RAGBRAI 2018 – Day 6

RAGBRAI 2018 – Day 6

i Jul 28th No Comments by

http://www.theroadrider.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_2512.movThere is a personality test called the “Strengths Finder” that I have used for decades.  Finding out what my top five strengths are and focusing on them was a life saver 20+ years ago. I still refer to them often, if not daily.

About a year ago I got the full list of 34 strengths with my prioritization.  (I only knew the top 5 until then.)  It did not surprise me that Adaptability was 34 of 34.  The bottom. Jeri used to kid, “Jeff is fine with being spontaneous as long as he plans for it.”  She is absolutely right.  Wednesday evening I got to put my Adaptability to the test.

Wednesday afternoon I got in early, set up my tent, did laundry, took a shower at Anytime Fitness, and got a Starbucks.  I sat there and caught up my journals, all my emails, did some work on next week.  And then I left.  Oh!  I forgot to mention that Cole was going to leave for home that morning, so we had stashed his truck at the Starbucks–I’d been doing all this with a car, not on my bike. The evening was setting up to be great. And then the truck died as I headed back to camp.

Here is where my adaptability strength came in so handy. Ha!  It took almost 3 hours, but eventually we got the truck towed.  Cole talked to his boss. I talked to mine (Jeri). We concluded that there was no sense sitting around all day tomorrow. Jeri would deal with the dealership in Newton and Cole and I would go off and ride.

So on Thursday I took off on the 100 mile loop. It was a great ride.  It may be my best 100 mile ride ever. I actually rode 106 miles, climbed 5,000’, and was on my bike for 6 hours and 45 minutes.  I rode with 4 flags but never stopped long enough to do any writing. My hope was to get back, bum a ride back to Newton and drive the truck to our new camp. Well I did, but the truck was not ready when I was and we finally picked it up around 9pm.

So today I took the day off.  I thought I would help the staff break down and set up the new camp.  They did NOT need my help. This is a smooth running machine. I unloaded bags for 15 minutes and that was about it.  I was able to run Cole’s truck through the paces. Since I was not doing anything else, I had it washed. Then I vacuumed it and cleaned the interior with Armor-all.  AND I did his laundry.  (He only brought enough to wear through Wednesday.  It was pretty smelly!  Ha)

Tomorrow, I’ll get back on the road for the last 70 miles.  Cole has talked one of our teammates into driving his truck so we can both do the final day.  Weird 48 hours.

Good thing I am so Adaptable!


The Road Rider

PS. The first 50 miles of the 100 mile day were the best of my trip so far. I got some of those wide open spaces I’ve been looking for.  Only picture I took all day was of the Shadow Man. Wow was he riding fast!

RAGBRAI 2018 – DAY 4, POST 3

i Jul 26th No Comments by

I Ride For: Cari. And Starbucks!

I Ride For: Cari

I normally do all of my rides here in Iowa with one of our TeamLiveSTRONG Jerseys.  I am here with LiveSTRONG and I want to get as many people to see our stuff as possible.  Today, however, I ventured out in my Starbucks Kit.

Originally I did this to give one more thank you to my son Beau and the SanAntonio Cycling Club.  I looked for, and could not fit, a Starbucks kit last year when I was trying to see how many Starbucks I could visit in one year. (I’m pretty sure I got the world record but was never acknowledged. Ha!). Beau searched and searched and gave me this kit for my birthday.

And then I got this flag request from my sister-in-law.  I have no idea if Cari likes Starbucks or not, but she needs a boost.  She is young, has young kids, “super” positive, survived breast cancer 5+ years ago, and now has a cancer that the doctors don’t know what to do with.  I could have stopped at young and has young kids and that right there would have qualified for a Starbucks. Ha!

Cari, I actually had a “down” day today. I do not know why. It was a short day, I got an early start, and I felt great yesterday.  I just felt slow, and therefore I was slow, which caused me to feel slower.  It was a self-fulfilling prophecy to “slowness”.  What a pathetic wimp I was today.

Seeing this sign to take your flag picture with (along with Bachman Turner Overdrive “Taking Care of Business”) put a little pep in my peddle for the last 15 miles.  I’m out here doing something I want to do and had a down day. I cannot imagine what a down day for you is like.  It will take a week for me to get home and get reorganized. But when I do, I’ll send you this flag along with a Starbucks gift card. Maybe it will put a little pep in your step when you need it.


