Something is calling to me from the corners of fields, where the leftover fence wire suns its loosen coils, and stones thrown out of the furrow sleep in the warm litters
…from Ted Kooser, In the Corners of the Fields
Ted Kooser, Iowa native and poet, takes me to the fields of the Midwest and calls to me. That happens to those with an adventuresome spirit. The spirit that cannot contain the mind with practical matters – like saving for retirement – when adventure raises its beckoning voice. It happened last month when we undertook the challenge of RAGBRAI and rode our way – on a tandem no less – from Onawa on the bank of the Missouri River to Davenport, Iowa, on the edge of the Mississippi – the only spot on the mighty Mississippi that flows east to west. (Put that nugget in your trivia vault.) Continue reading
When I read about the individual days of RAGBRAI, the second day stood out because of distance. For many cyclists 72 miles does not cause a bat of an eye. For me both eyes bat for several minutes. I actually have never been on a bike for that many miles. I’ve come close, so it did not seem impossible, but it also did not seem like anything to take for granted. Since we’re on a tandem, I’m not sure I can claim to have now ridden that far. How does that work? I’m on the bike for the miles, but hardly offering up the same effort as the single rider. Regardless, the miles are behind us (75 in total today!) and I can now smile and relax with my showered self and take in the returning riders, of which there are many. But while on the bike, we took in more than the miles, we took in the offerings of the host towns along the route. For those uninitiated, RAGBRAI has often been denoted as the traveling Woodstock. There are campgrounds filled with a multitude of folks, plenty-o-plenty of liquid refreshments, and music all day long.
However, the stops along the route make RAGBRAI a true experience. Continue reading
Whose idea was this, anyway? The question bounces around like bike tires on a pothole ridden street. We volley back and forth with who should take responsibility. Responsibility for what? For RAGBRAI! Your next question: What’s that? The long and the short of it: a bike ride which involves a crowd, cornfields, and the expanse of Iowa. Continue reading