Sitting on the bike trainer over the last few weeks has given me a lot of time to look back on what Midge and I have accomplished over the last few years. We’ve done hundreds of short rides, dozens of long day rides, a few mini-tours, 1 major tour, and 3 randonneur rides, not to mention 2 RAGBRAI’s. “Why not make a list of my top 10 rides?”, I said to myself as sweat was dripping on the carpet, “God knows I’m not going outside today”. So, without further ado, I give you daveonabike’s Top 10 Days on a bike:
Honorable Mention Harold is Going to a RAGBRAI Party
July 27, 2010: ~100 miles from Cedar Rapids to Charles City, Ia
What Made it Great? Harold made it great. He was up for the challenge. Up for the long ride to get from home to the traveling party that is RAGBRAI. It was very humid. I sweat so much before breakfast that my blue headband’s blue dye bled out and stained my forehead and the back of my neck. But, like many bike rides, the unexpected happened. A few miles outside of Charles City we we’re flagged down by people setting up a stand alongside the road. They were from the local bar called Pete and Shorty’s. We yucked it up for a couple hours and had a few beers. That stop set the tone for the next few days on RAGBRAI.
10. My First 200k
April 16, 2010: 128 miles from Waterloo to Volga, Ia and back
What Made it Great? The challenge made it great! This was my first attempt at riding such a long distance in what I consider a short amount of time. It was hard. I rode with a strong head wind most of the trip. I learned to dig deep to get through it. I used most of the time allotted to me, but I made it. No pictures. I still haven’t been able to take pictures while on a randonneur ride. Stopping to take pictures would use up too much time.
9. Hannen Lake
June 12, 2011: 63 miles from Cedar Rapids to Hannen Lake, Ia and back.
What Made it Great? The weather was perfect and the destination was ideal. Matt and I were training for RAGBRAI and thought this trip had the right distance with the right number of hills. First time visiting Hannen Lake since my childhood. It was a bit more run-down than what I remembered, but it still brought me back to my childhood and camping out at Hannen Lake. It was a nice, peaceful day on a bike.
May 7, 2010: 93 miles (185 miles planned) from Waterloo to McGregor, Ia
What Made it Great? It was great because I found my physical limits. It was great because I pushed my limits enough that I couldn’t finish. It was great because I tried. It was another randonneur trip without pictures, but an important ride none the less. I only made it half way through the ride. It was cold, wet and miserable. The wind was outrageous. The hills were huge. To this day, I still haven’t finish a 300km ride. This year for sure.
7. Lake Michigan Tour: Day 1 (June 6, 2009)
June 6, 2009: 104 miles from Cedar Rapids, Ia to Cassville, Wi
What Made it Great? It was one of the first times I rode in the rain all day long. But even in the cold rain, I got an unexpected boost from the small crowd watching me on the web. The words of encouragement on this blog, the text messages and the Tweets were all noticed and they helped me push through to get to the Cassville Ferry on time. The day was cold, wet and tiring. I discovered the power behind the “where is Dave” feature. I didn’t feel alone. I felt like everyone was watching and cheering me along. All that said, I learned a lesson too: going long distances loaded down with 100 lbs of gear looks easy on paper, but it’s very hard to pull off.
Any guesses what rides made it to the top 6? We’ll go through a few more next week, but until then I have to get back on my trainer.