Friday, January 11, 2013

Biking memory lane

There’s something about the first ride of the year that gets me all nostalgic. That’s especially true when it occurs in January, as it did today and each of the past two years.

This morning’s mile-long spin to Coe extends my outdoor cycling streak to 35 months, which may not seem like much to you southerners, but is a major source of pride for this Iowa boy.

I have now logged 12,170 miles since I contracted this cycling affliction in 2005. It was May 21 of that year when I rode my newly purchased Giant OCR3 home from Northtowne Cycling as I started to prepare for my first RAGBRAI. The 2005 Team CoeBRAI is pictured here before venturing off from Le Mars.
Team CoeBRAI 2005 prepares for departure from Le Mars.

RAGBRAI XLI will be the ninth for me and Team CoeBRAI, my seventh year as soy capitan. My annual mileage totals have varied over the years: 933 in 2005, 633 in 2006, 614 in 2007, 1,062 in 2008, 1,286 in 2009, 2,709 in 2010, 3,070 in 2011 and 1,863 in 2012. While I’ve kept meticulous account of the miles, I’ve lost track of all the memories.

To call RAGBRAI a life-changing event is no exaggeration for me and, I’m sure, many of you. That’s why so many of us return each year – the good food, folks and fun outlasting memories of heat, hills and headwind.

With two weeks remaining before the 2013 route is announced, seven riders have signed up to ride RAGBRAI XLI with Team CoeBRAI IX. That leaves 13 openings. You want to make a memory?

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