RAGBRAI 2003 - Iowa

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of the Day

Just a little summary about the week of riding through Iowa with some additional photo links. Yes, I'm still in the afterglow of RAGBRAI with lapses into reality here and there. The week always goes by so fast that it's tough to remember all the RAGBRAI moments (until I'm in a boring meeting and my minds starts to wander...), but I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, July 19
We got up early Saturday morning to start the rather long drive to the start of RAGBRAI in Glenwood, Iowa. This was the first year we had a service with a cushy bus. I was elated! After finding our campsite and setting up tents, we headed downtown around 5pm. Just like a class reunion, we found many of our friends from previous years already starting the party in a packed bar. We met two new friends this first night, who we just happened to be in sync with during the ride, so we had a lot of fun together!

There were several people who stopped me in the streets, calling "Fitness Lynn". Way cool. I also met T-shirt Bob, and many others who I recognized or who recognized me. It just keeps getting better. I met riders from many states and even a few from other countries.

After one marriage proposal, a little dancing, and catching up with a bunch of friends, we headed back to our tents to try and sleep. The port-a-potties were a football field away and I, of course, had to make the trek across a sea of tents once that night. Yes, RAGBRAI has indeed begun....

Sunday, July 20
It was going to be a hot one. That's fine with me. Teams pulled out their jerseys, hats, outfits, and accessories, that can only be worn and appreciated on RAGBRAI. My sister and I wore bikinis today. We posed for pictures, many thinking we were Team Bikini of years past. Quite a few asked if my sister was actually my daughter. This is technically feasible as I'm 17 years older, but still ...

It was so foggy at first that it was difficult to see very far in front of you. But it brightened up as the day continued. Everyone was smiling. Even after all the hills, it was a good first day. Most towns that we ride through during the week set up booths with good meals, homemade goods, souvenirs, plus beer tents, DJs, bands, or other entertainment. There are also the food and drink stands along the route, so you don't have to go very far when you want to take a break.

Monday, July 21
It was a little cooler today. With more hills, I'm glad I did the Colorado ride a month before! Team buses were hanging out at the towns, and other riders were making their own fun on the route too. The Miller Lite Bus was playing music in one of the beer tents and throwing beads to the crowd. There were some real "boneheads" at this party, but many put on their best dress for the occasion. My husband Kelly was mesmorized by a member of Team Evil. He purchased an Evil T-shirt and gave it to me to carry.

I arrived at the campsite and had the pleasure of experiencing a shower in a cattle barn; a tarp was put up between the men's and women's showers, and PVC pipe with holes poked in it was hanging from the ceiling. The water trickling out was not heated, and we whined enough that Team Whiner made us honorary members. This wins the "Coldest Shower of the Week" Award.

Tuesday, July 22
We had it going on today--me in green lace, Janean in her "Mini Lynn" shorts, and Kelly in his green bike shorts. I think green lace was one of the most popular outfits, based on the number of pictures and comments.

Beads and tattoos are still popular, as well as stickers. I received a few sets of cool beads from friends I've met on the ride. I put the tattoos in my pack to bring home; otherwise, I'm afraid I'd end up as one big tattoo. That could be interesting body art. Women were just as adept at applying tattoos as the guys....yes, kind of like an 'adult' spring break or Mardi Gras. Just having fun.

Tonight we showered in luxury...a car wash. Car washes make excellent showers. Warm water and good water pressure. Waxing optional. The only rain of the week occurred this evening, but we just made it to the camp before the downpour. And our service had claimed one of the shelters on the campground, so all our stuff stayed dry. Woohoo!

Wednesday, July 23
After eating one of the best tacos I've ever had, I met my twin. I'm always willing and happy to pose for pictures, but there was a little different twist today. One team had created cardboard cut-outs of their friends that were too lame to come on RAGBRAI. Well, we had to show them what they were missing.

A couple was married on RAGBRAI today. I believe Team TuTu was asked to be the flower girls. Those who witnessed the wedding were dressed in their best outfits that they could find in the back of their closets.

Thursday, July 24
It's Thongtastic Thursday. Don't forget for next year.

We had a lot of fun at Drakesville and stayed there quite a while. I didn't make the cut at the Team Bricky Wet T-Shirt Contest, but cooled off and received a nice T-shirt.

As I was walking down the street to get on my bike, a cop comes up to me and says, "Tell me you're wearing something underneath that skirt." I said, "OK, I'm wearing something underneath this skirt." He was not amused. I told him I did have a thong on. He said it was very hard to tell when I was walking down the street. Is that a bad thing?

We rode through Amish country and we passed several horse-drawn wagons as well as families sitting on their porches. They must think we're nuts...and they would be right!

Showers in a swine building tonight. I felt like a swine standing in my stall, but they were hot and had water pressure!

Friday, July 25
It's Fishnet Friday. Still legal. It seemed to be a 2-for-1 photo opportunity--one from the front and one from the back. Gotta love it.

The towns were located right along the river today. Beautiful. It was a great day, as the atmosphere was very energetic and festive. Everyone knew this was the last big hoorah (as many people ride a little faster on Saturday to get back home). I participated in port-a-potty roulette. I held a number in front of a port-a-potty along with others doing the same thing; those standing in line would bet (by number) on who would come out first. Hey, it makes the wait more entertaining and the money went to a charity.

No one wanted to leave the last party at Salem, until a cop shut it down for a while because he noticed people with beer outside the beer tent or maybe the wet T-shirt contest in progress. Not sure. Many people left at that point, but it picked up a little when they turned back on the music.

After riding the remaining miles, we went into town for a bite to eat, like we did most nights. We usually crashed in our tents by 10pm. Riding and lollygagging all day wears you out!

Saturday, July 26
A short day, but strong headwinds. The towns were pretty small today, but they had some nice setups. There were at least 2 free beer stops (unusual), with water slides too. We had to be in to catch our bus at 2:30pm, but we made the most of the day!

We cruised in at 2:15pm, took a quick shower, and hopped on the bus. We stayed in a hotel in St. Louis and had a nice dinner to slowly come back down to reality ... as another RAGBRAI comes to a close.

Yes, this is a party ride with a carnival atmosphere. I don't even drink and still have a blast. Whether you drink or not, RAGBRAI has something for everyone. You can make it be whatever type of ride you like.

Thanks for the memories ... and the input for next year's outfits!

Copyright © 2003 Fitness Lynn. All rights reserved.