A midweek report from RAGBRAI

July 23, 2014

by Nikki Javurek, PeopleForBikes government relations manager

Riders enjoying Day 1 of RAGBRAI.

First, let me just say that I?m still alive. I know you were all worried, but I?m here, breathing, still moving my legs, and feeling surprisingly great. And yes, I?m just as shocked as you are.

As you read in my last blog, I was very apprehensive about doing this ride. When Day 1 came, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It ended up being a really challenging day for me because I thought we were only riding 40 miles, when in reality we were riding about 80 miles, which is about 63 miles more than I?d ever ridden before. But I rode, I finished and I wasn’t as slow/awful/tired/traumatized as I thought I was going to be, so I?d give that day two thumbs up!

RAGBRAI riders rolling into one of the many towns we stopped at on Day 1.

Day 2 was even more challenging even though it was only about 50 miles. We had a lot of headwind and a lot of hills, not to mention the struggle I encountered getting back on the bike after each stop.

Day 3 came and I was pretty nervous because the first two days were both challenging. I realized that I needed to be much more consistent in my riding, instead of pedaling like a banshee and feeling completely drained by the end of the day. A couple of my team members and I decided that we were going to ride at a steady pace and stay together to be there for each other. I realized throughout the day that keeping each other company, cheering each other on and telling good stories made 80 miles seem completely realistic. We finished the ride together, actually smiling and not feeling like death!

I couldn’t have made it through Day 3 without these awesome people!

After today, I?m definitely hooked. I?m seriously thinking about doing this whole ?road riding? thing consistently. The most important thing will be finding good people to ride with, that will push me to be better, but that will make me forget that my legs feel like falling off when we’re pushing up a big hill.

Here are some more pictures from the last three days:

Stopped to take a picture of the view from my saddle.

Lunch of champions!

Riders heading into town on Day 2.

Sheena of the East Coast Crew and I stopped to pet this adorable Great Dane.

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