51. Why I RAGBRAI: The Reasons May Surprise You

by | Jul 26, 2022 | Podcast

It’s RAGBRAI week in Iowa, but if you’re not from Iowa, you might not know what RAGBRAI is. RAGBRAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. (The Register is the Des Moines newspaper.) It’s an annual event, with the exception for 2020, that takes place the last full week of July. Why do I ride this ride? Well, in this episode I share why I RAGBRAI, and my answer may surprise you. And, if you know me, we’ll find some hope and encouragement for us all along the way.

Why I RAGBRAI The: Reasons May Surprise You | my husband and I on a tandem bicycle

I remember the phone call as if it happened last week. My husband on the other end said he was in the hospital and had been hit by a car while out riding his bike. You get a call like that and life come to a screeching halt. A million thoughts flip through your mind, along with the same amount of questions.

But he was talking, so I knew he was alive.

Nearly sprinting into his hospital room on that hot August day in 2013, I found him lying on the bed, wrapped in bandages, a splint on his ankle, and a smile on his face. He filled me in on how a car likely traveling 55 mph (or faster) hit him on a two-lane road. The car’s passenger side rearview mirror caught Bill’s left backside and sent him flying 30 feet in the air, landing on the road’s right shoulder. Lying there on the side of the road, gasping to regain his breath, he thought his life might be over. He thought of his family in that moment, and how he may not ever see us again.

Thankfully, his lungs filled with oxygen again and his breath returned.

I think we both wondered if he would he ever ride again.

The months following weren’t easy. Healing was slow. Emotions ran high. Pain was real. So, I was a bit stunned when Bill asked me the following January if I would ride RAGBRAI with him in July on our tandem bicycle. He was willing to look the fear of bicycling in the face and meet it head on. He was willing to get back out there and do what he once loved.

How could I say no?

But I wasn’t a bicyclist. I wasn’t fond of camping in a tent in the heat for a week. I didn’t want to stand in line for a shower or a bathroom break every day. And I wasn’t thrilled about the thought of learning how to ride a tandem bicycle for seven long days in a row. Could I even do this?

So, July 2014 was my first RAGBRAI, and this ride transformed me.

I also disclose the 10 reasons why I RAGBRAI.

Why I RAGBRAI may be different than what you think!

And I offer some encouragement to keep doing what’s important to you.

Click on the player above to listen to the full 14-minute episode.

Bicycling may not not be your thing, and that’s okay. But something is your thing. What is that? No matter what it is, as 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, do it for the glory of God. I’m praying for you as you do, friend. Live encouraged! God bless you.

Links in this episode:

Encouragement for Real Life Podcast, Episode 51, Why I RAGBRAI: The Reasons May Surprise You
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