Friday, August 23, 2013

The very best thing about RAGBRAI

I must be getting sentimental in my old age, because there was no question in my mind that the best thing about RAGBRAI was my team.

A few of the people I went with were already "old" friends, who'd done running races and training rides with me; a few were acquaintances; and a few were complete strangers at the start.

But, to my great surprise, there wasn't a single person I secretly wanted to push into the Mississippi River by the end of the trip.

Sure, with a large group, we could alternate with whom we spent more time, but when you're with people from 6:30 a.m. until midnight, that's a lot of opportunity to grow irritated.

As a college bestie's wise mother says, traveling with people is the true test of whether you like them. I guess I like these folks.

Which is good, because everyone who isn't moving to the Caribbean for med school is already in for 2014, and the one who is moving to the Caribbean has already invited us to come out for a visit.

Some snapshots of our hijinks:

Wednesday began with one team member doing yoga to loosen up for the ride, so when we struck up a conversation with a yoga instructor in Monroe, a few of us were glad of the opportunity to expand our stretching knowledge. Chris (center) and Cory were good sports and let me do better downward dog than they did. 
The first time Regina and I rode around Lake Red Rock, we were tired and hungry, but the second day, we were more appreciative of the scenery.
A RAGBRAI tradition is to write "virgin" on the calves of first-time riders. I managed to avoid mentions of this until Friday, when we found ourselves at a beer garden with my second-favorite beer (Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy). Kyle (left) and I are asking Cory whether he's spelling virgin right. He is not. I was nearly a "virin."
This crowd had no bus to catch in Fort Madison, just the car of Mike (at right). So we took our sweet time Saturday; we're here in Keosauqua at the First Street Grille, which had four drinks on special. Joe and Mike suggested that we all get one of each, and Michelle and I decided to join them. Hence the duck faces.
Mike (from left), Michelle and Joe were all completely new to me when RAGBRAI began, but by the end, it was like we were old friends. Perhaps we'll re-create this photo in about six months, but with the Caribbean Sea behind us and swim gear in our hands — it's Michelle who's moving abroad.
My favorite moment, which didn't make it on camera (I tried; it was too dark), was partying in Fairfield's square. As described by one team member to another who called it a night early: "You missed the best night ever. There was a lot of yoga going on. We didn't do anything or meet any new people. We just acted like f*cking idiots."

There was also a lot of local wine going on, some dancing and much falling over while attempting plow pose. Surprisingly, though, no injuries.

Is it July 2014 yet?

No comments:

Post a Comment