About 4 hours before I was supposed to be at a friends wedding I found myself in bar in Davenport, Iowa drinking Jameson like it was water and talking shit. Lucky for me, before I got blackout drunk I got to talking to the brother of the bride who was telling me about a RAGBRAI team he had going on. A group of guys (and a girl) who rode fast, partied hard and called themselves the Dirty Cocks. Needless to say I don't remember to much of the night (I am reminded frequently) but I kept in mind the idea of riding across the state that adopted me like one of their own.
When the time came to make the decision, I was not on board. I have a little social anxiety and the idea of being a stranger in close quarters for a week was a little intimidating. But fuck it, I was tired of racing and riding my bike in circles so I went to Iowa, got my jersey, did a beer bong and was crushed.....and I mean CRUSHED. Mentally and physically the heat destroyed me. As I rode into towns a mere 10 miles apart over 5 minutes down, I could see these guys looking at me thinking "who the fuck is this clown?". I went home and licked my wounds and while deciding not to sell my bike I came to the conclusion that there was something special about the ride but something more special about the people I rode with. RAGBRAI made me fall in love with riding a bike again and the guys I rode with all chipped in the cash that allowed me to get the greatest looking custom cycling jersey ever made. Amen
In 2015 a good friend and I rode from Omaha, NE to the start line in Sioux City, there we met the Cocks and sailed to (our) finish in Cedar Falls.