Ann, Willis, Kelly and David are training for Ragbrai 2012. It is something that has been tossed around for several years to do but this year we are checking it off our bucket list! Ann turns "50" on July 18, we leave for Ragbrai on July 19th in our RV. We have been training for about 4 months. First we all had to get bikes, this was an important purchase! Learn to ride them, work our brakes and gears, drink while driving, and most of all be clipped in! Yes we have had several tumbles learning to be clipped in but we have all mastered it somewhat. Then of course we had to get the "outfits" , bike shorts, bike tops with the pockets in the back, and lets not forget the shoes to match. Someone on the team has had to accesorize her bike with lots of fun things too.
Training has been very fun with our wonderful greenways here in Raleigh. We have seen parts of Raleigh that we have never seen, just beautiful. So after work a couple of days a week we started riding 10 miles and on the weekends about 20-30. Then we worked up to 15-20 miles after work and 30-50 on the weekends.
We did the Bike of Hope , which was fabulous, chilly, early in our training. Okay I will admit we did 33 that day and I thought I was going to die!! Needless to say we made that route one of our training routes because it had lots of hills and it was well marked!
Then we did the MS ride, beautiful day, great route too. All of these rides have made us stronger.
We are now on the home stretch, with the heat being so intense we are trying to ride early SO that means getting up at 5:00/6:00 am and getting our mileage in for the day. Making sure we have enough fluid in our bodies so we don't get dehydrated.
Only 12 days left before we leave, can't wait to get started.
July 29th 2012
Anamosa was our last stopping place before our final ride into Clinton, Iowa and we decided to treat ourselves to a "sitdown" dinner and with gratitude to the Lutheran Church of Anamosa that is exactly what we did. Pulled pork, macaroni salad, beans and homemade pie all homemade by the ladies of the church-delicious! As it was the final night the boys wanted one last night in the beergarden and the girls just wanted a good nights sleep-one could say there was a bit of tension between the sexes. All desires were fulfilled-boys got their beer and the girls hitchhiked home with a family just out sight seeing all the campsites. Remember this is Iowa and there just isn't a whole lot to do at night for entertainment. 6 am came early and the girls were ... read more
July 27th 2012
Today we had a leisurely morning , because we had a late night with counting crows concert celebrating the 40 anniversary of ragbrai . Tork (our host) laid out a wonderful breakfast for us to get our day going at 8 am, where we had a nice 10 mile ride on the cedar river trail to get down to the start of ragbrai with breakfast on the bridge. We started with some Czech pastries, delish! Then straight up hill , got our thighs warmed up real quick! It didn't stop there, with the wind and the hills it was a very big day for our quads! We stopped in mt Vernon and saw the beautiful Cornell university and of course sampled some French toast from sweet delights . So many riders today we think a lot ... read more
July 27th 2012
Heat can do funny things to a memory-doesn't help to be "over the hill" either...anywho...being low on carbohydrates after a long hot ride we decided the only way to replenish our carbo stores was to find a place that served good and cold beer. Luckily we found just the place on main street complete with shot chugging bar maids, guitar player singing Buffet, bra hanging donations, dancing fools that had been on the bike too long and cold draft beer. Ann (surprise), Kelly (totally out of character) and Robin all took turns on stage with Mr. Buffet wannabe-Tamborine Tammy, Leila and others joined in (Tamborine Tammy also donated her brassiere)-Another highlight for the Greenlee/Smiths -you betcha... read more
July 27th 2012
Relief! Thunderstorms rocked the RV and brought welcome "cooler" air-with the official high temp at 91 we felt like we were in Alaska. The boys did a full day from Webster city to Marshalltown-Kelly and Ann did half. The highlight of the day was a stop in Story city where we met up with David's cousins, Cindy and Blair. Story City also wins the current award for 1) Most Shade 2) Best food 3) Best bicycle repairman "Larry" and 4) Best stopping point for Ann and Kelly-with temps at 105+ we rode the rest of the way to Marshalltown. In Marshalltown we all had our virgin fire hydrant shower( PVC pipe hooked up to the fire hydrant at the street)-never had a colder or more welcome shower. Due to logistical necessity Ann and Kelly were the ... read more
July 24th 2012
We left Cherokee-uphill-and we're treated to a magnificent Iowan sunrise. The morning ride took us through the power windmill farms-huge, incredible structures that are interspersed throughout the cornfields for as far as your eye can see. Aurelia, Iowa welcomed us dressed in Dutch garb and the entire town of Hanover ( population 5-seriously) came out with signs, cool water and tours of their historic buildings (all 6 of them). Lunch was true Iowa gourmet-Mr. Pork Chop, a 3/4 lb. grilled pork chop served with paper towels topped off with Kelly 's Pie (not Kelly G.) blueberry, peach berry, and peach/raspberry served in the pie plate. So...the morning was...well delightful and then the HEAT hit. The last 10 miles were BRUTAL-105 degrees and endless sun. We finished and hit the wall-Kely and Ann both were hit with ... read more
July 23rd 2012
We left the great city of Kansas City(and the 300 count sheets of the Intercontinental hotel) got back in the RV and-with the expert driving of Big Willy (and for 15 minutes Ann) drove to Sioux City, Iowa. Of course we had to stop along the way at a Walmart, Best Buy, Hy-Vee's and a Lowes. Heaven forbid we make a list and just make one stop but I digress. Arrival in Sioux City was an experience of total sensory overload-bikers, campers, RV's, people, people, people...we had a personal ATV escort to our RV site and along with the thousands other riders set up camp for the night. Dinner was a fried pork tenderloin sandwich and homemade ice cream for dessert. Ann also sampled some local brat after asking a nice young man for a bite( ... read more
July 20th 2012
Day one of the GS greenlee/smith) adventure began with the pick up and packing of our RV from cruise America-think of the movie "family vacation" and you'll get the picture. Big Willy took the helm at 6pm and we departed Raleigh with the other 20 thousand cars on 40-rain,thunder and lightning followed us most of the way to Knoxville where the skies really decided to open up. Fearful of tornadic activity we checked the ever trusty weather channel before parking at Walmart, yes a 24 hr-super center Walmart, for the evening. In case your wondering-people do shop at Walmart at 1am-one man was in ther with his 3 yr. old contemplating a trike purchase. We had a lovely spot beside a tree though we could hardly enjoy the view due to the torrent of rain. Unfortunately ... read more
July 11th 2012
Another day of training for everyone in the heat. We are getting up really early and riding. Got a few things for the trip yesterday, fluid powder to put in our water bottles to help with electrolites and some yummy jelly beans to snack on while riding. The crew at the Trek store on Durant were sooo helpful! They looked over our bikes to make sure we are good to go, of course I had to have the brake pads replaced already :) I'm a cautious driver! And so excited about my new phone holder that attaches to my bike so I can play music, answer the phone, skype all kinds of fun things to do while riding!! Hope to down load pictures this weekend of everyone!... read more... read more
July 5th 2012
Welcome to the Greenlee and Smith first Ragbrai blog!... read more