Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Come one, come all

I vowed to do some RAGBRAI planning over Christmas break, so here goes.

Are you in?

Sure it’s 207 days away. But will you really have anything better to do, really? Over the past four years, I’ve come to see RAGBRAI as a less of a chore and more of a ritual. It’s also a pretty darn effective carrot for encouraging year-round physical fitness.

That’s why this is exactly the perfect time of year to plan for RAGBRAI 2009. With the repeated snow and ice storms accompanied by arctic temperatures, it warms my soul to think of reflective heat coming off the pavement in July. I’m not a pie guy, but I can’t imagine any served this holiday season can rival those found on RAGBRAI (which is why pie is incorporated in this year’s design). And, I’m sorry, but the stationary bike does not compare.

Besides, with the Packers out of the playoffs, what am I supposed to do? Watch the NBA? No thanks.

I sincerely hope you'll join us this year. Fees have been held at $350. Of this, $175 is due to Coe by March 1 along with a signed waiver from the RAGBRAI Web site. The remaining $175 will be due July 1.

The fee includes the official $125 RAGBRAI entry fee, a Team CoeBRAI jersey and license plate, bus transportation to and from Cedar Rapids and the starting/ending towns, and snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at each overnight stop. This does not include meals, unfortunately, though we hope to negotiate with our hosts at each overnight stop to make some accommodation for dinner and showers.

Additionally, participants should plan to spend $20-$30 per day on food and beverages, bike repairs, showers, etc.

RAGBRAI begins somewhere near Iowa’s western border and ends along the eastern border at the Mississippi River. Overnight towns will be announced soon in the Des Moines Register and at www.ragbrai.org. Again this year, we will seek hosts from among the Coe community at each of the overnight towns.

Students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends are all welcome to join Team CoeBRAI. If you are interested, please complete the interest form at http://cobrai.coe.edu. To date, a handful of folks have completed the interest form. I know of dozens more who are at least considering it. If you have half a mind to do RAGBRAI – and, really, that’s what it takes – fill out the form or shoot me an e-mail.

Ride on!