In addition to our weekly Friday noon rides, which officially begin today, I wanted to call your attention to some locally organized events that can help prepare us for RAGBRAI.
One that I just discovered is Ben Murphy's Bike Ride for Preemies. In it's seventh year, this ride raises money for babies born premature. Scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12, it offers a 20-mile bike ride that uses the beautiful Cedar Valley Trail from the New Shack Tavern to the Hawthorne Suites hotel and back. The cost is only $15, and you get a custom designed Ben's Ride T-shirt, water bottle, and other goodies.
There's also the annual Swine Trek on June 21 sponsored by the Hawkeye Bicycle Association. You have the option of a 25, 50 or 100 mile route beginning and ending at Pleasant Creek State Park near Palo. Registration is only $20 (before June 14) and includes fully stocked rest stops, a chicken dinner and other goodies. I rode Swine Trek last year, but suffered a mechanical breakdown.