Professor and former WQAD-TV reporter Alan Sivell is biking RAGBRAI and blogging for LMQC about it this year. Follow his adventure right here … and tell him what you think, too!
As RAGBRAI approaches, I’m beginning to wish I had spent a bit more time considering whether to go.
I’m a bit nervous. Not about the distance itself. I’ve been riding my bike A LOT this summer and I believe I am physically ready. But not so sure I am mentally ready.
That’s because I take great pleasure riding my bike by myself. My friends say I’m not a “social rider.”
I like getting up early and riding the streets and bike paths of the Quad-Cities alone with my thoughts, taking turns and changing directions and routes on last-second, sight-seeing whims.
But beginning next Sunday, I’ll be riding with thousands of other riders and having to watch out for their every whim.
I’ll have to be measured in my decision-making and that isn’t always my strong suit.
Also, I am worried about what to pack. Oh, there are all sorts of lists on the web about what to bring and not to bring, but everyone is different and there is not a better teacher than experience.
At least I’m not worried about my knees. 🙂
If you’re going too, do you have any last-minute doubts? Or are you chomping at the bit? Comment below or email me. I’m curious!
July 15, 2015 at 9:11 am
I’m in agreement, Alan! As runner, cyclist, cross-country skier and swimmer, I like going solo. I don’t like having to speed up or slow down to match the pace of my companions, and I like to quit or continue based on how I feel. However, I did have some great conversations during my regular 20 to 30km Sunday runs with pals in Central Park. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the camaraderie, but you will have to watch out for wobbly cyclists. I’ve even been taken down rollerskiing by the errant pole-plant of a companion. You have a tough choice: the best way to avoid bad riders is to be in the lead pack, but they’ll be pushing the pace. If you follow behind the greater mass, you’ll have more space, but more riders who don’t track straight. I’ll be interested to read your reports. I’ve run races with 5,000 or more runners (I was always in front!), but I’ve never biked with more than 3 or 4 cyclists. It’s gonna be fun!! And it is great that you are doing this and reporting on it, to encourage others to get out and ride. Congrats for your courage in publicly doing this.
July 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm
Thanks for the encouragement, Lawrence. My sentiments exactly. When the Bix 7 (miles) got started here many years ago, we had 1-2,000 runners.I would just line up near the back and work my way forward as my body dictated and as everyone spread out over the course of 7 miles. Then Bill Rogers started coming and Joan Benoit and Frank Shorter and many other top runners and pretty soon the crowd was nearing 18 -20,000! It’s a fabulous event and a “happening” for our area. But the event itself is a much different animal than those solo training sessions. I’m one of those crazies who likes the train
ing more than the event itself.