Journal Comments - The Rolling Mardi Gras - CycleBlaze

Journal Comments

From The Rolling Mardi Gras by Mark Bingham

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Timothy Dale commented on Day Six: Ottumwa to Mount Pleasant

We were camped at the park that night. Top of a big hill. We were told to seek shelter but there was no place to go. My team, all Iowan locals, said if it gets real windy just hold onto the tent and if it hails get under the sleeping pad. I don’t think it was as bad as they predicted as I survived.

1 month ago
Timothy Dale commented on Day Five: Chariton to Ottumwa

The guy in the TWO WHEEL hand cycle is Erik Kondo. I first met him while doing a charity ride for wounded vets called Face of America. He was paralyzed as a teen when his motorcycle kick stand caused a fall. But nothing stops him from living a full life. He taught martial arts for many years. Now I believe he is retired and actively pursuing various DIY rigs for wheelchair users. He recently has been doing RAGBRAI on a wheelchair which he rides onto an electric skateboard. Interesting guy. Check out his post on FACEBOOK. He is also featured in the movie about RAGBRAI A Thousand Spokes, I think it’s called.

1 month ago
Mark Bingham replied to a comment by Gregory Garceau on Day Two: Red Oak to Greenfield

"Maybe you passed me at one point." I actually snorted with laughter when I read that. I don't believe I passed anyone, including The Birdman (see Day One) and Carolyn (see Day Three).

I really enjoyed RAGBRAI as well, but since I prefer touring I'll continue burning those vacation minutes elsewhere. However, when I retire I'll probably do it on a regular basis.

I'm looking forward to reading about your RAGBRAI adventures!"

9 months ago
Gregory Garceau commented on Day Two: Red Oak to Greenfield

Hi Mark. I rode six RAGBRAIs and 2009 was one of them. Maybe you passed me at one point. Were you the guy who said, "On your left?" Ha.

Personally, I liked RAGBRAI--certainly not because I'm a big people-person or anything, but more because of the food and the spectacle. (There was a little partying too, I guess.) Plus, one year I met a group of self-supported bike tourists who had ridden up from Texas and made RAGBRAI part of their tour. I thought to myself, "hey, that sounds like something I could really get into." It definitely planted the seed for my own bike touring aspirations.

I kept journals of all my RAGBRAIs, so now I'm going to have to dig up the 2009 edition and compare notes. I remember many of the towns and events you are describing.

9 months ago
Mark Bingham replied to a comment by Jeff Lee on Day Two: Red Oak to Greenfield

It's definitely not for everyone, but some people love it. There are riders who have completed the entire route more than 20 times. (!) Like I said... some people like ice cream, but there are those who like frozen yogurt.

It makes me wonder about cyclotourists in general, about whether we're more introverted or extroverted as a group. I suspect you can't make any generalizations, but out of curiosity maybe I'll post a forum question sometime.

9 months ago
Jeff Lee commented on Day Two: Red Oak to Greenfield

Mark, as you know, my wife is an Iowan.

She did RAGBRAI twice when she was a teenager, and has told me that it's something that I should never, ever do.

So far, your journal has reinforced my feeling that it would be an absolute nightmare for someone with my sensibilities.

All those cyclists of (extremely) varied experience levels; all that drinking; all those long lines for the restrooms; etc.

Thanks for documenting this. I look forward to reading more, and getting a vicarious thrill from something I'll never do myself!


9 months ago