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RAGBRAI’s Dream Team Training in Full Swing

  • 16 March, 2012
  • Jared

by Scott Garner, Dream Team Mentor

Our recruiting efforts this year have paid off, and we have another great group of riders participating in our indoor training program.  Our focus is on those youth who will benefit the most from this experience.  During indoor training we set the groundwork to develop the skills and confidence needed to succeed as a member of the Dream Team.  Individuals are learning names and a little about each other, coming together as a team with the common goal of RAGBRAI.  Strength and conditioning classes are helping to prepare our team for the hills and the headwinds we are sure to find on the route this year.  A few weeks left of indoor training and we’ll be ready for our first outdoor ride of the season.

We had to ramp up our mentor recruiting efforts this year.  The size of our team is limited only by funding and the availability of volunteers, and this year we had to set our limit a little lower due to a shortage of adult mentors to train alongside the team members.  We are almost back to full strength in numbers.  We plan to give away 25 new bikes this year, and with 19 riders returning from last year, our roster sits at 44 team members.  We normally are at 55-60 team members at the start of indoor training.

Our outdoor training starts with an Orientation that focuses on bike safety, bike mechanics (including proper fit, shifting, repairs and maintenance), and the proper nutrition that goes along with being prepared for long distance cycling.  Our first goal of outdoor training is learning to ride safely in a large group.  We’ll put this knowledge to the test as we participate in the Mayor’s Annual Ride for Trails in April.  If you see us on the road, please let the team members know you recognize their efforts, and that we’re all very proud of what they are about to accomplish.

We wouldn’t be able to achieve any of this without the generosity of caring individuals and organizations.  Without you, we don’t have a chance in making a difference in the lives of our young riders.  When it comes time to decide where to place your charitable dollars, please keep us in mind.  A little goes a long way, and we can’t do it without you.  Please visit us at www.dreamteamdsm.org/donate and consider a tax-deductible gift that can help these young people achieve the goal of a lifetime. 

  • $1,000 – will sponsor a teen through the training program and RAGBRAI
  • $500 – will purchase a bike for a member of the Dream Team
  • $250 – will purchase camping equipment for a member of the Dream Team
  • $100 – will provide refreshments for the Dream Team on a long weekend training ride
  • $50 – will purchase a helmet and gloves for a Dream Team member

ABOUT THE DREAM TEAM

In 1996, a concern for disadvantaged and at risk youth led a small group of bicycle enthusiasts from RAGBRAI, Bike World and the Riverfront YMCA in Des Moines to discuss how these youngsters could participate in RAGBRAI . They wanted youth, who otherwise would not have the opportunity, to experience the sense of fellowship, accomplishment and goal setting that participation in RAGBRAI brings. Working as a grassroots organization, they successfully obtained equipment, then recruited and trained youth to participate as the first Dream Team in RAGBRAI XXV in 1997. Since that year, between 20-50 youth participants have successfully completed RAGBRAI each year.

 

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