Inhuman Swill : July 2012

The RAGBRAI crew tanks up in Chicago before hitting the road
I'm not sure when or why we first started thinking it was a good idea. Probably nearly a year ago, when we were visiting our friend Colin and the ride seemed fun and impossibly far off in time.

I'm talking about RAGBRAI—the [Des Moines] Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Yes, across Iowa. Four hundred seventy-one miles across Iowa, to be exact. In seven days.

Laura and I have been training for this since April, though not quite as successfully as I had hoped. The RAGBRAI training schedule suggests logging 1,500 miles in the run-up to the ride. My personal goal was 1,000 miles. I've made 756.

I've vacilated between euphoria, terror, anxiety, and zen acceptance over the past four months of training. I felt great when Laura and I completed a 70-mile training ride at the end of May. I felt horrible when I bonked last week at mile 66 of a 75-mile training ride. (Laura did fine that day.)

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William Shunn

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