Scott AFB cyclists embark on ride across Iowa
Monday, July 30, 2012, 11:44:42 AM
Four cyclists from Scott AFB
are on their way across Iowa, participating in the 40th Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), the oldest, longest and largest bicycle touring event in the world.
The four cyclists and two support members who will accompany them are part of the unofficial Air Force Cycling Team, and are following a 13-year tradition of airmen who have been completing the race. They are not the only airmen who will be racing, either. According to Captain Rob Lounsbury, the Air Force has more than riders participating this year.
"We (Air Force participants) act as ambassadors for the Air Force," he said. "While riding, we hope to serve as positive role models to the public by telling our stories and assisting riders in any way possible during the adventure across Iowa, for example, as first responders and assisting with mechanical issues."
The race will take about seven days, during which the riders will average 67 miles per day, leaving good impressions of the Air Force on people and giving out free Air Force merchandise. Aside from the physical feat and chance to educate others about the Air Force, Lounsbury said pie is a motivating factor along the way.
"The best part is the new people you will meet and the pie," he said. "If you lose weight during this ride you are doing something wrong. Everywhere you go people are usually eating pie and good food. Because the route is different each year, many people look forward to watching us ride through their town in this once in a lifetime event."
According to the official RAGBRAI website, the bicycle ride was started in 1973 by several columnists at the Des Moines Register who brought friends along. The route averages 468 miles.
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