Almost Here! RAGBRAI 2014

by | Jul 19, 2014 | personal journey, This Lefe Family

The week is almost here.

Back in February when my husband asked me if I would ride RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) with him this year, I did more than hesitate.

biking 07You see, I’m not a long-road-biker kind of girl. I like the occasional recreational ride, but not much more than that. A week, riding 400+ miles? That’s not me.

I did RAGBRAI for one day, while he did the entire week the summer of 1991 before we were married. I remember how awful I felt. But purchasing my bike three days before the ride, and riding only 20-some miles before that day, didn’t help much. But I was also 20-some years younger then, too.

I’m not a sleep-in-a-tent-for-six-nights kind of girl either.

Nor am I a stand-in-line-for-a-shower-each-day kind of girl.

I don’t like being too hot. Or too cold.

I like sleeping in my own bed, using my own bathroom, waking up to my own coffee.

The reasons not to do RAGBRAI were nothing short of selfish. Every single one of them.

So I got a grip, surrendered my selfishness, and said YES.

A month ago I seriously questioned my decision. But didn’t have the heart to back out on my commitment, nor on my husband.

biking 08

So here I am. Facing a week-long journey across the state of Iowa, riding on a tandem bicycle with my husband.

We’ve mastered this tandem thing. We’ve trained. We’ve packed. We’ve acquired the gear needed for the week. We’ve made sure our home is secure with a house sitter and security system. We’re ready. Or at least we think we are.

biking 11But the coolest thing of it all?

Watching my husband be almost to the point of giddy. Yes, giddy. He’s like a little kid on Christmas morning. This is his thing. Biking. And I get a ring-side seat for it all for the next week. I’m so glad I didn’t say no.

biking 09And the second coolest thing?

Through our many miles and hours of training, I’ve watched our marriage transform into something deeper, more special, even greater. It was wonderful before, but it’s pretty incredible now. I can’t explain it, and I won’t even try. I’ll just be grateful. And I am.

We have our niece’s wedding today, and will travel to the second overnight stop tomorrow late afternoon. We’ll miss the first day of riding tomorrow. But Monday morning, we’ll be up bright and early, conquering and experiencing our first day of riding. 40.8 miles.

I’ll be posting updates here instead of my normal posts, providing my app works well! I can’t wait to share this experience with you!

biking 10And if you think of it, would you pray for us? We’d sure appreciate it.

Looking forward to this adventure! Thanks for journeying with me!


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  1. Kathryn Shirey

    Sounds exciting – quite an adventure! Have fun!

    • Julie

      Thanks, Kathryn! It will be an adventure! I hope to be posting the highlights! Have a great weekend!

  2. Kristal Hofer

    We will definitely pray for you. This is amazing! Thanks for sharing– so inspiring. The pictures are great too. Best of luck to both of you.

    • Julie

      Hi Kristal! Thank you so much! We appreciated your encouragement and your prayers! It was a great week!

  3. Vicki B

    Julie, I saw your post on facebook and clicked on one of the pictures which brought me to your blog. Good for you!!!! Gary did RAGBRAI the entire route 1 time (maybe 2) and parts a couple of times. I admire anyone who can do it, but I definitely would be miserable with the heat, not having a motel room etc. etc. 🙂 I’ll be watching for you in the news clips on Channel 9.

    • Julie

      Hi Vicki! Wow, that’s great that Gary has done RAGBRAI before. Yes, there were moments that the heat was really getting to me, but with the wind we experienced, it didn’t feel quite as hot as it was. We didn’t make any new clips. That’s probably a good thing with how we looked most days. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing your words on Wednesday. It was great reading them!



  1. On Biking, Big Blue, and Our Bucket List - Julie Lefebure - […] together. Very together… on a tandem bicycle. (For some details, you’re invited to read this post I wrote before…

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