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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words....
    #3000889 - 08/13/04 03:22 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

So here are the pics my girlfriend took during the ride. Her camera got wet a few days into it so we left it on the truck and didn't use it for most of the week.... :-( At least it still works though!!! So maybe more pics next year.

RAGBRAI is a cross-state bike ride which goes across Iowa ever summer. This was the 32nd annual ride. about 10,000 people show up for this event. It takes a different route every year. There are lots of "teams" which ride together and aprty together. The bars are always packed and there are beer gardens in most towns. Lots of drinking... lots of riding... lots of partying.

If anybody has any questions about this ride or wants more info please ask! This is my vacation every summer and I love. I skipped out on three Dead shows to do this, if that tells you how serious I am about this thing ;-) And if you're interested in riding let me know... our team is always looking for a few more cool people and there are bike clubs all over who ride in this.


The JagtPanzer... oour team bus. It has a deck on top for bike transportation en route and we party on it at the end of the day. At this point the bus still moved. A few hours later and that would not be the case...


Here the bus sits the morning of the first day of riding. We did not make it to the first town. Instead we broke down in front of a farmer's home, he towed the bus into his yard, and let us camp there. While we rode to meet the route that day, our driver found a box truck to rent in Nebraska someplace.


Your truly standing in front of the sign which warned motorists that the RAGBRAI route is approaching. We rode 40 miles off-route to reach that intersection



Team Spraggs in full glory. A beautifual days worth of riding.


Me in front of the Team Shocker bus. Their motto, painted on the side of their bus is.... "One in the booty.... two in the cootie!" And that's the shocker painted above the windshield. They rock! :-)



The end othe ride.... Sara and me dipping our tires in the Mississippi River at Clinton. After this we waited around with our bus driver for three hours for the rest of our team to get in. Then it was a long ride back to Des Moines in the back of the box truck. (Except for me... I got to ride in the front with the driver cuz I wanted to get high and there were those in the back who did not wwant that in their)


Me and my little lady someplace along the route. This was my 6th year on the ride and her second. Next year we are determined to have a kick-ass tandem so we cn haul-ass throughout the ride. Oh yeah!

So those are the only pics I have... our driver and other riders took a bunch but they have to be developed and then scanned if we want them online. I am also writing a full week's recap of what I can remember from the ride and will post that either later today yet or sometime next week.


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Offlineiluan
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3000938 - 08/13/04 03:31 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

lmfao Adom and i got into your guys' little bicycle party in Palo just before your stop in Hiawatha.. fuck that sucked we were so baked cutting thru Palo when all of a sudden we were in the midst of 1000 bikes,and had to turn around and head out the other way hehe. Glad you had fun )


--------------------
Remember..if the women don't find ya handsome,they should atleast find ya handy!


I do what i can with what i don't have!


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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: iluan]
    #3001028 - 08/13/04 03:47 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I pity the people who are just passing through and get stuck in the middle of it... it has to suck!


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OfflineNorthernsoul
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Registered: 11/17/01
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3001165 - 08/13/04 04:13 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

What else happens in Iowa?


--------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------

When it comes
I'll know, I know
Just take my clothes and leave
And I'll be gone




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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Northernsoul]
    #3001245 - 08/13/04 04:33 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

corn. and soy beans.


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Offlineiluan
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Northernsoul]
    #3001317 - 08/13/04 04:45 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

corn and bullshit.. oh and the occasional pot plant  :tongue2:


--------------------
Remember..if the women don't find ya handsome,they should atleast find ya handy!


I do what i can with what i don't have!


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OfflineGr8fulJ420
strange but nota stranger
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3001358 - 08/13/04 04:55 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Here is my full RAGBRAI story. Read it if you want a day-by-day detail of some of what we did. There is sooo much more than I could write in one day. Next year I think I will keep a journal of what I see day by day.. cuz there is so much crazy shit. It's a huge rolling party... like a lot scene on wheels that goes from town to town to town partying it up and tearing it down.

