For those of you who don't what it is, read up about RAGBRAI on Wikipedia.
To learn even more, enjoy Ellen's recap of her family's experience doing RAGBRAI in July:
The Aster/Tarr clan make their first family RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) appearance this July. Rick and Julie smoked the entire ride on a tandem (although one day I did catch Julie with her feet up on the frame and a grin on her face while Dad was huffing and puffing up a hill), Mom rode Dad's "old" Trek road bike (complete with shifters on the frame) and I took my new Specialized bike. While making our two-wheeled way across Iowa, from the Missouri River to the mighty Mississippi, our family learned many things:
- Iowa, contrary to popular belief, is NOT flat.
- Do not leave your older sister's biking gloves in a Kybo (Iowan for "porta potty")
- There is no such thing as a comfortable biking seat, especially after several days of biking.
- Iowans pride themselves with 4 things: livestock, great pies, friendly "homespun" folks, and HyVee Supermarkets
- When you have a flat tire, it is most efficient to pull over on the side of the road and look miserable until Dad comes to fix it for you
- Cornfields make excellent bathrooms
- When skillet-tossing in Fontenell, take care that you don't throw the skillet past the target and onto Harry's $3,000 Trek bike
- Rain before 7 does not necessarily mean it will be gone by 11
- Frantically shoving your favorite, gorgeous, first bike inside a tent via vestibule during a tornado warning in the vain hope that somehow it would survive is a very difficult, not to mention sort of pointless, task
- Julie likes very large, very furry, very pink and purple tiger-printed hats
15,000 bikers, one week of camping in rather obscure Iowan villages, 442 miles of biking, approximately 22 pies, 5 flat tires, and one tornado warning later, our family returned home, safe and sound.