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CLIF Blog

Jul. 21, 2009
RAGBRAI—Better than We Imagined

Aliy and her crew are off and pedaling in Iowa. They found a brief internet connection and managed to muster up a few words about their ride...And so, Days 1 and 2 recapped below. Enjoy!

Day 1: Better than we imagined
Picture this…

Small town America meets 17,000 beer-loving, fried-food consuming, spandex-covered cyclists, all of whom are ready to wash down a CLIF Bar with a cold one…even for breakfast at 8am.

Our best description of RAGBRAI so far? Bike ride meets multi-day music festival, meets small town hospitality, meets eating and drinking your heart out! Not so easy to put into one word but that just about does it.

We started the day as a traditional RAGBRAI rider would by dipping our back bike tires in the Missouri River—day 7 concludes with the front tire dip in the Mississippi River. One river to another, with a whole lot of space in between.

Every 15-20 miles on the route, we encounter a new town, each one different from the next but with one obvious similarity: unconditional welcoming and enthusiasm for every rider. All the streets are shut down to cars, allowing for bikes and feet only.

With all the amazing things we experienced, we did have one downfall. Literally.

One crash— a minor crash at that, but it involved some gravel in the palms and a cart tipping over. On the bright side, the trailer Brian was hauling, contained our music system, which continued to boom from the speakers well after he went down. Awesome.

1 day down, 389.4 miles to go…

Day 2—Iowa is flat, right?
PSYCHE! Exactly the opposite.

Today we survived the hills of Iowa, all 5,000 feet of the 72-mile route. Being Chicago natives, the most hill training we’ve had was riding over bridges or in circling around parking garages—kids, don’t try it at home). And if that wasn’t enough, Mother Nature decided to take us back to April with consistent rain and 60-degree temperatures—brutal.

However, this is RAGBRAI. No matter how tough the route, or miserable the weather, we're still rocking out and loving every minute of it.

Some of the day’s highlights:

A guy embarking on the day’s journey on a unicycle…for those of you who haven’t been to the circus lately, that’s one wheel for one person. Yeah.

Costumes galore—many of the cyclists ride in teams: Team Pucker, Team Angry, Team Spin, Team Jorts, Team Stop-a-Lot and of course Team Clif Bar.

Every team finds a unique way to stand out from the pack, whether the riders are wearing matching jerseys, wigs, or even a team member in a full-on Chiquita Banana riding a recumbent bike.

2 days down, 316.8 miles to go.

Rock out and keep on rolling,

Eric, Adam, Brian and Aliy
Posted by:
Amy, Miss Web Gal
Category:
Events, From the Road
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About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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