Enjoy! It was fun trying to remember all this shit... and it's hardly anything at all :-( only 344 more days until the next Ride

Day 0:

The Spraggs meet up in Des Moines and load up the team bus, called "Jagtpanzer" which is reportedly "tank-killer" in German. We have a driver who bought the bus specifically for RAGBRAI and his role on our team to haul our gear from town to town, find a campsite for us and make sure there is cold beer in the cooler when we get done with the Day's ride. That bus is his baby. So we load it up and start off to the first town- Onawa Iowa.

All RAGBRAI rides start on the west side of the state and go east. The tradition is to choose a town close to the Missouri River and you take your bike down to the river and dip your back tires in it. This was not the case for our team this year....

Three miles west of a small town called Earling (which is about 10 miles away from a slightly bigger town named Harlan) our beloved bus suffered a major breakdown. We think the waterpump quite working and the engine overheated... cracking the engine block and blowing up several hoses around the radiator.

So we were broke down in the middle of the country about 40 miles from where the ride would start the next day. We were just past a small farmstead and the farmer and his wife came out to see what was going on. He told us that he heard some "bad engine noises" and then smelled burning engine coolant while he was mowing the lawn. So he got out his tractor and pulled our bus into his driveway. Our driver tried to do what he could, but the bus basically needed a new engine... it was not going anywhere anytime quickly.

We spent the night camping out in that farmers front yard. They brought out their grill and some burgers and dogs and we cooked out and drank beer with them all night. They had at least 7 dogs running all over that place... two of them were cute little weiner dogs! We also planned for the next day.

Day 1: The first day's ride.....

We should have been in town the night before.... but it didn't quite happen. So we decided to start riding from where we had broke down and would meet up with the Ride that day. Our driver was going to secure some other vehicle to transport our gear and hopefully meet us in the next overnight town, Lakeview.

From where we were on that farm, it was about a 40 mile ride straight north to intersect the RAGBRAI route. So that morning we loaded the bare essentials on our bikes, in case he couldn't get to us that night. One of us had a little bike trailer, another had a set of paniers for the sides of his bike, and I had a Duluth pack which held my tent a blanket and a change of clothes for my girlfriend and myself. All loaded down... we set out.

Normally on RAGBRAI there are highway patrol and/or county sheriffs at every major intersection to control traffic. The route also sticks to smaller, paved county highways... the "gray" roads on your map. We were riding off-route which meant no officers, lots of traffic and no help if anything bad happened. We rode thru several small towns getting many weird looks from the locals who thought we were lost or something. So after a good afternoon of biking we eventually hit the route. That was our "moment of zen" coming up on top of a hill and then seeing hundreds and hundreds of cyclists at the intersection at the bottom. Here are a few pics of our group at the warning sign for motorists who were coming upon the route.

I don't remember much about the ride after that point. It was very nice to be in the crowd and to be going thru towns with supplies for all the bikers. Most of the towns we ride thru are just tiny rural-Iowa farm towns. 500 and less, sometimes. So in one day a town could see more people than it will see for the next 5 years....

We spent the night in Lakeview. Our bus driver had rented a moving truck and had thrown our fear on it. He had a camp site claimed and ready for us by the time we got into town (roughly 6pm) There was a nice lake (hence the name) which had some very cool old stone piers jutting out into it. After walking around the town with my lady, we got some ice cream, sat on a pier and smoked a doob while looking across the late. It was a nice peaceful end to a great first day of riding.

Day 2... Lakeview to Fort Dodge.

Not much to say about this day. It was a gorgeous day of riding. Mild temperatures, little wind, few hills.... could not have been more perfect.

I like to smoke herb on the ride... I like it way more than drinking, so I always have a good stash with me. I had pre-rolled enough doobs that I could smoke at least 3 a day all week. So we usually smoked one during the morning hours before it gets too hot. Being stoned and biking across the state is a lot of fun... it relaxes you and fill you up with beer the way drinking does. The only problem is cotton mouth... and drinking lots of water to fight that... and then having to pee all the time.

