YOU CAN’T “UNSEE” THAT

Another month has gone by – we are that much closer to being back on RAGBRAI!

A couple of months ago we shared memories of our first RAGBRAIs and last month it was thoughts about things that could have happened only on RAGBRAI (those threads are still open – add to them anytime). This month let’s share that one image from RAGBRAI that is just so burned into our memory banks that we will never ever forget it. In my years of riding I can recall several mental pictures of different events and happenings that I have witnessed but there are only a few of those “Kodak Moments” that are so indelibly etched in my brain that whenever RAGBRAI is mentioned the image immediately comes rushing back.

That is what I am hoping we can share this month. Put that one RAGBRAI picture that is stuck in your brain into words – Share that one RAGBRAI memory that YOU JUST CANT “UNSEE”!

8 Replies

Matt Riddell, October 6, 2020 at 6:04 am

I’ll start this out on the lighter side. The moment I think of is that first ride, first day, first morning seeing the unending cyclists pouring out of town and stretched across the countryside. I know that’s probably not the OH MY EYES moment you are searching for, but it is certainly the OH . . MY . . moment that is stuck in my brain and thankfully I can’t unsee that.

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Larry Klaaren, October 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Same for me. I had seen RAGBRAI once when I accidentally drove against the RAGBRAI route on the way to the ER where my mom was being treated (end of a 300 mile drive). But when I went on my first RAGBRAI as a rider it was a different view.
I rode out of the Brancel Charter area in Onawa, on Sunday morning, with three other riders onto a city street. We pulled in behind about fifteen-twenty riders. We all went a couple of blocks and made a turn and fell in with a couple hundred. Ahead of us we could see a lot of riders heading the same way we were, and a few blocks ahead of us we could see that same endless, very congested, stream riding to our right on the main route. A few people were turning onto our street at every intersection and we had to wait a bit to get on the route. It really made an impression on me. I guess a lot of people leave about the same time on the first day.

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DenBiker, October 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

The RAGBRAI Kodak Moment that rises to the top of all my memories happened last year. My daughter and I had just left Casey and were heading east up a small incline on the historic White Pole Road. Since it had been “our turn to drive our SAG vehicle to the half way point” (where we left it for others to pick up) we were well ahead most of the riders. There was hardly a soul in sight – just her and me and a lot of open road. As the route gradually swung northward we entered a small wooded area with a lush undergrowth on both sides of the road. Cresting the rise we saw it – at this point a yet unidentified object lying right in the middle of the road a hundred or so yards up. I mean this thing was literally in the middle – a bit to the left and a bit to the right but mostly smack dab right on top of both yellow lines! My first thoughts were, “That dog better move – there’s going to be a ton of riders wanting his share of the road!” Well it didn’t move – not a muscle, not even a twitch – it just lied there – even as we got closer and closer. When we closed to 25 yards it it dawned on both of us, “Oh that’s no dog – it is a coon, a really really big coon!” (Now this coon was unlike any other fellow that has had an unpleasant encounter with a vehicle. No tire tracks, no trauma, no other evidence of a close encounter of the wrong kind! It looked like had just decided to take a nap right in the middle of the road! Just as we passed by it all became so very clear – he was lying peacefully in the road and ever so neatly tucked under his left paw was his can of Bud Light! Yep it looked like he had heard that RAGBRAI was coming had started partying a bit early. Now he was just sleeping it off! Even as I think back on that scene I distinctly remember a slight smirk (or maybe it was a very satisfied look) on his lips. I don’t think I’ll ever unsee that!

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Randall Murphy, October 7, 2020 at 7:43 pm

I remember my first Ragbrai in 2005 and aside from wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into I remember one visual vividly. Cruising into a pass through town and riding up to the town park there were bikes everywhere and all of the vendors selling food. Every swing in sight was occupied and the occupants were swinging for all they were worth – AND THEY WERE ALL ADULTS. Just letting their hair down and having a good time. To me that captured the essence of Ragbrai: just a bunch of kids of all ages having fun. I’ve been back every year since.

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David Strahl, October 25, 2020 at 1:32 pm

I typically leave for the road around 6 am each morning looking for blinkers to follow. Sometimes it is clear which direction we are to follow and sometimes it is not so clear and there might be some riding around “looking” for the riders. It is common to run across other riders also looking for the way out of town all asking “which way” which leads to some side tours of the overnight towns. As we ride around looking for a stream of bikers to follow as we pass each corner the few bikers we start to follow turns into a larger group and still larger with each side street we pass. I liken it to a small streams flowing into larger creeks flowing into larger rivers flowing into an unstoppable flow, just like all the waters flow into the Mississippi in Iowa as we all ride ever closer to the Big River.

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hawkrider, March 3, 2021 at 6:12 am

Okay,here’s one ya’ll are looking for. The year I don’t remember, but I joined the ride as a day rider, from Oskaloosa to Bloomfield. A couple of things I heard and saw were certainly eye opening, such as a mom on a bike built for three or four with her kids in tow. What she didn’t know, was the boys were putting very little effort if any at all and actually hitting each other. Another lady talking on her walk-in talkie, I assumed to her husband. As she was pedaling up a hill, I heard her say just wait till I finish climbing Mt Everest, and it wasn’t said in a loving way either. It was a Thursday, so what to my surprise as I rode up on the lady that started Thong Thursday. But I digress, the thing I will never unsee is this. My wife was to pick me up at the car dealership on the south side of Bloomfield after my daughter’s softball game. Got to the dealership a little early and was sitting at the entryway. I looked up and saw a biker riding up the highway, lights on, music coming from his speaker,with the guys shorts pulled down as he was sporting his full moon to every car that came up behind him shining their lights on his full white moon. Things you may see on a typical day on RAGBRAI.

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Coleman Tucker, March 3, 2021 at 8:09 pm

2019 RAGBRAI – winery near Des Moines just off route had a slip ‘n slide. The naked bike riding down the slide was only topped by a woman walking SLOWLY from the winery building waving like a Prom Queen to the top of the slide. Due to nobody’s fault, the slide was not steep enough at the end to allow her to make to the water “unassisted.”

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Jean, March 3, 2021 at 9:54 pm

One year a town had the theme from the wizard of Oz. Before getting to town there were twisted pieces of metal everywhere probably from a past twister. There was a yellow brick road going into the town. The towns people were all dressed in the various characters. Another town did Christmas in July theme with fake snow, Christmas decorations,Christmas theme food, carolers and all. So cool. Also will never forget seeing midget wrestling in one town. Lol!!

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