RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
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Des Moines stop like home for Tennessee cyclist



For C.T. Thongklin, RAGBRAI’s overnight stop in Des Moines offers an opportunity to connect with old friends.

The 36-year-old moved from Omaha to Nashville last year and is using this year’s ride to connect with colleagues from the Midwest.

“Iowa, honestly, is home,” said Thongkin, a graduate of the University of Missouri. “At least, it feels like home.”

This is Thongklin’s third RAGBRAI, but it’s his first time on the ride since accepting a job in the South.

“Ever since I moved to Tennessee, the reason I come back to RAGBRAI is to reconnect with friends I knew from back when I was in Omaha,” Thongklin said. “It’s a great way to get back and enjoy the Midwest and the Corn Belt.”

Thongklin is chief meteorologist for RFD-TV, a cable television network aimed at rural America.

In fact, it was one of Thongklin’s meteorologist pals based in Johnston who forecast the heavy rainfall, hail, thunder and lightning that greeted RAGBRI riders in Perry on Monday.

“That was kind of a funny coincidence,” Thongklin said.

And when the Thongklin meets up with friends in Des Moines later today, he’ll have his own stories to share.

Thongklin rubbed shoulders with famed cyclist Lance Armstrong on Monday.

“I sat in his pace line between Dallas Center and Van Meter,” Thongklin said. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to (Armstrong). We just cruised along and enjoyed the ride.”

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