My RAGBRAI-tmare last night

I had a nightmare last night about riding RAGBRAI.  First, some details:

  • RAGBRAI is a nigh-500 mile ride straight across Iowa. River to river. In July. Late July. Hot, humid July. The elevation gain during the race is comparable to the Ride the Rockies. So… it ain’t flat.
  • My team, about 10 of us, is based around a native Iowan who recalls seeing the riders go by as a kid. She plans to frequent the lemonade and cookie stands that are all along the race route.
  • The ride’s a big party. Each town the route goes through has a party that day for the riders. Much beer flows. In fact, the biggest issue on the race is the drunk cyclists heading from the penultimate town—the big party town—to the final town where you sleep that night. It seems to be a giant roadhouse-crawl on bicycles. Not something to nightmare about.

Ok, with me so far? Here: since it’s no fun to have a blog entry without a pic, and also for future reference since this is the ONLY Wake Forest jersey for sale I’ve found online (sheesh!), here is the jersey I might get for the collegiate spirit day. I like the yellow, in particular. It’s “DON’T HIT ME!” color. Why oh why are cycling jerseys so expensive? Nevermind how insultingly small they are…

Alrighty. So the nightmare:

We’re all up in Iowa, and for some reason MBF and my mom are also there. That’s not nightmarish. That could actually be fun. So it’s the eve of the ride and we’re all about to bed down. MBF and I look at each other and ask where the tent is. Snap, neither of us packed the tent. Well, while we’re at it, neither of us remembered to find a lawn to set the tent up in, either. We’re completely unprepared, have nowhere to sleep, and have no alternatives this late in the game.

Somehow, we end up finding a back room in a church where we sleep. It’s got beds, but it also has toilets. Just four toilets, open air, sitting there without privacy or embarrassment. Why do my nightmares always have non-private toilets in them? This is clearly an issue I have, deep-seeded.

Anyway, we sleep, and in the morning our teammates drive up in the support vehicle and say we should have already left for the day. We look down at the river, where the other 200 RAGBRAIders are still camped. RAGBRAI has riders in the thousands, easily, so this is just silly anyway. But my teammates are annoyed that we’re delaying them, are wholly unprepared, and are in every way holding them back. They drive off flipping us the bird.

That’s pretty much it. It sounds pretty lame now that it’s out of my head, but for some reason I woke up really shaken. I guess I can start working on getting us a lawn and shower in the one place I know folks in Iowa. Hmm… Stupid brain.

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