Interstate Team Goes Along for the Ride in Iowa
A group of Interstate Batteries® team members assembled in July for a 57-mile bike ride in Boone, Iowa. For most of us, the term “RAGBRAI” does not ring a bell, but in Iowa, the weeklong bike ride is a statewide tradition. Started in 1973, the Register Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa draws thousands of cyclists worldwide to ride from Iowa’s western border to the eastern border of the Mississippi River.
This year, Interstate team members Carlos Sepulveda, Chris Willis, Jon Simkins, Alan Vuckovich, Brian Weber, Rhonda Weber, Chad Marchant, Vince Wilson, and Ames, Iowa All Battery Center® franchisees Matt and Nancy Breen joined the cycling masses sporting Interstate green. Sepulveda likened the herd of riders to a running river, everyone moving together as one.
RAGBRAI began with two journalists as a bicycle ride across Iowa to learn more about Iowa’s landscape. Today, thousands join annually appreciating the scenery and participating in the daily events. The host cities change yearly, but the ideals remain the same. Give people the chance to experience the best Iowa has to offer in a unique way. For team members, the RAGBRAI was a chance to grow closer doing something they enjoy: cycling.
Unlike the fast-paced NASCAR races in which Interstate normally participates, the RAGBRAI emphasizes the “ride.” While traveling, a myriad of shops, carts, and vendors prepare goods for not only the cyclists, but the spectators as well. Most days rides end with food, music and activities. The cyclists enjoyed the lively atmosphere and the abundance of good food while traveling from Boone to Altoona, Iowa. Simkins explains the vendors often move with the race. “If you miss a vendor one day, you can normally find them the next,” but for some annual vendors the line would be up to a quarter-mile long.
Although the RAGBRAI is a weeklong event, many riders, like our Interstate team, only participate in a few days. Enrollment closes at 10,000 riders per day for safety reasons, but by unofficial estimates, nearly 20,000 cyclists participate each day of the ride. Each year officials choose a new route to cross Iowa, and each year the ride draws more people. This year’s riders are excited about the possibility of it becoming an annual event for Interstate, and like the RAGBRAI itself, the team member participation increasing as well.