I am doing GRABAAWR for a change of pace after doing the last six RAGBRAI’s. It’s been (mostly) a blast.
Five things I will miss about RAGBRAI:
1. The people of Iowa. I have nothing but good to say about 99% of the natives I met.
2. The sheer spectacle. The RAGBRAI crowd has no equal when it comes to people watching.
3. Pulling into a town and getting cheered on by families in lawn chairs. It doesn’t get much better than that.
4. Getting doused by a garden hose on a 95 degree day. Almost makes you miss shade trees.
5. Hosts that go above-and-beyond the call of duty and really make you feel at home.
Five things I will not miss about RAGBRAI:
1. Pace lines. Dangerous and unnecessary. The ride is supposed to be an individual achievement, not a team sport.
2. Strangers who draft me without permission. (see #1 above)
3. The thunderstorms/tornadoes. One of these years there will be carnage.
4. Trains. Especially the ones who feel they are not loud enough on their own and feel the need to blow a whistle at 3AM.
5. People clanking tent poles and stakes at 5AM. It’s not a race, folks. Get a little sleep and you’ll have a much better time. As will the rest of us.