He was with us in spirit as Janet and Jacob and I rode out a ways and back on Burlington Road, which is a popular biking route in Muscatine County. I didn’t stop to take photos, but it was a beautiful evening — maybe the best we’ve had so far this summer. And that’s a good thing since RAGBRAI XLIII is in 19 days and we’re busy trying to get ready.
Anyway, the cornfields along Burlington Road made me think of Oklahoma!, so I warbled through some of Oh What a Beautiful Morning as I brought up the rear behind Janet and Jacob. It wasn’t morning and Jacob likely thought it was weird, but I sang anyway.
Trying to escape the singing may have pushed him to hit the jets when we passed two other cyclists in the middle of our ride. Or maybe he was just trying to keep up with his mom.
In gym shorts, a T-shirt and sneakers and riding a hybrid bike, he easily topped 20 mph and held it for a fair distance. The ability to just hop on a bike in clothes he could have worn to bed and ride far and fast with little effort is a benefit of being a teenager, I guess. He has maybe ridden 200 miles this summer and it’s easy to see him getting stronger and better.
This will be my eighth RAGBRAI and I’m sure I’ll struggle more than Jacob will. He and I are going on RAGBRAI with his mom and Macy, his older sister. We’ll join 21 other riders and a four-person support crew that will represent Muscatine Center for Social Action, which operates the homeless and domestic violence shelters in our community. It’s where I am the deputy director and the team’s goals are to raise awareness about homelessness in Iowa while also promoting MCSA.
Most of the details have been worked out and, I think, the team will be ready to leave for Sioux City on July 18. Here’s to hoping for seven days on RAGBRAI like the evening we enjoyed Monday on Burlington Road, where it looks like the corn is climbing clear up to the sky.