This past week there was a moving adventure across Iowa. This was the same state that took many days for the early pioneers to cross. This time instead of wagon wheels rolling across the state, it was over 15,000 bike riders riding in the biggest bicycle ride in the world. Ragbrai is a bike event that was started 40 years ago by the Des Moines Register.
I took up biking when I was over 300 pounds. I knew that I would have to find an activity that I would love and do the rest of my life if I was to keep off the weight. Not long after I started to ride my bike I heard about this ride across Iowa and said that is what I want to do.
It is truly and moving adventure that is entertaining, fun and beautiful. It is usually 480 miles to go from the west side of Iowa to the east. Riders start by dipping their back tires in the Missouri River, which goes along the west border of Iowa and riding until you come to the Mississippi River where you dip your front tire in. When my friend, Andrea Buser told me about it she said that it was a cross between the Tour de France, Mardi Gras, and a county fair. As soon as I could, I signed on. This last week was my 4th time to ride.
Activities like this are great as it gives you a group to travel together. The group that I go with is called “Team White Bus.” It is a group of about 40 riders. Over half are people that have been riding year after year. We have now become a family of riders. Each morning people start getting up at 5 a.m. There is a grandfather, Jim Wilson in our group that started to bring his grandson 6 years ago. At that time he road a tandem bike with Caleb on the back. Now that Caleb is 16, he is still riding with his grandfather but he has graduated to his own bike. Another group is a family of four sisters. Every night I hear them say, “Which outfit are we going to wear tomorrow?” With this group are some husbands. This is their annual get-together and boy do they have a ball! John Rapp, the captain of our group, started to do this with his son when he was 10 years old. He and his wife have ridden with their three children. He ended up buying a bus and van to carry all of our tents and have made a business of it forhis son, Kelly, who is now going to be the student body president of Baylor University. It was here that Kelly got great training to be a leader. We also had several mother/daughter combinations that come each year for a special time together.
There are groups like this that turn exercise into fun and adventure. One of the big benefits of an event like this is not just the ride, but what you do to get ready. I rode over 600 miles the last 3 months to prepare. Look for groups to join to add fun and adventure to you exercise program. You will love it!
Dian’s Library Special: It has been 36 years since Dian started her media career with an appearance on the NBC Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Right now she has a special on her five books (sold over a million copies) and one DVD for the blockbuster price of $40.00 (regular price is $95.00). Go to www.dianthomas.com
Dian’s new book: titled Tipping the Scales in Your Favor is now available. View Dian’s weight loss journey on a video by BYU and get an autographed copy of her new book www.dianthomas.com