As Emmetsburg prepares to host RAGBRAI for an overnight stay July 21, here are some thoughts about the annual event, compiled by veteran riders Greg and Steven Hoyman.These "RAGBRAI?Moments" are intended to give people some insight into RAGBRAI and what goes on behind the scenes.
A Riders Day
Most riders get up early to beat the heat, sun, wind, and humidity. They can do nothing about the hills. About 20% eat early, Jackie used to try to find a restraint for breakfast, I usually tried to ride 15 to 25 miles then eat. I will start with fruit or rolls. If we are still on the road at 60 miles I may eat a sandwich. Joel will start with a breakfast Burrito at a stand that is along the whole week for years.
When bikers get to town they try to find their group and set up their tent. If I am luck my kids or grand kids or wife have my tent set up. (They feel sorry for me and get tired of waiting for me. Then most people will go to get a shower. After cleaning up most will turn their attention to food. Many bikers will eat two meals, or really a meal and snacks.
I always try to be in bed by dark due to my need for rest and to avoid the bugs after dark. Many of the bikers will stay up late and go to the beer garden but I am to old for that.
In northern Iowa hills are not a problem. However, when we are in the south or north east part of the state it can be a real problem. Iowa is not flat. Also, there is a lot of difference between riding a bike and being in a car with a V8 engine and air-conditioning. The hills are where all for the gears on a bike come in handy. Also, it is a area where bikers get into trouble since many tend to go down to fast. Riding down a steep hill at over 50 miles an hour with uneven or unknown surface is a potential problem. This is where bikers tend to take some of the skin off the outside of the body. As much as I preach to our group this still goes on in our group as well.