The last day…

Boy, I was pretty worried about this last day. We were scheduled to do 84.8 miles from Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids, but let me tell you something. I was going on about four hours of sleep.

See, the night before, while we were tenting in Marshalltown, a mega storm hit. We had to abandon our tents to seek shelter due to a tornado watch. Talk about scary.

And that was after a wonderful day walking around Marshalltown, hitting the Purple Cherry. It was a really cool yogurt shop.

But, despite the storms, few hours of sleep, we made it. Of course, a tail wind of about 15 MPH didn’t hurt!! LOL.

It was a nice break from the previous days head winds.

So, we rolled into Cedar Rapids relatively unscathed. 🙂



Charlie’s dad was there, waiting, so we packed up the car and took off back to Sioux Center.

But not before I snapped a shot of my odometer.

Check it out!

407 miles!

And that 407 miles was done in FIVE days. I never thought I could have done that, but like I mentioned in an earlier post, you just never know what our capable of when pushed. And this bike ride did just that. Thanks to my sweet hubby for carrying me through. He is so strong. My rock.

And thanks to everyone who contributed to the Arizona Pain Train. We raised over $3,000 for cancer on this bike ride!  You guys ROCK.

Beyond Words

I returned home from Ragbrai on Saturday evening, and I’ve been trying to find a word to describe the entire experience.

I mean, I’m a writer, lover of words, but I couldn’t really come up with a good one. Sure, amazing, tiring, scary, unforgettable came to mind. Those are all fine and dandy.

But how do you put to words riding 407 miles in five days. I did the math…yes, I needed a calculator…81.4 miles per day.

I can’t even say that without shaking my head in disbelief.

So, I figured I’d take a little bit at a time and chat about the ride this week.

Arriving in Sioux Center was pretty emotional. It was my first time returning after my mother-in-law, Lynn’s, funeral. Lynn had such a significant impact on me and my writing, it stung a little. She would have LOVED this Ragbrai event.

But, her name was on my bike. There are a few names on there as you can see. Mary, Lynn, and Bob lost their battle with cancer over the past 12 months. That’s three deaths in twelve months. My heart breaks for the loved ones of those who have passed. It’s such a painful experience to watch one you love die from cancer. Sandy and Penny are fighting through chemo and radiation. And my dear friend, Josh, recently suffered a traumatic brain injury after being involved in a bike crash.

So, this ride was for you all!

The pain I suffered on that hilly 104-mile day was nothing compared to what you guys face. When I wanted to quit, I thought of you. Especially Penny. She was scheduled to be on this ride, not me. And when she was diagnosed, she transferred her registration to me. So, she’ll be getting that Ragbrai jersey and patch for sure!

We had a great welcome to Sioux Center and had a great time at the expo and pasta feed. The energy was high in anticipation of an early morning start. Day one was 54.4 miles from Sioux Center to Cherokee with 1,675 feet of climb.

Tomorrow…..62 miles and 2.173 feet of climb!  🙂

Tomorrow . . . .

We leave tomorrow for Ragbrai!!!

I’m a bundle of excitement and nerves all rolled up into HOLY COW I’m going to bike across Iowa.

I’m not sure what kind of internet access I’ll have, so you can follow Ragbrai on Facebook. I’m sure they’ll be posting updates.

<–Can you believe that picture? All those people. Holy cow.

You might know a little about our story with Ragbrai, but I’ll share it here again.

We’re riding for: Lynn Boeyink (My mother in law) who passed away in October (2011) from cancer. Mary B–the mother of my hubby’s dear friend–who died in Summer of 2011 from cancer.  Penny M–my step-mom who is, right now, fighting cancer. She starts her third treatment on Monday! She’s fighting hard. Her spirits are up. Sandy R–she’s undergoing chemo right now as well.

Cancer has probably hit close to you throughout your lifetime, so you know what we’re going through.

We wanted to do something about it, so we started Arizona Pain Train. We’ve raised nearly $3,000 so far. Thank you so much for your support.

And as of July 1st–a percentage of my proceeds from ALL of my books will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Another person I’m riding for is Joshua K. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of crashing while bike riding.

Lots of things on my heart during this ride, and I’m honored to be out there several hours a day sifting through thoughts, praying on things, and enjoying the scenery with my sweet hubby!

***I hear Emma is taking over my blog while I’m gone–and she might have a big giveaway happening as well!***

See you next week.



HI. Rachel here again.

So, remember yesterday when I asked the question, “What song gets your blood pumpin’?”

Yeah, the song, You’ve got the Power, by Snap does it for me when it comes to biking and exercising, but I’ll tell ya, my guy, Brandon helps with that, too.

The first time I saw him, I was screaming up Headland Hill on my seventy-five-mile bike ride.

So, I was tired, having ridden sixty-some miles already, then with this hill, a killer hill, my legs were pooped out.

But then this guy zooms by me like we’re just on flatland or something.

First, I was pretty ticked off that he passed me so easily, but then when I got a good look at him . . .


Tight, black biker shorts. Equally as snug racing jersey hugging the curves of his lean muscles. Oh, and not to mention his chocolate brown eyes.

I mean, who doesn’t LOVE chocolate, right?

A close second to eyes, is humor. I love to laugh and have fun, that’s a must! If those two are in sync, I’m toast. And I sure found those two things with Brandon. I’m so lucky.


So, what things sealed the deal with your significant other?

If you’re still single, what are the two main things that would seal the deal when it comes to dating?