I am slow to get this adventure posted but I found little time for much else when I returned home with the quick flip into Boulder to play Sherpa for the Mrs.

Without further ado...

 Prior to being invited along as a guest by my friend Matt,...

... I had heard of RAGBRAI but it was from my other friend, and best man at my wedding, Dave...

... who made it sound like a real pain in the ass unless you went with a supported group. Matt's group is essentially his family and friends who would not scuttle around the state of Iowa in one of the many odd buses...

... which might have also been used in a Mad Max / Road Warrior movie. No, Matt's group, our group, would ride in style inside...

... a 40' recreational vehicle. Again, we were not in a ghetto "Shagbrai" bus...

... equipped with a keg...

... with a tap inside and outside.

To be clear. Us...

Them...

Any questions?

RAGBRAI is a point to point ride which takes the riders across the state in one week's time. Each day is a unique distance which passes through a number of towns and ends in a host town where riders will be greeted with smiling faces, music, pie and beer. In fact, other such delicacies can be found along the route each day and along with beer and pie, one could also find (not limited to):

A pork chop on a stick.
Meat on a stick.
Many food ending in the word "dog".
Breakfast Burritos
Bacon and/or Bacon Products.
Corn.
Corn.
Corn.

While I passed on many of the available foods, I did try...

.. and it was delicious...

However, I did not try...

And while I did try this too,...

.. I was not a fan but due to a lack of wine selections, I grabbed a six pack of this...

... and I liked it!

Fueled on pie, pop tarts and Gatorade, I rode from town to town taking in the sites with 15,000 of my closest friends...

At the end of the day we would end at a host town which might have been a county seat with a fancy courthouse...

... but I was mostly interested in their delicious grub such as this tasty "Indian Taco"...



When in Rome India.

After getting grub, I would try to find our RV.

Instead of parking in the designated RV area with ten million other RV's, our savvy driver would find a place to squat.

On the first night, I found our RV parked here...

... under a large shady tree. When I asked if we knew the owners of this business, I was informed that towns hosting RAGBRAI expect people to claim squatter's rights. This made me a little nervous but when the owner / worker showed up some hours later, he didn't seem bothered by our rather large presence.

After cleaning up, I usually ended up back in the town square to visit the various businesses and browse the expo...

At night we would return for the entertainment.

In the smaller towns...

... in the larger towns...

I found this band box to be quite amusing because it reminded me of the stickers I have on my bike box.



Each town had its own unique flavor...

... and everyone was ready to entertain...

... despite their illiteracy problem...

As part of a group, we shared in some of the responsibilities, mainly cooking. On one of my nights, I managed to put together a variation on Cincinnati chili using an electric skillet...

It turned out well, seemed to go over with the group, but it was far too much of a challenge given limited equipment. Yes, I know, I'm being a kitchen snob. I should be grateful I wasn't in a tent. :)

One night after dinner, we went over to a local dive bar...

... where it seemed more like Mardi Gras / Spring Break than a bicycling adventure...

A bit too much excitement for me but not nearly as exciting as this person...

... or the fountain vandalized by some college students...

... and definitely not as exciting as the night when the storm came in and we moved the RV up against a large building to shield us from the high winds...

Time flies when you're having fun and before I knew what was happening, it was the last day of RAGBRAI and I rolled into the last town, West Point. I don't know if it was coincidental but there was a memorial in this town, I paused for a moment...

... and then I rode on to the final town where riders could dip their wheels into the Mississippi River...

... to conclude their adventure.

What a blast!

I am thankful for being invited along by Matt and his family for their annual RAGBRAI adventure and my friend Sue...



... for allowing me to talk her ear off on a couple of the rides.

I am also thankful for the towns who hosted us. Iowa can put on a good show!

This picture makes me laugh because we overwhelmed each town, some as small as only a few hundred...

Before I sign off, I leave you with one other photo I found at the...

which has a quote at the bottom I liked...

Suit Up!