RAGBRAI XLV – "In retrospect, I wish I had……."

Loved this year, but like every past year I reflect back and wish I had smelled the roses a bit more. To be honest, I was out of shape this year…work, commitments, lack of discipline, etc. allowed me to put on more weight than I should have, and get in fewer training miles. All of this caused me to really dread the afternoons with the increased heat and headwinds, so I probably obsessed a bit about getting my miles in early, and I didn’t stop and smell the roses as much as I should have.

Missed this year due to “long-line-aphobia” were:
Beekmans, Mr. Pork Chop, and Farm Boys.

Also, I have always made a point to stop and chat with locals a bit, not necessarily in the pass-through towns, but mostly mom & pop sitting in their lawn chairs in between towns. They are almost always under a shade tree, and without fail have offered up a cup of coffee, bathrooms, water, etc.. And they have without fail been among the nicest, most genuine people I’ve encountered. But obsessing about finishing early made me miss what I consider to be the best part of RAGBRAI.

I had a great time, and had some wonderful interactions…but next time I will be in better shape and I will not worry about the clock.

7 Replies

RoyBoy, August 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

I didn’t take the time to talk to the local people this year as much I did in the past but I did talk to other riders a lot more this year. And I never did get to talk with Mr. Pork Chop on past rides but I did get to talk to his son Matt this year. It was another great ride.


Ed Kanitra, August 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

I wish I’d gone


Geoff Butland, August 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

……done my first RAGBRAI years ago instead of 2017.


Bob Kidd, August 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

I agree with Geoff. I turn 60 in a couple months and this was my first RAGBRAI. I was I would have started doing this years ago. One thing I saw that gives me hope of doing many more was the people out there in their 90’s :)


Luv 2 Ski, August 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I wish I brought less regular clothes. I say this every time I go but still manage to bring more than I need.

I wish I was more successful in getting home town friends to try it out. It is so much fun but you just can not explain it. As we all know you just have to do it.

I wish I had met the team I ride with years ago. They are a great group of people that will be friends for life.


KenH, August 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm

It was a great year and I have no regrets about it. It would have been quite a stretch for me to have done 1973 or 1974 but I do wish I had started riding it in 1975…. That has nothing to do with this year however. I talked to more people, local and out of state, riders and not, and I just had a grand time this year. There wasn’t anything that bothered me too much about the route or the job the towns did for us. No one can do a perfect enough job that an astute observer can’t see ways things could have been improved but they did do a perfect enough job to leave me satisfied, and wanting more. I even enjoyed the hills on the last day. Not so much the climbing of them as the knowing that I had climbed them and of course the high speed coasting down the other side!


Barin Beard, August 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

This being my first RAGBRAI and riding solo, I learned a lot, either by other people telling me the traditions, or just spotting them myself like the Farm Kids breakfast stop and learning then it was a must do for a complete RAGBRAI experience.
My first time to Iowa and failed to eat a tenderloin sandwich. I didn’t learn it was an Iowa-thing until late in the ride, and by then, I was craving vegetables more than pork.
Kind of regret not stopping at a kid’s lemonade stand.


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