What is RAGBRAI? It's a bike ride that spans the state of Iowa from west to east. RAGBRAI stands for Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. The year 2000 event was the 28th annual affair. In November, 1999, Warren suggested that we ride our first RAGBRAI. We agreed and along with Gordon and Kathy, Barb, Ted and Warren we were set to enter the ride. Since there are from 10,000 to 15,000 riders each day, we entered the lottery to get a rider number. We were successful. Warren, the inveterate shopper went looking for the best way to experience RAGBRAI. Warren convinced us to join a charter so that we would have transportation from the airport to the start and from the end back to the airport. Of course, we got alot more than that. Pork Belly Ventures has been running a RAGBRAI charter for a number of years. They limit the size of their group to about 250 riders. With this smallish number, finding our bags, tents, etc. would be much easier than competing with the other riders using the Register truck.

All the photos in these pages are enlargeable just by clicking on the photo.

Our plans called for shipping our bikes via UPS to Council Bluffs in care of Pork Belly Ventures. We flew to Omaha. Council Bluffs is just across the Missouri River.

Warren in Tucson waiting for the plane
Yup, Barb's there too.

We arrived in Omaha without a problem. Gordon and Kathy are now living in Colorado Springs. They made the trip by car and meet us for dinner at the Ramada Inn.

Hi! Gordon and Kathy

We decide to go down to Omaha's downtown dining district called the Old Market. It's the old commercial part of town that has been refurbished from warehouses to shops and restaurants. We have pizza and beer and then head out for a walk to see the sights.

Gordon, Warren, Barb, and Kathy

Gordon, Warren, Ted, and Kathy

After having breakfast we await to register with Pork Belly Ventures.

Gordon, Warren, Barb, and Kathy waiting to checkin at the Ramada Inn


After a short bus ride past the stadium where the College World Series is played we arrive in Council Bluffs and begin setting up camp. With the tents up, we collect our bikes from Pork Belly and try to remember what goes where.

Warren and Ted assembling the bikes in Council Bluffs. Let's see, "the front wheel is connected to the front fork!!!"


Gordon and Kathy getting ready to head out for the river

After a short ride through the campground, past the re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark expedition encampment, we arrive at the Missouri River.

Are we really going to do this? Did Gordon really say, "We are going to die!?"

Ok, so what's this about getting my wheel wet in the Missouri. Won't this harm the rim? What's in the water?

Ted and Barb
Warren, the instigator

After the dip, we took off on a little ride to see what was around. Gordon and Kathy wanted to see what was up with the Casinos in the area. Riverboat gambling. They came back with stories of buffets and slots. We stayed behind at a field being used as a radio control flight field. The thing that caught Ted's eye was he size of the planes. There were a couple of the usual size planes but there were a few whoppers. The plane being pictured below is a 1/3 scale Piper Cub. This thing had about a 12 foot wingspan and a 5 horsepower engine. The pilot is the man in the striped shirt. He bought it used and completely rebuilt it.

Some model airplane!
This is a model airplane? Yes, it's a 1/3 scale Piper Cub.

What were we getting into? Here is a Clickable Route Chart. Have a look at the the route map. At the bottom of each page there is a link to that day's route map.

Day 0