RAGBRAI 2004 - Iowa

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of the Day

Who wants to see a daily glimpse of my husband Kelly's RAGBRAI 2004?

He always encourages and supports me, buying many of my outfits. We have a great time together. This year, he even ventured out into some creative biking attire. He is usually behind the camera, but I realized I caught him with the digital at least once each day (heehee). But please don't call him 'Mr. Lynn'...

I like to reminisce about the week and its moments, holding onto to the feeling as long as I can. It's difficult to truly capture the spirit in words, but I try. So humor me, OK? (Many photo links included. Hit your browser's BACK button to return to this page.)

Saturday, July 24
My husband and I made our way across Iowa to the starting point in Onawa. About 60 miles out, we were able to hook up with the driver of the truck that would be our shuttle service all week. So, we unloaded our stuff onto the truck, and I hopped on board while my husband took the rental car back to the airport. It always seems to work out.

After setting up camp, we headed downtown for the festivities and annual reunion with our RAGBRAI friends. We always have fun seeing familiar faces, catching up with friends, and discovering some new faces too. Have you ever heard of Sum Poosie? It's a new energy drink...very subtle marketing campaign.

Sunday, July 25
First day of riding. Let the games begin! It was a cool morning, but we all warmed up quickly. Old and new teams were on the road. We met up with those Krazy Fokkers and our old team, the Lonely Boyz. We saw Team Shower Partners (Fluffy, Muffy, Poodle) and the Red Dogs, as well as many others. There were quite a few men in kilts running around, but not sure why...

One of my important goals this week was to find (and eat) walking tacos. They are one of my favorites and a good source of energy for me too. I missed out last year, but this year a 'Hukies' group set up a Walking Taco stand along the route each day. An Oasis really. Awesome! I give them a rating of excellent in service and taste; they had my taco prepared the way I liked it as soon as I got off the bike.

There are always a few bike accidents each year with such a large number of riders. And unfortunately, there were 2 serious bike accidents on this first day; they were air lifted out by helicopters and the police had to hold back riders for a while. Not good.

Do you know what the word on the back of Team Crude's jersey means? My husband was one of the first to find out. (You'll have to check the 2004 photo gallery for answer).

We then ended the day with our first (but not last) Car Wash shower along with a spaghetti dinner...I'm officially in my happy place now.

Monday, July 26
Still a little cool in the morning, but nice riding. I stopped and waited patiently for some ice water in the first town. My husband even coordinated with me today, after a little persuasion. Awww. Everyday is an adventure to see how the outfit will ride, but really, bike shorts are over-rated. As long as the bottoms are 'seam-friendly', it's workable. And I do enjoy pushing the limits with these attention-getting outfits and the freedom of being fairly comfortable with my body. We have met some great people that way, and the shock value is just fun and entertaining.

I have seen a group of riders/racers from Italy on RAGBRAI the last few years. They speak very little English, but they always ask for a picture together. Today was the day. Then they blew past me into the next town.

At the party town (before the overnight town), one of my buddies requested I ask his son to dance when the song "Strokin" was played. It was his son's 35th birthday, and the Dad wanted this to be his present. So, I casually walk over and ask him unsuspectingly if he'd like to dance. Sure! He was a great dancer and taught me some fun moves I used on other days.

Tuesday, July 27
Costume Day. I was trying to be Queen of the Nile, or should I say Mississippi? Either way, it was a great photo op and riding day. We met up with the wonderful ladies of Body by Bergman and had our traditional group photo taken. More dancing in the beer garden, and then a wet T-shirt contest (where I only spectated). We had an interesting, make-shift shower tonight and then headed downtown. I have heard from several riders that they thought I was an exotic dancer from California; that does sound more exciting than the programmer from Illinois that I really am! So, I thought I'd have a little fun and start more rumors by wearing my Hooters outfit tonight. Shock 5

Wednesday, July 28
I didn't realize that today was dubbed Waikakai Wednesday by some of our friends, so I'll be surfing the 'net for Hawaiian attire for next year! We did meet Team H.O.M.E.R for the first time. Nice group of people who we share a common bond--The Simpsons! We talked about our favorite Simpson episodes, and everyone knew all the lines.

They actually declared the last pass-thru town non-existent (due to construction) and had re-routed us over some rough gravel. Rather than face gravel with no town, we went off route with quite a few others. We avoided the gravel, stopped at two towns, one with a fun bar and the other with a line of team buses (much like a circling of western chuck wagons). All-in-all, a nice little excursion...AND we still found our campsite and also some unique bikes downtown.

Thursday, July 29
Yes, indeed. It's the 2nd annual Thongtastic Thursday. I even had some new recruits! They make me so proud that it brings a tear to my eye. I'll have to bring spares next year; they pack light. My husband and I also had a Corona theme going on, which worked out well. Team Cockroach was being sponsored by Corona, so they invited us to their bus for some promotional pictures and free Corona. Cool!

I also happened to run into 'Loincloth Man' (also known as Roger) today. I complimented him on his new fishnet shorts, but also asked if he had gotten the memo that fishnet is Friday...
We had a nice conversation while people kept stopping by and taking pictures of us. It's rare to have Loincloth Man and Thong Girl in the same place, you know.

We caught the tail end of another wet T-shirt contest. The winner actually got a citation for 'exposing' herself! Never seen that. Big boo by the crowd and I heard she ended up not even getting her money because the police pulled her off the stand so fast.

Friday, July 30
I received a lot of compliments on my Formal Fishnet Friday outfit. It was a good look, I think. It rained a while in the morning, but we managed to wait most of it out inside a tavern in town. Many people were concerned for my well-being in the cold rain (and well, some were complaining that I was wearing a jacket). Once the rain stopped, it turned out to be a nice day of riding. We were a little behind though, as the bands and beer tents were being shut down by the cops about the time we rolled into a town. RAGBRAI tries to encourage riders to be in the overnight towns by 6pm. There are usually still things going on, but I enjoy listening/dancing to the bands too.

Saturday, July 31
Saturday seems to have a different tone than the rest of the week. There are fewer riders on the road because many are already heading back home and others need to get an earlier start to meet their rides. We like to kick back and dilly-dally with the smaller group. Few lines for food or kybos! It was the warmest day of riding and the wind was friendly to us most of the way. We rolled into Clinton about 6pm, packed up our truck, and found a hotel. Then we went out--all cleaned up and respectable(?)--for a nice restaurant meal. After sleeping in a tent all week and foraging for food many times, this is an awesome way to end our week.

Once again, thanks for the memories, and the comments/feedback about my site. We handed out quite a few laminated business cards this year again, which is great. Someone suggested magnets for next year. I'll have to look into that. I know I've said it many times, but the feedback and emails keep me motivated to continue.

It's nice to be home with the kids again, but there sure is something special about the combination of biking all week and the RAGBRAI atmosphere. Good for the body, mind, and soul. What a rush.

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