The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa easily ranks as the state’s greatest attraction and the best week of the entire year. Every year.
I like everything about RAGBRAI, which I’ve ridden five times. Well, I wasn’t too crazy about the multiple 100-plus-degree days this year combined with some nasty headwind. But now that those things are in the past, I even like them. Knowing I got through them is like having a badge that enables me to bitch about how bad it was at the time.
And what’s not to like about RAGBRAI? It’s made of equal parts of biking, drinking, eating pie and hanging out with thousands of the greatest people you’ll ever meet anywhere. I’ve never experienced anything else quite like it. A good friend and frequent riding companion refers to it as summer camp for grownups. I’ll never understand why everyone doesn’t want to join in the fun.
But based on what I’ve been reading today in the parts of the blogosphere occupied by bicyclists, plenty of people have a new gripe about RAGBRAI: The logo designed for the 41st annual ride in 2013. Register officials unveiled the logo Saturday.
It prominently features a caricature of a pig, which, apparently, makes Iowans look like a bunch of hicks, according to the critics.
I am not making this up. Go read some of it for yourself if you have time to waste. You can find even more comments about the logo on the RAGBRAI Facebook page,.
All of this leaves me asking one question: Who cares?
I’ll be riding on RAGBRAI for years to come regardless of what kind of logo is designed every year for the ride. I couldn’t care less about the logo. And I’m pretty sure I have plenty of company.
My first thought was to say: If you are someone who gets so worked up about something like a logo, you should just stay home next summer — that RAGBRAI would be better off without you.
But upon further reflection, I’ve realized the error of this thinking. Anyone who would get so worked up about something as silly as a pig logo is someone who really needs to spend a week on a bike out in the sunshine having fun. It might help the logo critics to figure out what’s really important in life.
Here’s a hint: It isn’t a caricature drawing of a pig on the RAGBRAI XXLI logo.