UPDATE, 22 October 2008

David and Chiva are taking a break from the Tour de Dog but are sure to plan another ride in the near future. A sincere thank you to all of you who helped David and Chiva in countless ways. The Tour de Dog would not be possible without your support. THANK YOU!

View a Photo Documentary of Tour de Dog by Jason Houge

Tour de Dog is past states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Riding RAGBRAI with Team Red Dog

Cyclists who have ridden RAGBRAI often describe it as a “Mardi Gras for bicyclists”, an “adult playground”, or a “weeklong parade.” Chiva and I were fortunate to be in Iowa at the same time as “the longest, biggest, and oldest bicycle tour in the world”, and I am happy to report it was one of the biggest highlights of the Tour de Dog thus far. Here is a quick summary of our experience riding RAGBRAI:

When we crossed over from Nebraska into Iowa I did not know what to expect. My hope was to do my best to keep pace with the other 15,000 cyclists, find guerilla camp spots at night, eat and shower when necessary, and keep Chiva as comfortable and happy as possible.

On the very first day of riding, I was approached by the leader of a fast moving and organized group known as Team Red Dog. After talking for several minutes, we were invited to join the team. Little did I know at the time, but I would go on to spend the entire week with the Red Dogs. They straight up adopted Chiva and me and even gave me the nickname “Stray" by the end of the week. It was so ideal because Team Red Dog was a group of friendly and experienced cyclists from all over the country who were all about helping each other and having a grand time. Team members flew in from all over the country. When we were not eating, partying, or sleeping, we were flying across the Hawkeye State. Chiva was able to get some needed rest and rode in the team’s support vehicle for several days. With my bike completely unloaded, I was able to keep up with the 20mph pace (compared to my usual 10mph). I also thoroughly enjoyed conversing with many other riders who were attending RAGBRAI.

My time in Iowa was so meaningful because of the new friends I made. I plan to keep in touch with Team Red Dog as well as many other people I met during RAGBRAI. A HUGE, HUGE thank you to the team for “adopting” Chiva and me. I will most certainly be in touch and hope to meet again next year! Also, special thanks to Chris and Boo-Boo for caring for Chiva and to Barbara for representing for Team Gravel. Here are a few pics:


Tracy in Dallas said...

Looks like you all had an AWESOME time!! Nothing better than meeting good folks.

Tommy said...

What a cool bike tour. Maybe next time you can make the Blue Hens team. Or maybe you can represent the dawgs of GA. Most importantly, you kept a good clean race.

Elizabeth said...

Rock on you two! It looks amazing! Thanks for the welcome! Looking forward to actually meeting you two at some point. Keep on trekking.

Bob Myers said...

Stray Dog & Chiva,

You were both a most excellent addition to my RAGBRAI experience this year; it’s always the unplanned events that bring the best memories. Your smiles are infectious and your story is inspiring, encouraging me to “go for it” whatever it is. You always have a place to stay in the SF Bay Area. Keep on Truckin’.


TJ and Lonnie said...

David & Chiva: We were so glad to be given the Red Dog "hand-off" when they all had to depart from RAGBRAI. Your story is inspirational and we're completely jealous! Good luck on your travels and we'll do our best to meet up w/you 2 again in NY. Happy Trails! TJ & Lonnie (Davenport, IA)

Anonymous said...

David and Chiva, the human dog,
It is an honor and a pleasure to know you and to have made such a strong connection during Ragbrie. You made the ride fun and exciting, and the off-route, off-road trips were the best! I am looking forward to seeing you soon along the road and/or in Denver. You are an inspiration and a true friend.
Love, Barbara

Rosanna said...

looks like you are doing very well! I cannot wait for you to arrive in the Southeast! I'll have to get out and practice...I go not much over 10mph, without Chase or gear. I't great following you through the trip...I'll try to do better with writing...I think I have it figured out now.

Anonymous said...

And the storm! Don't forget about how we all had to survive that horrible tornado or whatever in.. Harlen I think it was.