Miles and Miles of Corn With a Beer Finish

The route

My physical stretch goal this year is to ride my bike across Iowa. I’m stoked to do this after watching all the various recap videos but my biggest fear isn’t the ride itself. It’s the 8,500 strangers and the sleeping outside in a tent. Not gonna lie, those two things are striking fear in me. (Brief history is that a bunch of people did this ride decades ago on a whim. Each successive year has seen more and more riders. A tribe and culture has evolved around the ride.)

The number of participants boogles my mind. Majority will be friendly, enthusastic, happy people. People who are doing somehting they are passionate about. Yet in the back of my head I’ll feel as if they are waiting to call me out as poser. Makes no damn sense. The barrier to entry is pretty low. If you are here then you belong. No ifs, ands, or buts… Yet… I’m not a real cyclist, I just paid some money for a bike and the costume. Real cyclist can do A,B,C while I only do X,Y,Z. I really need to figure out why this one is different from previous years. I certainly should fit in better here than when I did my first 1/2 marathon, Tough Mudder, or Spartan.

I’m old. Or at least I feel so damn old lately. I’m not sure how much money they could squeeze out of me if I could have a guarenteed bed and AC. But looking at the previous paragraph I’ve partnered up with a group at work. Two of the guys who I know have been people I’ve worked with off and on for years. Their setup will be some in an RV and some camping depending on final numbers. I’ll take the bullet and camp because I’ve yet to sleep in an RV where my height and size just didn’t make the bed feel like a coffin or an impending structurel failure.

So to sum up I want to belong and I want to feel as if I am a master of my domain but instead I’m worried about fitting in and being the princess and the pea.