It’s that time of year… where all we seem to be doing is eating, sleeping, and riding our tandem bicycle. Yes, RAGBRAI 2019 begins this Sunday, July 21!
RAGBRAI is the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. (The Register is the Des Moines newspaper.) It’s a week-long bicycle ride across the state of Iowa, west to east. The tradition is for riders to dip their back bicycle tire in the Missouri River at the start of the ride (west border) and dip their front tire in the Mississippi River when they finish (east border).
I guess I’ve been pronouncing RAGBRAI wrong all these years, along with most everyone else. I’ve only ever heard it pronounced “RAGBRYE,” but according to John Karras, the co-founder of the ride, and what I read today, it’s supposed to be pronounced “RAGBRAY.” Go figure!
It’s estimated 10-15,000+ riders are peddling on the backroads of Iowa during RAGBRAI on any given day. This year’s southern route is 427 miles long, with a total of 14,735 feet of climb. Yikes! And, the weather forecast as of this morning appears to be a hot one.
RAGBRAI 2019 will be our sixth consecutive RAGBRAI on our tandem.
Bill has completed the ride many times before I ever thought of doing such a crazy thing. Our tandem bicycling began after he was hit by a car on his bike on a Saturday morning in August 2013. Six months later, after I assumed he’d never get on his bicycle again, Bill asked me to ride tandem with him on RAGBRAI that summer of 2014. We’ve been peddling together ever since. (Because who says no to helping her husband face a fear head-on? Who doesn’t put her own agenda and comfort aside to support her husband in his passion? And, who doesn’t want to stretch herself–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in seven days?)
Here is the Des Moines Register article in which we were blessed to be included in June 2016.
So, yes, bicycling is my husband’s passion. I just get to tag along for the ride. And let me tell you, I never expected tandem bicycling to be the thing to grow and enhance our marriage. But, boy, has it ever!
Since mid-May we’ve been training and training and training some more.
A wet and overly-committed spring prevented us from getting out on the trails as early as usual. But, in just two months we’ve tacked on 800+ miles, hoping to finish just shy of 900 this week. I’d say that’s pretty good. It’s not our goal, but it’s close.
We’re in the process of packing our gear, our tent (yes, we sleep in a tent all week long), and our clothing. Bill will be finalizing the bike prep later this week, then on early Saturday morning we’ll hop on a charter bus with our group and head west to the starting town, Council Bluffs.
We sure would appreciate your prayers.
For our safety, for our health, for strength and stamina. For us to shine the light of Jesus across this great state. And, for the muscular issue I’ve been dealing with since last fall. It’s a pain in the rump (literally). I pray God controls and heals me of the pain, and that I’m (and we are) able to finish the ride triumphantly.
If you’d like to follow along, I’ll be posting updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If I have great cell service, I might even blog a bit while on the route. We’ll have to see about that. In the meantime, however, I’ll add some photos of how we’re preparing for our ride this week on my social outlets.
Thanks for coming along with us on this journey! We welcome your cheers for #TeamLefebure on RAGBRAI 2019!
God bless you!
Find out more about why we like RAGBRAI here.
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