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Updates from RAGBRAI: Biking Across Iowa

July 21st: Tension Around the Bump-Outs

We made it to Sioux Center aboard the RV, a Class A Thor motor home, and named it the USS Savannah. Pops will captain the ship and carry our supplies. Morale is high, although there have been a few rousing discussions about how exactly to maneuver the RV and extensions thereof (see title of this post).

The RV: The USS Savannah

The forecast for this week is HOT. Highs of 97, 99, 100 degrees can intimidate even the most well-trained rider, and frankly none of us is that rider to begin with. But the show must go on. We start early tomorrow, and until then we’re camped out in our home on wheels, enjoying some a/c and the now fully extended bump-outs.

Flags lined up near the RAGBRAI campground in Sioux Center

Daily food tally
Pork chops: 4
Ears of corn: 2
Pieces of pie: 4

Today’s fact: The name “Winnebago” was influenced by a Native American tribe of the same name. Some of the model names were also inspired by the tribe. 

Obviously we are new at this RV thing. If you have any tips for us, let us know with a comment on these posts!

July 22nd: It’s Gonna Be a Hot One

Day 1: Sioux Center to Cherokee
54.4 miles; 1,675 feet of climb

So far the weather forecasters are correct. Our team got an early start this morning, sporting matching shirts for the first time in family history. We’re especially excited about the sleeves, which display the state of Iowa and the towns where Hawkeye (Mom) and her parents were from.


Our team: P Diddy, Scoots, Beanie, T Dog, Hawkeye, Bingo, Pops

Sleeve: From west to east, the hometowns of Grandpa (Lawton), Grandma (Wesley), and Mom (Waterloo)


Orange City rolled out the red carpet for the RAGBRAI riders, showcasing its Dutch heritage with costumes, wooden shoe making, music, and even a smaller version of its annual tulip festival, which is held in May.

By the tulips in Orange City. You can just barely see the windmill in the background.

In Alton, we ate sausage croissants for breakfast before riding along to Marcus to meet the RV. By the end of the afternoon, the heat was starting to wear us down. We finally made it to Cherokee, and rode in on Main Street past a number of stately old homes. A friendly gentleman gave us a ride to the church supper. We ate voraciously and turned in early. Thinking about drinking more water tomorrow.

Daily food tally
Pork chops: 0
Ears of corn: 1
Pieces of pie: 3

Today’s fact: The term “Hawkeye” originally appeared in the book The Last of the Mohicans and is now used to describe the people of Iowa

Stay tuned for more!