The Road Rider

PS.  Adding insult to injury, after I showered I found a Starbucks and got my favorite drink, and couldn’t even drink it all!  I had the throw half of it away. Definitely a wimp today.

RAGBRAI 2018 – DAY 4, POST 2

i Jul 25th 1 Comment by

TeamLiveSTRONG Camp

I Ride For: Tom










I Ride For:  Tom

Culture is an interesting thing.  We talk a lot about company culture.  Certainly, countries have different cultures.  Michigan (where I’m from) has a different culture than Iowa, and Iowa has a culture separate from RAGBRAI. (Although they blend nicely.)

I’ve already mentioned the social part of the RAGBRAI culture this week. Since today was only 60 miles, I thought I would work my way into the food culture.  I started by wearing my @Starbucks kit (thanks to my son Beau!) to get me in the eating mood. First stop was Farm Kids for a breakfast burrito.  It was great. Just like I remembered. Tomorrow I’ll try Mr. Porkchop or Beckman’s ice cream. (Some may be able to do all three in one day, but I cannot.)

Another culture thing is our camp site. When we ride in, this is generally what we see.  The @LiveSTRONG staff does such a great job setting up our camp. All we have to do when we get in is find our bags, find a place to call home for the night, and set up our tent.  (And then I have to unpack and then repack my bags 2-3 times. Ha!)

I mention all this culture stuff because Tom is a fan of exploring other cultures all over the world.  Despite his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, his friend Peggy says that he continues to travel internationally in this quest.

Well Tom, do I have a deal for you!  Next July join @TeamLiveSTRONG on @RAGBRAI. You will experience a culture you cannot find anywhere else on the planet. And you will save a bunch of money on international travel. You could use that money to be the 2019 RAGBRAI fundraising champion. I think that would be a 3 for 1 deal. I’m just trying to help out.


The Road Rider

RAGBRAI 2018 – DAY 4, POST 1

i Jul 25th 1 Comment by

(and peace in whatever “park” she can find)

I Ride For:  Summer

I found it!  A park. In the shade. No People.  I can see the bikes whizzing buy 200 yards away, but no one is pulling in.  For a few moments it is mostly quiet, and cool, and no one is jockeying for position.

Peace for just a few moments.

I’m sure Summer is looking for a “park” like this one, but in a much more serious battle. (And less likely to get a reprieve any time soon.)  Summer just found out that she has ovarian cancer. The Doctors, nurses, advisors, and insurance providers are everywhere.  She has young kids – so she never really had any peace to begin with. Ha!  Not much peace for Summer right now.

In a few minutes I will ride back out of this park. I will get back into the constant wave of bicycles headed for the next town or the next beer tent.  And as I start feeling pressed-in from all sides, I’ll think of Summer’s fight and this park. And I’ll hope she can find her peace for a few minutes here and there.


The Road Rider

RAGBRAI 2018 – DAY 3, POST 2

i Jul 25th No Comments by

Me & Cole in our Jeff Webb Tribute Jerseys

It was a slow start for me today. As I wrote yesterday, the entire team wore the Jeff Webb tribute jersey today. And before anyone rode out, we got a group picture. I had planned to ride out at 6 am, but ended up hitting the road at 8 am.

Jeff is one of the first people I connected with during my first RAGBRAI. I actually talked to him well before the ride started. We had some very weird flights and needed rides in and back out again. It was only later that I found out Jeff drove over an hour in the wrong direction for his plans to drop us off at the end. I learned over the next 2-3 years that he did this for every/any one. No way I could leave “on time”. I would have regretted that for the rest of my life.

The bonus of leaving “late” is I got to ride with Cole for a few miles.  It was so cool to see how that group takes care of each other. They went fast! And they kept it safe for everyone. They even drug me along for a long time.  I eventually dropped. I was in way over my head and that kind of riding is not relaxing. No chance to look around, get a drink, or coast. We covered a bunch of miles and it was a blast. And then I had fun riding at my own pace the rest of the day.

Tomorrow is another “short” day. It is the lead up to Thursday where many of us will be going 100 miles. I will be up and moving early. I might slow down enough to eat a pork chop for breakfast.  Tomorrow evening Cole takes off and I need to do some laundry. (My new hat is so smelly I cannot stand it, but without it my hair goes everywhere!)

Sorry I missed the statistics yesterday.

Day 2 (Monday)

77 miles, 3,200’, 4:52 on the bike

Day 3 (Tuesday)

62 miles, 1,300’, 4:02 on the bike


The Road Rider