Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wishing I was there

Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
I woke up this morning in my bed on Moorefield Road in Vienna and wished I was somewhere half a country west of here. I knew that in Rock Rapids, Iowa the sleepy beginnings of the day would be turning to excitement and adrenalin as thousands of cyclist began making their ways to the lines of port-a-potties, began folding their tents, began pumping their tires, and finally began riding their bikes. This morning the riders would follow the signs to the highway and the week of RAGBRAI would begin.

I took Java out for her morning walk, noting the temperatures in the low 60s here in Virginia. I’d have my jacket on to start this morning I thought. My friend Gene Crosby would be riding close by and describing the day’s route in great detail. Gene studies subjects and then kindly shares the information. We can ride for six or more hours with Gene having lots to share. RAGBRAI is the only time we spend together each year. We have a lot to catch up on.

I cooked eggs for breakfast thinking about a breakfast burrito from the Farm Boys. They generally set up about fifteen to twenty miles into the route. Yes, there are other alternatives: Mama Rafael’s, Chris Cakes, and last year the counterfeit Farm Boyz, but the Farm Boys have great breakfast burritos and they set up about where we need a break. We sit down to eat and watch the parade of cyclists.

In northwestern Iowa today people will be sitting in lawn chairs watching that parade. They’ll start out being wrapped in blankets. They’ll drink coffee, lemonade, and then beer. They’ll wave. They’ll call out “where are you from?” They’ll offer water, shade and mechanical help. They’ll point at the costumes that some riders wear. They’ll marvel at the bikes, trikes, quads, and an occasional unicycle. They’ll wonder why all these people are riding passed and they’ll watch for Lance Armstrong because Lance is riding all week this year.

Yup, I’m missing it.

The photo is from the first day of RAGBRAI last year. Gene is wearing his yellow jacket. Daughter Sara and I have a bright spinnie on the back of the Barcroft Columbia.

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