Bike ride across Iowa cause for celebration

I’m not a bike rider.

I used to be, but I’m afraid I’ve outgrown the thrill.

I know so many people who are avid riders and it makes me a little jealous that I’m not. I feel like I’m missing out on something. They spend days riding their bikes on the trails, cruising around the countryside and small towns, and they love it.

I get on a bike and all I can think about is, how long until I get to where I’m going?

I applaud those thousands of people who are participating in RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. I have a brother, a sister-in-law, cousins, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are riding in the event this year, and I am astonished at their dedication, especially through the heat they had to endure and the storm they experienced in Marshalltown Wednesday night.

They must really love it, but it’s just not my thing.

Riding in RAGBRAI is still on my list of things to do someday. But the thought of spending grueling days in the hot sun or rain or wind or cold, or whatever it decides to do any given year is a little frightening, and I’m just not there yet.

Someday, but not just yet.

But that’s OK. I have other things to do. I would rather spend my time writing about the event and taking pictures of the riders.

Today I’m going to join the festivities in downtown Cedar Rapids and celebrate the 40 years that RAGBRAI has been in existence. There will be music and entertainment, food and fun for everyone, and if I can’t ride in the event, as least I can help them celebrate their victory along the way.

The story behind how it started is amazing. It’s hard to believe the annual Iowa event began as a bet between two Des Moines Register newspaper writers. As popular as it has become, it’s sure to continue on as one of the biggest annual events in Iowa.

For more local news on RAGBRAI go to the Hiawatha Advocate website.

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