The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

2009 RAGBRAI

Skip spandex; these guys ride in kilts

Emerson, Ia. – The question asked of the Subtle Savages team is always the same: What’s under the kilt?

The answer is always the same too.

“Nothing,” said Don Baker of Kansas City. “We’re traditional.”

The 30-some member team is touring the state in a flame-emblazoned bus complete with stripper pole. Every man on the team wears a kilt, and every woman dresses differently throughout the trip. Later in the week, the women will don Catholic school girl outfits.

“It’s worth every penny,” Cedar Rapids resident Tommy Juhl said with a sly grin.

So what’s it like pedaling down the road in a wool kilt on a sunny day?

“They’re comfortable to ride in,” Baker said.

“Very airy,” said Joel Altringer of Des Moines.

Fresh from posing for a photo with a new fan, Juhl thought of another perk of the traditional Scottish garment: “The old ladies dig it.”

–L. Lars Hulsebus

m0720ragbraivignette02

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