56.1 Miles is a Nice Break

Posted by on Jul 28 in RAGBRAI

Sometimes you get a break, and Day 4 was exactly that for the Build Our Ballpark RAGBRAI team. Our ride started in Boone and proceeded through Luther, Slater, Sheldahl, Alleman, White Oak, Elkhart, Bondurant and then into Altoona. While that seemed like a lot of pass-through towns, a couple of them elicited a “Was that wide spot we just passed a town?” reaction from the team. 56.1 miles from start to finish. Bicycle arch on RAGBRAI route The team made the mistake of looking at the weather radar as we awoke. Sometimes it’s better NOT to know what’s heading your direction. Seeing a very large...

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This is Why We Ride

Posted by on Jul 27 in RAGBRAI

We close the tale of Day 3 – 71 miles, which on the one hand was very flat, and yet full of challenges, traveling from Carroll to Boone. The day was really the tale of two rides. The first 40 miles we had a gorgeous sunrise, beautiful flat roads and a slight tail wind. The roads of RAGBRAI were filled with signs for the bikers of all types and motivations. The first half of today’s ride was characterized by one of our favorite signs: “Ride It Like You Stole It.” But just when we were feeling good about the day, somebody turned on the oven and we got to enjoy the last 30 miles in bright...

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Rural Towns with Big Hearts Greet Team BOB

Posted by on Jul 26 in RAGBRAI

We just finished Day 2 – 65.4 miles from Atlantic (Iowa’s Coca-Cola capital) to Carroll, Iowa. When we pulled into a city of 10,000 people with a volume of riders and support vehicles that make up RAGBRAI, I thought it would once again overwhelm this city. But Carroll showed its worth – in how they welcomed the ride (with families lining the streets applauding each biker), offered their homes and lawns to riders to sleep overnight, and provided anything it took. Their excitement for being part of RAGBRAI was palpable, and their appreciation was so sincere. Bikers in Kimballton The ride was...

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Team BOB Starts Their 454 Mile Journey

Posted by on Jul 25 in RAGBRAI

With the past week’s reports from the Midwest describing intolerable temperatures and humidity, we had trepidation about the start of this year’s RAGBRAI ride. Luckily, the weather cooled last night (a blessing) and off we went – a 454 mile journey across the state of Iowa to raise money for America’s great pastime: baseball. If you missed my note last week, Team BOB is a group organized by my 16-year-old son, Robert Hellman III. Robert created Team BOB as a fundraiser for Build Our Ballpark, an organization founded by his grandfather, dedicated to providing today’s youth with baseball and...

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Another Round, An Even Bigger Goal

Posted by on Jul 15 in RAGBRAI

Last year’s RAGBRAI fundraising ride for Build Our Ballpark was so successful (and fun) that we decided to do it again (clearly fun has a broad definition here, we’ll admit). So on July 24th, our eight member team will begin a seven-day, 454-mile bicycle ride across the state of Iowa. While we join the thousands of cyclists who ride for the great food, themed atmospheres and adrenaline rush, we have a different drive that we add to this historic bike ride… pedaling to raise money for America’s Great Pastime: Baseball. Last year’s intrepid riders. We will comprise Team BOB, a group organized...

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One More Hill Before the End

Posted by on Aug 2 in RAGBRAI

The final day of RAGBRAI – we decided to get started early so that we could get to Dubuque early enough in the day. But we knew we had one significant challenge ahead – Potter Hill. Today’s journey took us out of Manchester and through Earlville, Dyersville, Bankston, and Graf before rolling to our Mississippi destination in Dubuque. The ride was not too bad, despite a little wind in the face – nice and relaxing. But Potter’s Hill was the worst hill we’ve encountered because it was a 16% grade and 75% of the bikers had to walk it up. Our entire group made it up, though, which was really...

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