RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
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Skinny-dippers enjoy pond near Runnells



Runnells, Ia. — Hundreds of RAGBRAI riders found an idyllic spot to swim — with or without their clothes — at a farm pond a few miles out of town. It was without a doubt the pond’s busiest day in the nine years since owners Mark and Jean Jennings built it on a patch of their hilly farmland.

“We always wondered if RAGBRAI might ride by,” Jean Jennings said.

They built the pond instead of renovating their kitchen, which she had almost regretted — until today. Inflatable pink flamingos perched by the curbside, and  Jimmy Buffett tunes pumped out of a set of speakers.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” she said, as the crowd applauded someone’s cannonball behind her.

She grinned. “There have been lots of skinny-dippers — mostly wrinkly old guys. I’ve got to say, though: I have the utmost respect for everybody out here on a bike, no matter how old, no matter what they look like.”

A few minutes later, a man in his late 70s — pale as a marble statue — stripped bare and eased himself into the water, to a round of hearty cheers.

“The water feels great,” said Mike Seager, 32, of Eugene, Ore., wearing nothing but a pair of sunglasses. “It’s sort of bubbly on all your bubbly bits.”

Swimmers dried off on the grassy bank, smearing off the mud from their toes and smearing on a fresh layer of sunblock. Nobody seemed in a rush to move on.

But when they did, many dropped a few bucks in a jar the Jenningses had said up to raise money for the local food pantry and Heifer International, a nonprofit that buys livestock for farmers in the developing world. So if a family in India receives a water buffalo, they can thank some rowdy swimmers here in Iowa.

2 Responses on “Skinny-dippers enjoy pond near Runnells

SCOTT WORKMAN

July 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Contrary, perhaps, to the article, Ragbrai does not openly promote nudity. It goes without saying riders will recognize an ideal waterway-of-opportunity somewhere along the route. The authorities are well aware of the potential hot spots but they’re not going to hanging around to see what happens. HOWEVER… if you do see them arrive on the scene, best believe it is because someone has filed a complaint and they must act on such a complaint. If you are without clothes follow their recommendations immediately and you will help preserve this unspoken tradition. On a more serious note…. Guys… DO NOT stand at the edge of a corn or bean field, in plain sight, while relieving yourself. Get yourself out of sight and you’ll preserve the “privilege” of being able to stop just about anywhere you want, IF that is what you have to do. Here again, the authorities (and the farmers) are aware of cornfield Kybos but they have more to do than police such roadside behavior. Keep in mind Ragbrai is a family event so don’t test them. I ride the ride too and I, for one, do not want to have to count on the limited number of town-stricken Kybos for my needs. Have a grrrreat ride and keep sunblock on the exposed parts! Ragbrai Nation!

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July 31, 2013 at 5:49 am

Suffer from kidney disease? aussie naturopath tells all – how his patients avoid dialysis
check here https://twitter.com/soniaw17/status/353268126143623168

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