I had a great vacation riding 500 miles across the state of Iowa with about 15,000 other folks. This was the first time I have participated in RAGBRAI and it far exceeded my expectations. There will be a numerous posts that may serve to educate those who may want to ride RAGBRAI in the future or bore those who have done it 30 times.
I learned a lot about myself while on this ride. Mainly I discovered that I am a bike enthusiast, which I will define as someone who loves to ride and own lots of bikes. Although I can hold my own, I tend to ride at a slower pace while looking around and enjoying the scenery rather than seeing how fast I can make it to the next destination only to watch the tire inches away from mine in a pace line. I also have a tendency to abandon friends to get a free chocolate milk in the middle of nowhere Iowa when the Iowa Dairy Framers association is passing it out. These tendencies allow me to enjoy both the ride and my bicycle. This is how I ride all the time and probably why I have never raced. It is not my style.
I point this out because we had a person in our group show up later in the week. We had never met but he indicated that he had heard of my legendary speed and stamina; that I was a hard core biker. Whoa hold on....by no means am I to be described as a hardcore biker in the sense that I am fast or have the stamina of something that has lots of stamina. That tends to mislead the hardcore ride faster guys. They are eventually disappointed as I quickly and unexpectedly pull off the lead of the pace line while I drag them up the hill, cutting through a 20 MPH head wind, only to get a nice cold, free chocolate milk, leaving them hanging. They are further disappointed when it is time to roll and I say "I just want to get one more pork chop on a stick and take a 15 minute nap."
I would like to know who spread the rumor that I was "hardcore?" Hardcore pork chop eater maybe.