Friday, August 1, 2008
Ragbrai Blurbs: Chapter One
Well, I've searched my soul for a week for the perfect way to sum up Ragbrai 2008. I've come up with a smattering of laughs, inside jokes, and silly moments that will mean little to anyone other than those who were along for the ride..or perhaps even riding by my side for each of them.
This is what makes this ride beautiful: each year is totally different. Each day is totally different. Each mile, collectively different for each rider. And so it goes. So the thing about Ragbrai is just that; it defies description. And when you try and explain to a person who has never sat their ass on a saddle and pedaled out 400-some miles the sheer lunacy and gluttony that ensues after 80 some miles of hills coupled with a killer headwind, a nice thunderstorm, and 10 or 20 thousand others doing the same damned thing, day after day...it is a somewhat difficult thing to do. Things just get better/crazier as the week goes by, you tend to leave it at that.
Perhaps that mystery is some of the allure of this thing for those of us who come back to ride it again and again. I've decided the only way I can do this thing justice is in spurts...as I think of some little thing...or bigger thing, I'll scrawl it out. It is the little things that make this week: an offhand comment after miles of silence, reminiscing about the previous night's shenanigans in the middle of the peleton, shoveling down a plate of spaghetti after you've already had two sandwiches and finishing it off with 8 cookies, or pulling a line and laughing so hard that you nearly run everyone off the road.
To my new Bad Monkey Teammates I offer this: you have your program fine tuned to the point that it is damned near disturbing. I will forever feel indebted to the organizational masterminds behind the Monkey Operation who gave me one of the best vacations I've had. I will also forever be indebted to Scooter for introducing me to this clan of mostly Indianola bred folk; who I now hold dear as my own people. Thank you all for welcoming me with open arms and for immediately flipping me shit. I had so little to worry about besides pedaling for one week's time that the ride took on a whole new meaning. It was truly that--a ride.