Friday, July 15, 2011

With rights comes responsibility

CoeBRAI Riders Bill of Rights

What could be better than spending seven days riding across 454 miles of beautiful Iowa countryside, seven nights camping with 10,000 of your closest spandex-clad friends, and eating enough calories to negate each day of cycling? RAGBRAI is a wonderful experience; however, when you add the heat, strenuous exercise, soreness, 21,206 feet of climb, and throngs of humanity, it will challenge even the hardcore cyclists. Throw in communal living, shared facilities, outdoor living, the inevitable weather event, and the mental challenges can make the biking seem like a ride in the park. Be a good teammate and we’ll all arrive at the Mississippi River with a genuine sense of accomplishment and a bond with new friends that you never imagined.

Team CoeBRAI riders are endowed with certain unalienable rights (and responsibilities), that among these are…

The right to a quiet campground and undisturbed sleep:
--Most riders want to get a good night’s sleep. Please keep the campgrounds reasonably quiet and keep the noise down after 9 p.m. This is especially important if you are coming back to camp late after enjoying the festivities of the host town. Keep in mind that many riders are on the road at 6 a.m. Be as courteous to them late at night as you want them to be early in the morning.

The right to enjoy the company of gracious host families
--CoeBRAI is fortunate to be able to camp at the homes of various alumni and friends. Here are a few ways to show your appreciation for their hospitality:
--The camp site should be left cleaner than we found it. Please pick up after yourself, and respect the property of our benevolent host families.
--Dinner will be served from 6–7 p.m. Anyone arriving after that time will be on their own for dinner. Plan ahead for this contingency.
--Please keep your showers to a maximum of 5 minutes to avoid overloading the host families’ facilities and so others need not wait all night for a turn.
--Thank them!

The right to be respected:
--The Coe staff and faculty on this trip are on vacation too; so, please pitch-in and help around camp.
--The drivers are paid, but they have specific responsibilities. They drive the truck, stake out our camp site each day, shop for groceries and keep the water jugs filled.
--The drivers will set-up and tear down your tent all week for an extra fee. ($50 for 1-4 person sized tent and $75 for 5+ person sized tent. Note: the size of the tent, not the number of occupants, is the determining factor.)
--The drivers will go shopping for you if you give them money. No CoeBRAI funds will be used to purchase alcohol. Legal age riders may bring their own alcoholic beverages or have the drivers make purchases for them and bring it back to camp.
--The drivers transport gear from site to site; however, it is not their job to load your equipment. Please load your gear onto (not beside) the truck before departing each morning.
--You signed up to ride your bike, so take full advantage of the opportunity. If you feel the need to ride the truck for a day or two, consider yourself part of the support team and pitch in as you are able. On the same note, non-bikers should shower during the day before riders begin to arrive.
--Team CoeBRAI strives to be good stewards of our environment. Please help us minimize waste by making use of reusable cups provided in camp.
--Be polite. Be kind. Be laid back. The spirit of RAGBRAI is about having good times with good people. Keep in mind that you are representing Coe College. All behavior – good and bad – reflects on the sponsoring institution.
--Please respect others people’s property. The good natured vibe of RAGBRAI creates an environment where there are thousands of expensive bikes and gear laying around unattended with very few thefts.

The right to have fun!
--Remember the RAGBRAI credo: If you’re not having fun yet, lower your expectations.
--Team CoeBRAI motto: Roll with it!

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