Well, guys, we did it!
The 2023 RagBrai in Iowa was a thrilling adventure that challenged me in ways I never imagined. It was a dream come true to tick this off my bucket list, but what made it even more special was the opportunity to ride for CrossPurpose and raise funds for their career development programs. With the help of my generous supporters, we raised over $4,106, making a real difference in the lives of Denver, Coloradans striving to break free from poverty.
The road to victory was a bumpy one.
The 7-day bike ride covered a total of 500 miles, with an elevation gain of over 16,549 feet. It was no easy feat, but I was grateful to be on an eBike, which made the journey a bit more manageable. However, as I soon found out, the ride was not without its challenges.
The record number of bikers on the roads made the ride crowded and a little unsafe, witnessing many accidents along the way. Early in the ride, lines for food, water, and porta-potties were long, but as the days went by, the crowds thinned, making the last few days more enjoyable.
On Friday, while camping in Coralville, we encountered extreme weather conditions with 100-mile-an-hour winds and tornado warnings. It was a frightening experience, but we quickly sought shelter in a cement underground parking garage of a medical center. Despite the chaos, the organizers and Iowa residents were well-prepared, ensuring everyone’s safety. The storm may have been challenging, but it also brought our group closer, supporting each other through the unexpected ordeal.
Turns out, the road to victory was also a beautiful one!
Throughout the journey, the beauty of Iowa’s rolling hills, endless rows of corn and soybeans, and the warm hospitality of its people captivated my heart. Farmers sitting in lawn chairs along the roads waved and cheered us on every 15 minutes, creating an incredible sense of community and camaraderie.
The towns we passed through were true gems, offering us refreshments, fun water activities to cool off, and endless support from locals. Every stop was a celebration, with food trucks, music bands, and cheering crowds, turning the bike ride into a memorable party.
The long-standing vendors along the route added to the excitement. I couldn’t resist indulging in some mouthwatering pork chops from the pink Mr. Pork Chop bus and savoring slushy lemonades to beat the summer heat. The Amish community’s homemade pies and ice cream were simply delightful, adding to the joy of the ride.
For me, this RagBrai will always be a memorable one.
And it’s not just because my body is *still* screaming at me from all that cycling. But the journey was a thrilling one, and I’ll never forget all the love and support I received. Because at the end of the day, that’s what kept me going!
As we bid farewell to Iowa, we carry with us the memories of an unforgettable journey filled with determination, camaraderie, and the joy of making a positive impact on our community through CrossPurpose. Collectively, we raised $26,080 for CrossPurpose. And thanks to you guys, I was the #1 fundraiser for CrossPurpose, raising a whopping $4,106! To all the kind-hearted supporters, donators, and fellow riders, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this experience possible. Together, we have created lasting change and empowered countless lives.
Until the next thrilling adventure, biker off – goodbye Iowa!