We got into Fort Dodge fairly early that day and stopped to visit my girlfriend's grandmother who lived just a few blocks off the route we took into town. That night she visited her cousins to take a shower and saw her other grandma. I went downtown with our bus driver and we found a practically empty bar and took some shots before going back to out campsite at the highschool.

Day 3.... Fort Dodge to Iowa Falls

Started off this day by hotboxing the cab of our rental truck with my girlfriend and a bike mechanic. Every bike shop in Iowa has crews that work on the road all week, and some members of our team went to school with some of the mechanics who work for a local bike shop (which I won't name). These mechanics in their off-time party it down with us and help us out with free service and stuff. It's a very convenient relationship! So we smoked it up and Sara and I got on the route.

Again it was a beautiful day... temps in the upper 70s to low 80s and very little humidity. That is pretty much unheard of at this time of year in Iowa. Usually RAGBRAI brings out some of the nastiest weather Iowa has to offer... but not this year.

This day Sara and I took our time and stopped at most of the town and got food and looked around. We usually take nap during the ride, too. Just find a nice shady spot in somebody's yard and crash for an hour or so. It can't be beat! Especially if the have barn you can chill out behind for a little bit!

About 6 miles away from Iowa Falls the front tire on my bike blew out. I hit nothing... it just started hissing and instantly went flat. Talk about pissed! The last town was at least 4 or 5 miles past and we had at least that far to go to the overnight town. I resolved to start walking with my bike until a truck going my way could give me a lift into town. About 10 minutes later some dudes I met on the ride a few years ago flew past and yelled their what's ups at me... I flagged them down and told them of my problems.

They had a spare inner tube and a little portable bike pump.... fixed my flat... and I was on my way after only 20 minutes of downtome! That was an amazing encounter that saved me for that day. I did not want to sag into town like a little girlie man.

I got completely wasted in town that night. Big beer garden with lots of crappy music and beer. More beer at our campsite.... several bowls and doobs passed around the campsite. Some friends from Ames and Des Moines came up and partied with us. If only I had known what the next day was to bring....

Day 4.... Iowa Falls to Marshalltown
Wednesday should have been an easy day... it was anything but. Most of the route all day was south... into a vicious headwind that did not let up. It was a 60 mile day and at least 45 miles of that was straight south into the wind.

The first 8 miles or so took us east out of town with a bad crosswind... we knew it was going to be rough. I biked off my hangover during that time.... it kinda sucked. Once we turned into the wind it was basically a struggle to keep going all day. We took many breaks in every town and at places in between. The sag wagons were full that day... m any people wussed out and didn't finish. We did not get into town until 8:30 at night and we were zonked.

The route into town took us one block away from all the action downtown.... and proceeded to take us furthur and furthur away to a big park on the edge of town. It also took us thru the poorest side of Marshalltown. It was kind of depressing, actually. It was a long way from the park to anything downtown so we just stayed around camp and got high.

Sara and I smoked a big bowl of nugs & hash which was basically my reward to us for persevering thru that day. Everybody got in late that night. Our driver had been drinking since he pulled the truck into camp that morning and he was passed out when we all arrived. He stayed passed out all night and missed all of us that night. He was still asleep (but alive!) the next morning when we left.

The big rumor floating around the camps was rain for the next day. I wandered up to the bike shop vendor area (ie... shakedown for cyclists!) and bought a sweet little cyclysts rain jacket. And a good thing it was....



Day 5... Marshalltown to Hiawatha
It rained late during the night and a few times early in the morning. The rain woke me up but I didn't want to get out of the tent during the storm. So we kept dry and got some extra rest after the previous days hard ride. I woke up later during a pause in the rain and we got our gear stowed in the truck and Sara and I took off before anybody else was even up.

It rained most of the morning and let up before noon sometime. I don't remember when exactly, cuz the place we stopped at to remove our raingear had a large barn with nobody around it... so we sparked another one there. The whole family was sitting in their front yard selling Gatorade and shit and we were gettin high behind their barn. I love RAGBRAI.

