Let the RAGBRAI Party Begin! Tell a Rookie What to Expect
A transplant to Iowa wonders what to expect over the next week.
RAGBRAI has me a bit wringed out, and the first revolution of the sprockets hasn't even begun.
For a few months now, I've been involved in planning the Patch Presence at the ride, working with our readers, vendors and others to prepare for the feeding, watering and charging (electronics) of riders along the route.
What has hindered my participation is this: I moved to Iowa from Ohio a year ago and have never been on RAGBRAI.
Want to see your RAGBRAI 2012 photos on Patch.com? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contrary to what I tell people, Iowa is not Ohio mispelled, not the same place, different location.
Iowa has RAGBRAI. And although I think I know what I'm in for, everybody I talk to tells me I'll never really know until I'm there. The description I'm hanging onto that I think will be closest to reality is this: "RAGBRAI is Mardi Gras on Wheels."
For the uninitiated, or the overly initiated, describe RAGBRAI in the comments section below.
Lucky for me, Brian Morelli, Patch associate regional editor in Iowa, has pedaled more miles than most people should over more years than most people can, and he's riding again this year after leading me through the planning process.
This year is his first with Patch.com, and you can expect a full week of stories, photos and tweets from him.
As for the rest of the Iowa staff, we'll be riding semi-comfortably in a giant Patch RV wrapped in green with a big Patch logo. We'll be parking in the meeting towns during the day. Stop by for a free t-shirt, water bottle or other Patch gear, upload pictures to Patch and charge your electronics.
At night, we will be connecting with different bike clubs, including the Bicyclists of Iowa City, Marion Road Hogs and the Cedar Valley Cyclists.
We'll also be working to show your photos to the world. If you're taking pictures from your phone, email them to email@example.com, and we'll get them on our sites. And if you're using a real camera, stop by the Patch RV, and we'll have computers for you to use to upload your pics.
But tell me, really, what have I signed up for?
Patch will be at the RAGBRAI Expo in Sioux Center today, Saturday, and then in meeting towns and at overnight stops along the route.
The route is Sioux Center to Cherokee to Lake View to Webster City to Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids to Anamosa and, finally, to Clinton. In addition to our stops, we'll have a booth set up in Cedar Rapids, too. (You can check out a map of the route here.)