RAGBRAI 2016 Update 5

by | Jul 28, 2016 | personal journey

Is this Thursday?

Truly, I’ve lost track. How can this week almost be over? It makes me sad to think there’s only 2 biking days left on RAGBRAI. Yes, my seat rejoices in that truth. It is ready for me to quit, but the rest of me wants to keep going.

We started off our day with a coffee stand at our campground this morning. Hallelujah!! (I think I heard a choir of angels singing in the distance!) I still have to have my coffee on RAGBRAI. As I was ordering, the gal behind the table said to me, “You look beautuful!” Huh? I knew I misheard what she said. No one looks beautiful on RAGBRAI… especially me. I wear no makeup and never do my hair. And this morning, I knew I looked rough with not sleeping very well last night. But, I guess when we look at God-given, natural beauty, everyone looks beautiful.

She continued, “You’re dressed so cute and you look so happy.” I did have a new biking outfit on, and I thought it was kind of cute, too. And yes, I was happy, and told her so. I thanked her for the compliment, and left with coffee in hand, and a smile on my face. It’s amazing how what we say can impact the life of another. Our words matter!

The weather today was absolutely gorgeous. Low 80s for temps, a nice breeze, and beautiful sunshine. We stopped along the way to enjoy the sights. 54 miles was our distance, and we journeyed through Rathbun, Moravia, Unionville, Blakesburg, and landed in Ottumwa for the night.

We also biked over the Rathbun Dam. Goodness, that was a breathtaking sight, especially so early in the morning!

We arrived early to Ottumwa and was gifted with the most amazing campground… and it has shade! Again, cue the chorus… Hallelujah! God continues to bless us in wonderful ways! Here’s our home for this week and some of our neighbors:

But it gets better. Bill and I had a delicious lunch with another couple at a local Mexican restaurant. When we returned to our campsite, the shower lines were crazy long. So we hopped on the bike trail to my friend, Jen’s house, who lives here in Ottumwa, to connect with her and to take a shower. (Jen, thank you again! ) I met Jen though my writing and through the Five Minute Friday community. She’s a blessing!

(Yep… no makeup and hair still wet after my shower.)

Rick Springfield performs here tonight, but we’re just too wornout to go. Tomorrow has 68.5 miles and 2,541 feet of climb. A full day!

We thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and kind wishes this week. Keep them coming!

I’ll post again soon!




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  1. Sabra Penley

    You DO look beautiful, Julie! I shared your photos with my husband and told him you and Bill do this each summer. His comment? Sleeping in a tent would keep him from doing it. (Like 420 miles on a bike wouldn’t be enough to say “No, thank you!”) LOL. Praying for your safety, energy, and joy the rest of the way! Blessings to you both!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Oh, Sabra. Thank you! For your kind words, and especially your prayers! yes, the tent thing almost stopped me, too. But now that we’ve done it for three years, we know what to expect and it’s really not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Thanks for being such a good friend! Bless you.

  2. Tara

    So had you and Jen got to connect.

  3. Carmen Horne

    I am so in awe of your commitment to this each year. Such a wonderful time to be with your hubby and your friends. And, you look beautiful. Jesus shines all over you.

    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you, Carmen. My guy and I have lots of fun out there on the tandem. I appreciate your words of blessing and encouragement! Hope your summer is going great! Bless you!


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