Diane Campbell: A RAGBRAI story


A conversation the other day with a colleague at work went something like this:

Colleague: So how far do you bike every day on RAGBRAI?

Me: It depends. On the average, I suppose, 60 to 70 miles.

Colleague: I could never do that. My legs would turn into rubber.

Me: You need to meet Diane Campbell.

Diane CampbellIn 2014, Diane was among the 22 cyclists who rode with Team MCSA on RAGBRAI XLII to raise awareness for the homeless in Iowa while also raising money for MCSA, the nonprofit organization that runs separate shelters in Muscatine for the homeless and victims of domestic violence.

Diane, who is principal at McKinley Elementary School in Muscatine, was the first member of last year’s team to sign up for RAGBRAI XLIII, which will be held July 19-25 and will go 462 miles from Sioux City to Davenport with overnight stops in Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, Cedar Falls, Hiawatha and Coralville.

Diane will be ready after what she experienced on Sunday, July 20, 2014. It was the first day of RAGBRAI XLII. Diane was 10 miles shy of finishing for the day and reaching Lake Okoboji when she crashed her bike.

I pulled up just as the paramedics were leaving. Diane had a growing black eye, a few scrapes, a banged up bike and pair of broken prescription sunglasses. She’s done, I told myself. She’ll never get back on her bike.

Boy, was I wrong.

Diane not only finished the last 10 miles on the ride’s first day, she rode every mile of every day during the rest of the week-long ride. And she got stronger and faster as the week progressed.

She did all of this even though she had no road-biking experience prior to joining Team MCSA. She even had to buy a new bike in order to begin training last year for RAGBRAI. I hope her experience will inspire anyone else who has never ridden on RAGBRAI but might like to try it this year. And I can’t wait to ride with Diane again this year — if I can keep up with her.

But I don’t want to ride with just Diane and Dani Reagle, the other member of Team MCSA in 2014 who has registered for this year’s RAGBRAI. We have room for new teammates in 2015. Please go here and register to ride with Team MCSA, which is team No. 43660, if you:

  • Have always had RAGBRAI on your Bucket List
  • Want to have the most fun week of your life
  • Want to help raise awareness about homelessness while also helping raise money for MCSA.

If you go online to register, you will need to pay your $160 registration fee by making out a check to MCSA and sending it to my attention at MCSA, 312 Iowa Ave. Muscatine IA 52761. I will submit one big check for the team once everyone is signed up.

You DO NOT need to send your registration fee right away, but I’d like to get everyone registered online as soon as possible.

We’re going to have a great summer and I’m looking forward to having you join us. Please contact me if this sounds like something you would like to do.