Wisconsin – Des Moines – Forest City – Guttenberg

Wisconsin – Des Moines – Forest City – Guttenberg

The third week of July is going to be nothing short of epic! In the course of seven days I’m going to be completing Ironman 70.3 Racine, embarking on a 110 mile solo ride to meet up with RAGBRAI and then completing the remaining 240 miles riding across Iowa. This week was not necessarily planned as much as it developed into something crazy as different, important scheduling elements came up. I had heard many good things about 70.3 Racine and had been thinking about using that as an A race for 2014. Growing up in Iowa, I’ve been around RAGBRAI for years but never participated. I was planning on riding last year, but because of my Achilles injury and focus on Ironman Wisconsin I decided against  the ride. Going into 2014 and getting involved with ChildVoice, RAGBRAI was identified as an event that we would use as a fundraiser for the organization. As I started looking at the calendar and putting in events, I realized that 70.3 Racine was on the first day of RAGBRAI. I really didn’t want to sacrifice either of these events, so I decided to plan a way to do both. Racine is located in Wisconsin on the west shore of Lake Michigan. RAGBRAI starts on the west side of Iowa. I quickly realized that since these two locations were a minimum of five hours apart and I wouldn’t be finished with the 70.3 until at least 12:30 it was pretty unrealistic to be able to join up with RAGBRAI on the first day of the ride. So what better way to “catch up” to the ride than make a solo trip from Des Moines, on my bike, to Forest City, the overnight town on day three. I’m planning to start in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines, taking Highway 69 straight north through Ames, Belmond and finishing 110 miles later in Forest City.

The four days I will be spending on RAGBRAI are going to serve a dual purpose that I am incredibly proud and excited to be a part of. First, I get to part of one of the longest, organized group rides in the country. The history behind RAGBRAI is immense, and I can’t wait to experience this event. But more than the enjoyment of riding, I’m riding to fundraise and raise awareness for ChildVoice, an organization that supports ex-child soldiers in Uganda, Africa. They provide long-term emotional, social and financial support to a very war-affected community. ChildVoice has been participating in RAGBRAI for several years and have had good success using the event to raise awareness and funds. This year I’ve joined up with them to use my passion for endurance sports to grow their cause. RAGBRAI is going to be the first, organized event that I’ll be a part of, and I’m going in with high expectations for an amazing outcome.

Heading into this adventure, I know that I’m going to need a lot of support. Primarily, I would ask for many thoughts and prayers, especially during the ride from Ankeny to Forest City. The 70.3 and RAGBRAI are organized events that provide plenty of support to their participants. My solo ride, however, is a one-man mission. I will either have to carry or buy everything I need throughout the day. Nutrition is going to be key, and I’m planning on sticking to mostly endurance-based products (gels, sports drinks, etc.) due to their efficiency in providing nutrition and ease of transporting. So if anyone has a box of gels they are willing to let go, that support would be greatly appreciated. And then there is the weather element. Calm, cool conditions would be ideal, but late-July in Iowa can mean a lot of different elements. So there is going to be a lot of physical and mental strength required.

My other request is that you consider supporting ChildVoice financially. Whether a one-time donation or on-going support, 100% of amounts received will go directly to help ChildVoice’s on-going work in Africa. I be posting more information on how and where to donate soon, but please start considering what you could donate. Below are a few numbers to consider:

– I will be traveling 420.3 miles over the seven days, between the three events

– $100 is the average cost of a micro-loan to help a ChildVoice graduate start their own business

– $400 provides one month of instruction and educational materials infants and children

– $3,000 covers the construction costs for a housing unit for a student and their children

Check back shortly for more information and thank you for considering how you might be able to support!