Sunday, June 19, 2011

Link to Team Simpson

Like a well-oiled chain the days almost silently tick by, each revolution of our pedals brings us one day closer to RAGBRAI XXXIX. In 34 days (or just under 5 short weeks) we will begin our two-wheel trek across Iowa together. Thanks to the hard work of Chris Goodale, Aaron Page, Leslie Held and Bob Lane – just four of the links in a chain that will make sure your personal efforts will continue to propel you forward – most of the organizing details are done. While we focus on things like gathering the needed snacks and beverages, your pre-RAGBRAI focus should be seat time on the bike and preparing and packing your gear.

This past weekend, my husband and I biked to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market on a training ride. I couldn’t help but marvel at the number of cycling friends we came across quite unexpectedly. After two friends spontaneously joined us for the entire return trip home it dawned on me that other riders might benefit from connecting with other cycling enthusiasts. While we don’t expect to try and coordinate a specific event like a team training ride we will provide this blog as a way to ‘link’ our team virtually before the start of RAGBRAI. Anyone is welcome – encouraged, in fact – to post your training ride, ask a biking question or even just share a funny biking story. Think of a post as a link in a chain – with each virtual link we’ll make the chain that is Team Simpson. Our rider list and their home towns are listed on the Team Simpson web site. As you can see we not only have riders in the numerous communities close to campus but Team Simpson also has riders from many states across the country.

Whether your chain is already slicked down with a state-of-the-art synthetic or slightly rusty from a lack of use I encourage you to check out our packing list to help you prepare. I have found RAGBRAI’s training blog to be helpful and their 15 week training plan to be an informative benchmark by which to judge your own training. RAGBRAI’s main blog always has new information, including daily posts on recent route inspection rides. The BikeIowa web site is a great place to find local rides and cycling news. The Des Moines bike collective publishes a weekly ride list that some Team Simpson members may be able to join and they also publish a comprehensive listing of central Iowa bike trail maps as well.

Since we also have many Team Simpson riders from outside the central Iowa area there is also the cycling blog from Cycling Magazine. My favorite is a GPS mapping blog called All Over the Map. I hope to continue cycling for years and All Over The Map lets me dream of cycling in other states. (Hey, team members from California – the blog entry on May 17th of mapping California could be particularly helpful.)

Do you have a ‘link’ that’s been particularly helpful? Share it. Need more information or concerned about a particular detail? Don’t be afraid to ask. Hopefully we’ll continue to add links to the Team Simpson chain. After all, it’s hard to get anywhere on a bike without a chain. Be safe on your training rides and keep the rubber on the road.


This week’s cool cycling resource:

The Des Moines bike collective advocates for safe cycling in Des Moines and bike trail expansion. One of their more creative endeavors is a refurbished bike program. They offer low cost bikes for sale that have been donated to the program and refurbished. This may be the perfect option for a person looking for an inexpensive way to get into cycling.

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