RAGBRAI: ready to roll!

Des Moines University Trustee Brian Hart, owner of Hart Financial LLC in Des Moines, and his wife, Julie, are peddling 471.1 miles this week with approximately 10,000 other bicyclists from around the world during RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. This annual week-long bike ride, now in its 40th year, is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. While the route changes every year, the ride – which the Register dubs a “rolling celebration of Iowa” – always begins somewhere on the state’s western border on the Missouri River and ends on its eastern border on the Mississippi River. This year is Brian’s and Julie’s fifth RAGBRAI.

RAGBRAI: Saturday, July 21

We left the house around 7:15 this morning to go meet the bus. It is a fun gathering. All are happy to see each other. It is a group of 50+ riders sharing the bus ride over to the start. Many familiar faces. Many new, several first-time riders.

All are smiling. Their clothes are clean. Clean shaven, no bad smells. We get on the bus and after rolling a few miles someone pops a movie into the DVD. It is too loud and the bus is too cold.

In 24 hours we will forget all about TVs and air conditioning, clean clothes and all happy faces. The ride is coming. Fifty-four miles on Sunday, an easy day.

The forecast of several days of 100 degree heat has us all a bit spooked. Ride early in the day and hydrate.

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