he thought watching others race in France would be more fun), took the bus back to Cedar Rapids and then scattered our various directions....for me that meant another 135 miles by car to collect my kids at Grandma's in Kahoka, Missouri before driving another 1000 back to Northern Virginia the next two days....I don't know about Gary and Gail (who I estimate drove nearly similar distances) but next time I'm planning to fly and ship the bikes; that's right, plural bikes because my rising 8th grader -- perhaps inspired by stories of Zach riding successfully -- has said he'll do the ride with me next time I do it, and we even did a little 18 miler Wednesday this week so that I could confirm how sore my but still was...

Thanks to everybody who rode with the group this year -- even those who exposed my Lance photos as pictures of an imposter! I just looked at Tom's video -- I note those are back shots of men with Ragbrai and Livestrong jerseys like I saw hundreds of EACH DAY of the their any way to authenticate that sighting other than the Des Moines Register coverage of Peter Klein generously offering to sink John Edward's campaign with a Chamois Butt'r sample? Did anyone actually see Tom riding with Pete that day?

OK, I guess I should say thanks to Pete and Tom for letting me ride with them on some other days, and to everybody for helping me move and keep track of my two tubs and more worth of possessions at our hosts' camp sites each day....many of you will not be surprised to learn that I returned via UPS today the "Quick Pitch" "4-Person" tent I bought for the week, given its size and stubbornness. Those people at Sierra Trading Post were so understanding...

What an incredible experience of hospitality Lonnie, Lisa, Zach and Carissa and our host families and additional support folks (Gary, Jim, Sara) provided for those of us who were riding last week!! Not to mention the small Iowa towns....

Here are my learnings this year for future years:

1) When transporting riders in the cargo truck to an out-of-town host close the rear door on gravel roads...

2) When transporting riders in the cargo truck back to town on paved roads open the door to allow the passengers to breathe...

3) Whoever arranged the weather should do the same thing they did this year.

4) Leave when you are rested in the morning, swim at municipal pools along the route, and get in when you get in...EVERYBODY is aiming to be on the road by 7AM., which only creates congestion when there are 20,000 bikes on the road in a given day....If you are Lance leave at 11 and finish by 3.

5) Blues Travelor is not Sheryl Crow, but maybe Lance will do better next year (apoligies in advance to Blues Travelor fans).

6) There are no strangers on the ride, mostly just friends you haven't met yet.

7) People who went to Cornell College (John Minek excepted) seem to have an inferiority complex....this puzzled me since I almost went to Cornell, but maybe there is hope for world peace since Tom's wife has been doing the same kind of work at Cornell that he is now doing at Coe.

8) If Bob Untiedt becomes a professional stand-up comic I want to catch him doing a show.

9) Assorted Coe bikers playing the Wartburg College wrestling team in kickball is not a fair match -- maybe basketball would be a better choice?

(10) 20 and 30 years after my first two complete RAGBRAIs it's still a terrifically worthwhile vacation, if fact, I've got to do this ride more often.

Thanks to all of you Coe-affiliated folks for being family for the week, and Rich Blessings in all your endeavors....

-- Kevin Ogle

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