WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I bought a hybrid thinking I would never be able to handle a road bike because of my back.... and before I knew it I was riding and riding a lot. And I signed up for RAGBRAI XXXV. Eric asked me how I was going to do that and I said, "I don't know but I am." July 2007 came and he drove me up, followed me the first day, and left me in Spencer to fend for myself. I had everything in an army duffle and carried a small flip cell phone for emergency only.
I cannot explain the feeling I felt as I rode in on the last day with Eric and my three youngest sons waiting for me. Honestly, Eric knew what I had accomplished but I don't think the boys really understood I had just rode my bike 489.1 miles across the state of Iowa in seven days! I will never forget that number. Crossing that line changed my life forever. And from that moment on I learned I could be and should be FEARLESS!
I never dreamed any of my family would ever join me in my biking adventures. But Ayden was inspired and bought his first bike, with his own money, when he was nine. He rode his first day of RAGBRAI in 2008 and his first full RAGBRAI in 2009 with Eric as our SAG crew of one. Ayden was twelve and he inspired me.
We found out Eric and Brady were heading to Afghanistan in 2010 and thought our RAGBRAI dreams were on hold. But Brady did our SAG and we once again had an amazing trip across the state. It was a fun year even though Eric was in Afghanistan and Brady was soon heading there.
I fixed up my hybrid for Eric while he was deployed and bought my first and current road bike (felt the need to go faster!) hoping to inspire him to start riding with me. Eric and Brady returned and decided they did want to give it a try and both purchased road bikes. Laramy also purchased his bike.
In 2012, Brady, Eric, Ayden, Laramy, and myself rode RAGBRAI together and Brenden was our SAG. It was a great year and I have never been more proud of my guys completing their journey across the state.
We don't ride the whole ride every year. We started recruiting friends. Andy Couture rode one day with us in 2013. In 2014, Ramona Dillinger was our SAG and had purchased her bike. She rode her first day with us. In 2016, Ramona, Eric, and I rode RAGBRAI as a team of three with our bikes and army duffles...and the RAGBRAI semi. I am very proud of that accomplishment personally...we did it with no support and rode every mile and every hill in southern Iowa. It was a tough year and one I will never forget!
This year we are busy with the landscaping business and just couldn't justify riding the whole week. But we are so thankful to have more friends riding with us.... Mandy Couture and Vickie Williams are attempting their first trip across the state. Ramona completed her 100 mile day with RAGBRAI vet, Ben Moetsch, and received her Karrass Loop patch. I am so proud and thankful for these people.
So what's the point of this?..... Well, it certainly has helped us mentally to build our business. Never say you can't...never say never.... always be FEARLESS!! When you see yourself accomplish something you were afraid of....anxiety and fearlessness pass away. As far as the miles and hills of RAGBRAI.... well, they are such a metaphor for life.... we always have miles to go and hills to climb in every day life....JUST KEEP RIDING THEM!