This year's ride definitely had its ups and downs. The first few days were quite hilly, there was the heat and humidity, and let's not forget the violent thunderstorms Tuesday night. Then of course there was the appearances of Lance Armstrong in Newton and Coralville with his riding on Wednesday and Thursday.
While riding on Monday and Tuesday, I was thinking that this would be my final RAGBRAI, at least for a while. I thought that I should take next year off. This is a thought that I frequently have in the early days of each year's RAGBRAI. However, by the end of the week, I had completely pushed that thought out of my mind. I am really looking forward to riding on my eighth RAGBRAI next summer if I can. Of course, if the route is through southern Iowa, I may have to reconsider that.
It's amazing that a group of over 10,000 strangers can get together for a week of bike riding and completely trust each other. In every town we pass through, cyclists leave their bikes unlocked as they go to get something to eat or to use the restroom. The hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bikes that sit around unsecured just boggles the mind.
Even those who would not normally get along . . .
can end up getting along.
I do have one regret about this year's RAGBRAI. I really wish I would have ridden the century loop on Thursday. At the moment I got to the loop during the ride, I didn't think I'd have the energy to make it. However, as the clouds covered the sun later in the day and it got a little less hot, I think I would have been able to make it. I can always try it next year.
I am looking forward to riding on RAGBRAI again next year. I only have 356 days to get ready for RAGBRAI XXXV!