The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

RAGBRAI

July 21, 2012

RAGBRAI: Former sports editor reports from ride

CLINTON — While preparing for the 2012 version of RAGBRAI, I often think of a statement attributed to former New York Yankee baseball great Yogi Berra: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”       

OK, I’m not even a Yankees’ fan … however, Yogi’s quote is not only mildly humorous but also hits the nail on the head.

Why? The 2012 route includes four of the same “overnight” towns as my very first RAGBRAI, wayyyyyyyy back in 2004.

Find all things RAGBRAI as we cover the event.

On my virgin trip of RAGBRAI in 2004, among the overnights were Lake View, Marshalltown, Hiawatha and Clinton … and that’s the case this year (if you consider Hiawatha being the same as Cedar Rapids, the latter being an overnighter this year).

Before I go further, let me introduce myself to those not familiar with me. I served as sports editor at the Clinton Herald from 1995 through 2007 before moving to the central part of the state where I now serve as sports information director at Grinnell College. I had wanted to do RAGBRAI since my high school days, but work always seemed to get in the way. That all changed in 2004 when it was announced Clinton would be the end city for the ride.

I figured, with the local interest generated by Clinton being on the route, “What a perfect year to do my first RAGBRAI.”

I approached Herald Editor Charlene Bielema about writing daily columns for the paper during the ride. That worked out quite well, and I’ve been riding – and writing – since.

We actually begin the 2012 weeklong ride Sunday morning in Sioux Center, which will be a big thrill for me since I went to college a mere 11 miles away in Orange City. In fact, we go through Orange City on our way to Cherokee.

I can’t wait to look around the town and Northwestern College. It’s been a long time!

After Cherokee it’s on to Lake View, Webster City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Anamosa and then to Clinton.

Concluding in Clinton will also be exciting as it will be a chance to reconnect with a city where I spent so many wonderful years.

The overall distance of this year’s ride is 471 miles. That seems to be about the average length, and I’ve heard the overall “climb” isn’t too bad so hopefully that means a smooth ride for all involved. Training has been interesting this year, just for the simple fact that every ride up until at least mid-June included a brutal wind from one direction or another. But that was a blessing in disguise, as it prepared me for such a thing if it presents itself on RAGBRAI. And, as you all know, we’ve endured some very, very hot temperatures in the upper Midwest during the past month-plus.

Again, that only serves as great preparation if there are some warm days on RAGBRAI.

Just as in the past few years, Camanche native Rod Schultz will take over writing duties for a day later in the week.

Rod also works at Grinnell College and we’ve ridden many, many miles together over the past few years. I love his columns because it’s great to see a different perspective of the ride.

On a side note, I need to mention an interesting fact I learned about RAGBRAI in last Sunday’s Des Moines Register. I’ve seen older riders on the trip, but still figured the average age of those doing RAGBRAI was 30-35ish.  On last year’s ride, it was 45.5 years old. I think that speaks volumes!!

Well, that’s about it for now. I need to get going so I can pack for the trip to Sioux Center! I’ll check in later.

Ted Schultz, of Grinnell, served as the Clinton Herald’s sports editor from 1995 to 2007. Catch his column next week in the Herald and at clintonherald.com.

1
Text Only
RAGBRAI
  • Riders’ economic impact strong

    Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa riders pumped an estimated $1.3 million into the Clinton area last weekend, according to the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

    August 3, 2012

  • Ted and Rita.jpg Schultz: Friendly faces close out trip to Clinton

    As if the city of Clinton already didn't do a great job of welcoming RAGBRAI riders at the end of the 471.1-mile journey Saturday, I got a special treat a few miles before that.

    July 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI crowd.jpg RAGBRAI rolls to an end

    A week spent biking 471-miles concluded Saturday as thousands of RAGBRAI riders dipped their tires into the Mississippi River.

    July 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI riders make final stretch to Clinton

    Having survived the heat, hills, and headwinds of the week, Friday was one of those gifts that are given every so often on RAGBRAI.

    July 28, 2012

  • anamosa.jpg Clinton welcomes RAGBRAI

    Today will be a banner day in Clinton, with thousands of bicyclists coming into the city from the northwest as they head to the Ninth Avenue North boat ramp and the end of the week-long Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, commonly known as RAGBRAI.

    July 28, 2012 3 Photos

  • Ted Schultz.jpg RAGBRAI riders trek through longest ride

    The longest day of 2012 RAGBRAI was the longest, but certainly not the toughest.

    July 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Marina riverfront.jpg Clinton preps for RAGBRAI

    Bikes will abound Saturday as RAGBRAI riders descend upon Clinton to dip their tires in the Mississippi River.

    July 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 100_1097.jpg RAGBRAI riders push through heat, winds

    After a rugged day on RAGBRAI Tuesday, things got easier for riders the following day — but only by a bit.

    July 26, 2012 2 Photos

  • 100_1066.jpg Headwind becomes issue during RAGBRAI

    If heat was the big story during Monday’s session of RAGBRAI, then another foul “H” word was the top topic on Tuesday’s route from Lake View to Webster City.

    July 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • Two RAGBRAI crashes reported Tuesday

    Two separate crashes involving cyclists in Iowa’s RAGBRAI event happened Tuesday.

    July 24, 2012

RAGBRAI: Saturday in Clinton


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Front page