This is Why We Ride

Posted by on Jul 27 in RAGBRAI

We close the tale of Day 3 – 71 miles, which on the one hand was very flat, and yet full of challenges, traveling from Carroll to Boone. The day was really the tale of two rides. The first 40 miles we had a gorgeous sunrise, beautiful flat roads and a slight tail wind. The roads of RAGBRAI were filled with signs for the bikers of all types and motivations. The first half of today’s ride was characterized by one of our favorite signs: “Ride It Like You Stole It.” But just when we were feeling good about the day, somebody turned on the oven and we got to enjoy the last 30 miles in bright sunshine and 100-degree temperatures.

Banana Man

Skateboarder on RAGBRAI

Humor is the biggest friend on the ride, and usually our fellow riders provide it – from Banana Man, to the “rider” on his skateboard who brings no extra wheels, but three extra pairs of shoes. We needed it as the road was taking its toll on our bodies. (Think sore everything!!!) We road through Lidderdale, Lanesboro, Churdan, Paton and Pilot Mound on our way into Boone. And each town had its story – like Pilot Mound, site of “Twister Hill” (a very unforgiving monster hill), to Paton, home of U.S. Astronaut Loren Shriver, the captain of the Space Shuttle mission that put the Hubble Telescope into space.

With each day’s ride, this tour of Americana continues its tinges of irony – the excitement of young kids applauding and greeting the riders, to the stories of small towns and their struggles. We met today, as an example, with Vernon Main in Lanesboro, Iowa. Mr. Main, now 75, was a baseball and softball player and coach for over 40 years and loves talking about the history of baseball in his town. But as with many small towns, the realities of funding forced the town to consolidate its schools with neighboring communities, leaving no local youth sports activities. Soon after that, the town’s fields fell into disrepair and were abandoned. Yet at 9 a.m. on a bright sunny morning, Mr. Main and his wife were amongst a group of townsfolk out selling bratwurst (which smelled fabulous) to raise monies to help restore some of the town’s infrastructure. And with a huge smile on their faces, which warmed everybody’s heart. THIS is why we are out here putting on the miles.

Bob Hellman with Vernon Main of Lanesboro, Iowa

Thank you everyone for your support of Build Our Ballpark!

Best regards,

Build Our Ballpark Team

Sunrise over the RAGBRAI riders