The rest of the day was very nice. It stayed overcast and got a little humid but was still comfortable.

Day 6.... Hiawatha to Maquoketa
This was the prettiest day of riding. The eastern side of the state is gorgeous. Very picturesque farmsteads covering the hills... like somehting out of a Grant Wood painting. We got more rain... and had to ride on a stretch of gravel roads... that sucked. Again, once the rain lifted it was another gorgeous day of riding.

I don't remember much about this day... I know we smoked a lot cuz I had plenty. And so did our bus driver and a few other team mates. There is something very odd about camping on a high school football field, surrounded by people camping... and passing the doobs around. Security by obscurity I suppose.

Day 7.... Maquoketa to Clinton
Me and Sara got up extra early and hauled ass into town. We ate light and made quick stops to to get water and fruit and stuff. No big meals, no naps... our mission that day was to get to the bus as soon as we could. Our mechanic friends put a new rear derailleur on my bike cuz I had been having issues with it all week. All it cost me was two joints for the part and labor :-)

So we got into town... dipped our tires in the River... found the truck... got high.. ate some brats... and waited 3 hours for everybody else to get in. I don't know what took them so long, but it did. Oh well. We killed time be gettin high(er) with the driver and our mechanic buddies and took a nap.

Once everybody got in we loaded up the truck and drove home. Some of us wanted to stop in Cedar Rapids and do the SCI show... but more than that we wanted to go home, shower, and sleep in our own beds. Besides.... Cheese will be back and I've already downloaded the show from archive.org

So that is my full RAGBRAI story... lots of riding... lots of smoking... lots of eating. The way it should be. Kudos to anybody who read the whole thing. It took me all day to write this and I am also going to be sending this link to my friends so they can read all about my travels. The invitation is open to any Shroomerites who would want to venture out here next summer and join the ride. It's challenging.... it's hot.... it costs money and you might even hate every minute of it. But it's soooo much fun. And it's also my summer vacation. :-)


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Invisibleadrug

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 15,800
Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3001375 - 08/13/04 05:00 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

My dad is 58 years old and has been riding RAGBRAI almost every year since I can remember...sucks that my dad is in better shape than me! :smirk:


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Registered: 11/29/02
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3001403 - 08/13/04 05:06 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Where'd the name Ragbrai come from? what does it mean/represent?


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Invisibleadrug

Registered: 02/04/03
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: funkymonk]
    #3001441 - 08/13/04 05:16 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa

The name of the newspaper in Des Moines is the Register.


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: adrug]
    #3001786 - 08/13/04 06:58 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Cool,


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InvisibleAdom
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3003769 - 08/14/04 09:59 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Very cool man. Sounds like alot of fun, I seriously have to try that sometime. Do you end up spending much money during the trip?


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InvisibleRipple
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Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 21,014
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3003798 - 08/14/04 10:26 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

You guys look great, thanks for the pics and the story!

Shine on  :heart:


--------------------
The bus came by and I got on that's when it all began!



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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Adom]
    #3008448 - 08/16/04 11:34 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Yeah it does get expensive. The only people who don't make money during RAGBRAI are the people riding their bikes. We manage to save some money by bringing a grill on our truck and cooking our own food and getting our own groceries. Most vendor meals range from $5-8 dollars during supper and if you're an official registered rider you can get $1 off (oh boy). There are always deals and freebies, too... you just gotta keep your eyes open and never turn down anything free.

Not drinking beer/liquor will save you a ton, too.


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OfflinePhishgrrl
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Registered: 05/03/04
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Re: RAGBRAI.... some pics and a lot of words.... [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3008675 - 08/16/04 01:12 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Awesome....my friend went all the way out there to ride in that. It sounds like a really fun time.  Thanks for sharing your pictures and story! :laugh:


--------------------
Once in awhile you can get shown the light

In the strangest of places if you look at it right...



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