Lots of miles, pies & Gold Bond.
340 – Miles I rode for the week. We cut it a little short because curiously, the last day was the longest day. It’s normally a shorter/easier ride so folks can get on the road home. The 70+ mile Saturday would have put other team members with further than I to travel, home in the middle of the night, so we bagged it. I didn’t protest.
29,479 – Number of calories I burned.
29,478 – Number of calories I consumed.
11 – Members of Team Buttercup. The name comes from a ride a few years ago, before I joined the group. A team member was complaining about about some sore body part, and somebody said “Toughen up buttercup!”. Hence the name. Some I just met, some I’ve know for a couple of years, and one I’ve known over 40. They are a WONDERFUL group that loves, picks on, encourages and supports one another. I’m lucky to have met them all. (L to R – Dave, Clay, Brad, Sam, Jack, Dana, Stacy, Paul, Lucas, Me & Sheila)
120+ – Members of the U.S. Air Force Cycling Team on the ride. These guys and girls are amazing, and a HUGE blessing to the ride. Anytime somebody had an issue with their bike or something else, they stop to help. They fix flats, chains or any other biking issue.
One lady needed something that the team didn’t carry with them, so she gave one of these guys a $100 bill, and he rode more than a few miles back to purchase what she needed. He brought it back, with the exact change, and then fixed the bike.
Another guy left his wallet in a restaurant in one of the towns, and a rider rode back and got it for him.
2 – Pieces of pecan pie. I tried to watch my pie intake a little better this year, but it was tough. There are Amish pie stands all along the route, and most of them also have home-made ice cream as well.
6 – Perfect days for riding. Iowa had been having the same hot weather we’d had around here, but we got a break. Ragbrai veterans on our team said it was the best weather they could remember. We had abundant sunshine, less humidity & temps in the low-to-mid 80’s. There was at least one stormy night we heard about that caused campers some issues, and by the look of pictures from Saturday’s ride they dealt with some rain as well.
0 – Casualties or serious injuries on the ride. (That I’ve seen or heard of anyway.) When I rode two years ago a man was killed on his bicycle at 6am the first morning. There were a couple of other deaths that week, and we rode up on a couple of other serious accidents. We are thankful that was not the case this year. I loved that our team said a prayer each morning, asking for just that.
Hundreds – Number of wonderful Iowans I met. We marvel at the level of “buy-in” so many in the state have in this event. From the volunteers that help direct people in the towns, to the churches that host dinners, to the people who put riders up in their homes or in their yards, to the people who sell or give water to riders in front of their houses in the middle of nowhere, to the people who just sit in their front yards that smile & wave & yell “Thanks for comin’!”. It’s amazing, and inspiring too.