Cynical cheeky guy from the Northwest has been overwhelmed by the welcome he’s received from the great folks of Iowa.
I’ve done a lot of rides in the great state of Washington. We might have some serious hills out here, but we sure don’t have folks shaking my hand when I roll into town….accompanied by 10,000 other riders. Last year on the Seattle to Portland ride, I saw signs saying ‘stay off my lawn’, and there are parts of this state (ahem, east King County) where cyclists avoid, lest we are honked at and run off the road.
These RAGBRAI towns know how to make a guy feel welcome. Booths full of delicious food. Random grocery stores with buffet breakfasts. There’s a lot of us! Roads full of cyclists might be a bit much for some towns, but these guys roll out the red carpet. They even throw parties every night, with live music. How about LSponge, Live, Filter and Everclear? And I’ve never seen a sideshow act at a rest area. Dang, a new marketing opportunity…BUTTCRACK jerseys for monkeys!
My favorite rest stop amenity has to be the beer tents. What a great idea! I do have to say, though, the Pacific Northwest definitely wins the beer contest. Today was the first day I saw any options besides cans of Bud. Uh, not for me, thanks, I’ll stick with water…or a good old-fashioned microbrew. I’m on my way to the Confluence Brewing Company right now though- I’ve got high hopes for Des Moines, and I’ll be sure to report back on the taps later. And of course, don’t forget, I’ve got a new BEER jersey for sale! If you’re like me, you don’t want to pledge allegiance to any one brand…my jersey proudly proclaims a generic love of all things beer.