RAGBRAI is an acronym. It stands for Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The Des Moines Register is a newspaper that claims to be the number one source for news and information in Des Moines and across Iowa.
The history: “In the beginning, when a few friends got together for a casual bike ride across Iowa in 1973, no one imagined that a tradition would be born, let alone that it would become the longest, largest and oldest recreational bicycle touring event in the world.”
Sometime in late 1994 or early 1995 in New York City, I bought a touring bike, a Trek 525, with the intention of touring parts of Western Ireland that I knew to be Yeat’s country. A novice at touring, I did know I would be facing wind, rain, and hills, so I began training in earnest around New York, riding mostly in the hills of Northern New Jersey. By degrees, I loaded my panniers with more and more weight, and picked rainy days and hills to accustom myself to the rigors I would encounter in Ireland. When the time came, I disassembled my bike and packed it in cardboard. Aer Lingus was good about checking my bike and gear, and the Shannon Airport authorities had no problem letting me assemble my bike in a quiet corner and even stored my packing materials until I returned. What follows are the notes I made in my travel journal of that adventure. Fortunately, I took photos with my Nikon SLR, and I’ve used some to illustrate my notes.
Kay and I arrived by air in Budapest from Munich in December of 1989. The Malev Airlines flight that brought us served salami-and-pickle sandwiches. Naturally, it was cold, and the hours of daylight were short.
This was quite an exotic trip for us, our first to Eastern Europe that was just then emerging from decades of Communist rule. At the time of our arrival the red star was still standing atop Hungary’s parliament building, and, in Berlin, the wall was coming down.
Alas, I didn’t keep a journal of our extraordinary two-week travel adventure in England that we enjoyed between September 28th and October 12th in 1985. What I have are the photos I took and some keen memories.
Beginning as one thing in the southwestern-most corner of the island, it unexpectedly morphed into something else. In two weeks, we visited the towns of Penzance, Wells, Bath (twice), Oxford, and Stratford-upon-Avon. It was an historical and cultural adventure par excellence, and it had its share of natural beauty, as well. Continue reading Once upon a Time in England
9/11/81 NYC – Frankfurt. Went to Capitol Airlines to get standby numbers. Bought travelers checks. Went to JFK at 6 p.m. Took flight to Frankfurt instead of Brussels. Slept most of time on the plane. Met Christa, an interpreter from Munich.
What’s Left of Jerome, Arizona, a copper-mining town founded in the 19th century, sits on the flank of Cleopatra Hill overlooking the state’s Verde Valley about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix. I remember Jerome from my days in the 1970s when, based in Scottsdale, I spent many weeks making car and truck films for the Chevrolet Division of General Motors.