Sunday, March 1, 2009

The First of March is Come...

And with it, the deadline for joining Team CoeBRAI for 2009. We may make accommodations for a few additional teamless riders, but they'll have to be registered independently with RAGBRAI. It's not unusual for cancellations to occur between now and July either.

I'll soon be closing the team, submitting our group registration and mailing waivers and payment to RAGBRAI. Then it's just a matter of waiting until lottery results are posted May 1. Meanwhile, I'll be working with my Coe colleagues on housing, jerseys and other logistical items.

Your work is done (assuming waivers and payments are en route from the five I have not yet collected) for now. For 39 of 44 participants (including full- and part-time riders and support staff) to have met our early deadline is amazing.

Credit the Ely boys for suggesting what became Friday night's CoeBRAI Waiver Party. Over the course of three hours, 14 of us gathered in solidarity at a downtown bar. After taking care of the waiver and payment business, we got down to the business of connecting, reconnecting, retelling stories and proposing training rides. I left feeling really good about RAGBRAI 2009 -- and really full. Needless to say, the CoeBRAI Waiver Party is a new tradition.

As it stands tonight, Team CoeBRAI consists of a record 36 full-time riders. Two of five "part-timers" are so classified simply because they'll miss day one. Returning from 2008 (and 2007, in her case) are Andrew and Katy Borders, who will join us in Red Oak and ride out the balance of the week before departing from Burlington for Chicago.

Counting them, we're a mix of 17 Coe alumni, five faculty and staff, and 14 spouses, siblings, offspring, parents and friends of alumni, faculty and staff. We range in age from 11-year-old Jeremiah Ogle (who, along with his 15-year-old brother, Nate, will accompany his dad, Kevin, a 1983 Coe grad and a veteran of the last two CoeBRAI teams) to 59-year-old John Palizza, a 1972 Coe grad living in Houston. In addition to 28 Iowa residents, riders hail from North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

That doesn't even count Abby Masters, who couldn't resist the urge to return as a driver despite relocating to South Carolina after last year's RAGBRAI. Sharing the duty will be Coe Sports Information Director Ryan Workman, who caught the big while visiting our stop at the Upah farm in Toledo last year. Ryan scored one of our runs in our pathetic kickball performance against Wartburg and is looking for Team CoeBRAI to step up its game this year.

While I'm identifying your support staff, my wife, Lisa, will again pilot our camper, Hope, and pitch in as conditions and her mood warrant (she's not paid, after all). Karissa may or may not bring a friend, but you can count on her to contribute to the cause. Zach will be away at a church mission trip to New Orleans.

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