The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 26, 2013

Many faces of RAGBRAI in Osky

OSKALOOSA —

RAGBRAI draws a diverse array of riders and support vehicle folks.

At just after 9 a.m. Thursday, some of these people were already at the main camp ground on the northwest corner of Oskaloosa, near the Elementary School and Lacey Recreation Complex.

Crystal Thorpe, of Dixon, Ill., arrived as a part of a support vehicle for a team, which have been riding RAGBRAI for six years.

Thorpe said she arrived in Oskaloosa around 8 a.m. Thursday to get a camp site set up.

“It's nice,” said Thorpe. “Usually we're just in big fields that they just mow down that day. So, this is really nice with grass and it looks really nice.”

Getting to the camp site early is important, according to Thorpe.

“If you don't get here early, you don't get a good spot,” said Thorpe, adding that it's good to find a spot near trees that can provide shade.

When asked what she was looking forward to in Oskaloosa, music came to Thorpe's mind.

“You look for a good band,” explained Thorpe.

According to the National Weather Service, overnight rain was possible into Friday morning. That didn't bother Thorpe.

“We go with the flow,” said Thorpe. “You have to on RAGBRAI.”

Wendy and Martin Myers, of Kansas City, are riding RAGBRAI for the first time this year. They arrived at the campground on the northwest corner of Oskaloosa early on Thursday, as well.

Martin explained that they grew up in Iowa and RAGBRAI is something they grew up with and simply wanted to do.

So, how's it been so far?

“It's been great,” said Martin. “It's very fun. It's challenging on certain stretches and just kind of fun to talk to everybody.”

Listening to the stories of their fellow RAGBRAI riders is a big part of the experience, said Wendy, adding that she likes to hear stories from veteran riders, as well as those from all over the U.S.

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