Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Riding RAGBRAI with family and friends

Day1RAGBRAI, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

This photo is from the first morning of RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). Daughter Sara and I were ready to start riding as the sun came up. We rode on a Barcroft Columbia. The bike performed wonderfully. I appreciated the disc brakes because we were on numerous downhill glides and in crowds you need to be prepared to ride defensively.

This year's route was 444 miles. We had one flat and no other issues in the six and one half day ride. Sara and Ces (my wife) alternated the days that they rode with me. Ces joined me for what was the toughest day with twenty-two substantial hills between Manning and Ida Grove, a head wind, and temperatures in the mid nineties. Sara was with me when Lance Armstrong whizzed past just before we pulled into Ladora.

It was a wonderful week. RAGBRAI is extra fun because Ces and I grew up in Iowa. We get to visit family and friends as we ride across the state. It was especially fun to share the experience with members of the Hopwood extended family, Geoff Steele, and our son-in-law, Drew Holloway.

Geoff Steele took this photo and hundreds more. I'll try to share several more that may give you a flavor of this American classic which will celebrate thirty-five years in 2007.

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