Humor Helps in High Humidity

Posted by on Jul 30 in RAGBRAI

Little Leaguers provide inspiration on Day 6

This was destined to be a rough one from the start, and delivered in every sense of the word: 75 miles from start to finish, not a cloud in the sky, temperatures over 95 degrees with high humidity, and LOTS of rolling hills. As we rode from Grinnell to Coralville, and passing through Brooklyn, Victor, Ladora, Marengo, Amanas, Homestead, and Oxford, we saw a true cross section of Iowa.

Little League supporters in Brooklyn, IA

We started with a big dose of inspiration, meeting with Little League and youth baseball folks in Brooklyn (IA, not NY – we didn’t go that far off course). One of the themes that motivate us at Build Our Ballpark is a favorite quote from an educator in Waterloo, Iowa, Dr. Walter Cunningham, who used to say, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

The leadership for youth sports in the town of Brooklyn clearly demonstrates that, where through a huge amount of volunteer effort and community support, they’ve nearly completed building a terrific set of sports complexes. These complexes include baseball fields for Little League, girl’s softball, and high school baseball. Parents, educators and coaches taking a charge and making it happen – with tremendous results. And the girls were out in force selling fruit cups to help raise funds to finish the effort – lights and a new scoreboard being their goal. We were so inspired by their dedication that we committed to get them their scoreboard to support their efforts.

A view from Flag City

Riding along on Iowa’s back roads gives you a real sense of the aging of some of our resources. We were often routed onto Old Highway X or Former Highway Y, most of which were much more narrow than we expect to see these days, and all of which hadn’t seen material re-paving in years. But once you build a major road, it is permanent – as the homes, businesses and communities come to depend upon it.

Costumes greet us on Friday

Maybe it was because it was Friday, but the crowds along the way felt compelled to supply the RAGBRAI riders with humor to ease the pain of the heat and distance. A washboard-toting grandmother (with false buck teeth), a Fruit of the Loom youth group, serenades from teenagers, and even a site offering free beer for tossing a keg (and the largest beer mug ever made) were all part of today’s humor breaks that helped the miles roll by. We had one crash and no injuries amongst our group (though heat exhaustion was a factor), and arrived in Coralville inspired to knock down our last day and see the Mississippi.

Fruit of the Loom kids on Friday

Largest beer stein

We are asking our friends to support our effort by making a tax-deductible pledge for each mile we ride for Build Our Ballpark . If we’re crazy enough to put in these miles, can’t you please throw in your support?

We’ll send along one more day of pictures. We hope you are enjoying the updates!

Best regards,

Bob Hellman
Build Our Ballpark Team