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2012 Rider Cup Award: Rawhide Riders



For the past twenty one years, the Rider Cup Award has been presented to the club or team that best promotes the RIDE RIGHT philosophy before and during RAGBRAI. The Rider Cup will be presented to the Rawhide Riders at the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party on Saturday, January 26, 2013 in Des Moines. 

For the past 30 years, the Rawhide Riders have spent their summers riding across the state of Iowa on RAGBRAI.  This Independence, Iowa based team has fun on and off the bike, promotes cycling, serves as RIDE RIGHT ambassadors and helped found the R.A.S.H. ride, which just celebrated their 10th ride!

History of the Rawhide Rider Bicycle Club

It all started in 1982.  A small group of friends from Independence, Iowa, who liked to bicycle loaded their bikes in the back of a vending machine van and headed west for the start of RAGBRAI X.  Like most bike clubs it started out small and grew over the years. 

Back in 1982, your helmet was a cloth hat.  If you happened to have a helmet, it was the Bell Biker, which was essentially a motorcycle helmet with a couple of vents in it.

Over the years, we grew from 8 to 45 cyclists.  Although most members have some ties to Independence, Iowa, we have had members from Texas, Indiana, Montana, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin and New Mexico ride with our group.  There are 3 original members of the Rawhide Riders still riding with the group today.  They are John Belding, Mike O’Brien and Greg Weinschenk.

In the beginning, we would beg, borrow or steal any vehicle we could find to get us to western Iowa.  Eventually, the club scraped up enough money to purchase a vehicle – a 1986 Dodge 15 passenger van.   It semi-faithfully served us for almost 10 years until a tree fell on it in a storm and took it out. 

In the fall of 2008, we purchased a 2002 Ford shuttle bus from the city of Cedar Rapids and by RAGBRAI 2009, it was ready to go.

As a bike club, we have a lot of traditions.  The first is our own song, sung to the tune of the theme song of the old TV show “Rawhide”.  One of our original members kept singing the TV song.  We finally got sick of hearing him and rewrote the lyrics to fit RAGBRAI.  We traditionally sing it riding into the last town on the last day of RAGBRAI.  The lyrics are:

Official Rawhide Riders Song

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep those wheels a rollin’, though the wind’s a blowin’, Rawhide!

Through wet, windy weather, hell could be better, wishing the pain would subside.

Through all the things we’re missin’, hot showers and clean livin’ are waitin’ at the end of our ride.

            Head ’em up! Move ’em out!

            Move ’em out!  Head ’em up!

            Head ’em up! Move ’em out!  RAWHIDE!

            Ride ’em in!  Cut ’em out!

            Cut ’em out!  Ride ’em in!

            Ride ’em in, RAWHIDE!

Movin’, movin’, movin’, though knees are disapprovin’, keep those wheels a movin’, Rawhide!

Don’t try to understand us, just blame it all on Karras.  Soon we’ll be ridin’ far and wide.

My body’s calculatin’, the Ben Gay will be waitin’, a waitin’ at the end of our ride.

            Head ’em up! Move ’em out!

            Move ’em out!  Head ’em up!

            Head ’em up! Move ’em out!  RAWHIDE!

            Ride ’em in!  Cut ’em out!

            Cut ’em out!  Ride ’em in!

            Ride ’em in, RAWHIDE!

The Rawhide Riders were the first bike club to have beads on RAGBRAI.  One year twin sisters from Iowa living in New Orleans who ride with the Rawhide Riders, showed up for RAGBRAI with a 30 gallon plastic bag full of Mardi Gras beads and half a dozen voo-doo dolls.  The voo-doo dolls were kind of creepy, but everyone on RAGBRAI loved the beads.

For many years, we have had a tradition of club t-shirts, sweatshirts or jerseys, so sometimes we actually look like a real organized club.

Some other things have not gone so well.  Like the year we started a “Hell no we won’t go, bring back Kybo” rally in front of the port-a-potties.  That was destined to fail, because, well you have to go somewhere.

In 1998, we finally had the honor of meeting and getting a picture with John Karras.

Over our 30 years of existence, the one constant is that the Rawhide Riders have worked to promote cycling and help other riders and clubs when the needs arise.  Sometimes it is a little thing, like a band-aid, some sunscreen or air in a tire.  Other times it takes a larger form.  We helped organize the RASH ride which takes place in Buchanan County to support local trails during the 2nd weekend in June, which averages 400 cyclists. 

We have several members who serve as RAGBRAI ambassadors during the week of RAGBRAI.  Several members also served on the RAGBRAI local organizing committee when RAGBRAI overnighted in Independence in 2007.

Congratulations to the Rawhide Riders on winning the 2012 Rider Cup!

 PAST RIDER CUP AWARD WINNERS
2011:    Team Cuisine
2010:  The Whiners
2009:  Henry County High Wheelers
2008:  Air Force Cycling Team
2007:  CUBS (Chicago Urban Bicycling Society)
2006:  The Dream Team
2005:  Team Navy Cycling
2004:  Siouxland Cyclists
2003:  Marion Road Hogs
2002:  Team Achin’ Knee
2001:  North Iowa Touring Club
2000:  Huff ‘N Puffers
1999:  Riverbend Bike Club
1998:  Pottawattamie Pedalers
1997:  Team Gnarley
1996:  Siouxland Cyclists
1995:  Bicyclists of Iowa City
1994:  Huff ‘N Puffers
1993:  Team Skunk
1992:  The Killer Bees
 

 

6 Responses on “2012 Rider Cup Award: Rawhide Riders

Sandaltan

December 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

Great story…enjoyed the history.

RAWHIDE!!!!!

Profile photo of deweyheidi

deweyheidi

December 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

That’s awesome!!!! I met a bunch of these guys in Sioux Center and they had my lady and I laughing our ***** off the entire night. A great, FUN group. They truly understand what RAGBRAI is all about and make the best of it. I forget the names but the fireman in the group told us a funny story about lighting fireworks for the city he works in that had me and my girl laughing so hard, that tears were rolling down our faces. It still brings a smile to my face. Can’t wait to see you guys again!! Congrats on the award.

Eman

December 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

It’s great to see some of the oldest groups that are still around and going strong. See you on the ride!

Congratulations,

Tall Dog Bike Club, 38 years and counting

George Kep Lake

December 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

So very well deserved and good people all. The amazingh thing is the amount of grey matter left between the ears after many years of joyful noise while pushing the wind. Thanks to my good friends in the Rawhide Riders.

Mike Rasmusson

December 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

RAWHIDE RIDERS ROCK!

Phil Roger

August 27, 2013 at 9:17 am

Dear Guys n Girls,

I really enjoyed reading about the Rawhide Riders! Great great tradition!

I was wondering if you might be able to help me. I am keen British cyclist and I rode the 1996 Ragbrai 17 years ago. Would it be possible to ride it again, maybe as a kind of bolt on to you guys? It would probably be my son Al, aged 16, and me, Phil (aged 49 and a half). We could finance the trip ourselves but I guess we would need help with getting registered and hiring bikes for the ragbrai. I know I am a little crazy, but I also know you guys respect that in a cyclist and maybe we are destined to be kindred spirits! I shall lie awake at night hoping, dreaming, you may see this post and contact me. Very best kind regards to you all! RAWHIDE! Phil Roger UK Cyclist philroger64@yahoo.co.uk

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