Brr Ride it’s just like RAGBRAI, only very different
Bike bike bike. I woke up too early Saturday morning to the sound of snoring and sore muscles. It sounds like RAGBRAI, but I realized pretty quickly that this was my dog, Murph, sawing wood. I was disappointed for a minute before remembering this was the day I was taking a road trip. Outstanding.
BRR is Bike Ride to Rippey. It’s a 24 mile round trip bike ride from Perry, IA to Rippey, IA that has now been running 34 years annually. More than 1000 riders were expected. I think that this was an accurate estimate. This ride has never been cancelled due to weather. As I’d been jonesing for some outdoor rides, I can’t think of anything short of the apocalypse that could have kept me from riding.
I had my loaner mountain bike loaded onto Team Wrong’s bus in Johnston by 8:30. Team Wrong’s bus was set up beautifully with a fantastic sound system, full bike racking on top and a cooler made out of a deep freeze that also was set up to accommodate a couple of kegs with the taps on the outside of the bus. Coolest part – I made new friends.
The ride was flat with a couple of turns. The ride started at 10 AM, but I think we were in Perry until almost 12. In true RAGBRAI style, I had no watch and didn’t pull out my phone. Because I was on a loaner, I had no bike computer keeping track of stuff. I did put lights on the bike, but was responsible enough to be back at the bus before dark. Kudos to me on that one.
The highway was clear, but the roads in town were a good reason to leave the road bike at home. The weight of the bike and the friction from grip of the nobbies on the pavement gave me a pretty good workout despite my slower speeds. I didn’t put my pedals on the mountain bike, so I wasn’t clipped in. It felt very strange to be untethered to the bike, but I somehow managed.
The turn at highways E57 and P54 are a traditional stop for many Brr riders. We took a break there with an old friend and even made time for a couple of pictures. The balmy 34 degrees gave us the opportunity to take our time and have a few laughs before arriving in Rippey.
Once we got to Rippey, Team Wrong had the bus rockin’ with a dance party. The Sir Mix-A-Lot may have been a little before my time, (ahem I’m way younger than that) but I managed to catch on and shake my groove thing with the 30-somethings.
We saddled back up for the return ride. My friend pulled out some ostrich jerky that I inhaled just before arriving at the turn to Perry. Once again, it was a full ditch of bikes and good times, hosted this time by Team Medium Pace.
There was a failed attempt at fishing a beer out of a stranger’s backpack on the road back to Perry. I couldn’t help but think an effort like this would only lead to some ugliness and scrapes on bikes and bodies. I gave up after about 3 minutes of pawing around. We got into Perry, loaded up the bus downtown and headed back to Des Moines dancing the whole way.
It’s always a treat to ride with my friends. A big thank you to the town of Perry, the Perry Chamber of Commerce and Rippey for such a cool ride. Team Wrong deserves accolades for the lift and good time. The two most important words I have regarding the BRR Ride or any future winter ride, ventilated layers. Zippered neck lines are brilliant, just sayin’.
To see more pictures, the Des Moines Register has some pictures from the ride that you can look at here if you want to take a peek.