Breaking News from Iowa! Day 1 of RAGBRAI started in Onawa, took the riders 43.5 miles with 1,558 feet of climb, and finished in Denison. And supposedly this is the easiest day of the entire route! We’re happy to report that all Cycling4Burundi team members made it to destination Denison in one piece. However, the ride proved to be an eventful and circuitous one, especially for one of our dear bikers!


Jane and Doug kicked off the ride together at 6:30 this morning. (Anyone else want coffee just hearing that?!) Krista, Fabrice, and Julie also took off together, and made it a whopping 12 miles before a certain someone hit their first huge hiccup of RAGBRAI. As these 3 were riding up a big hill, guess whose bike bit it and snapped their derailleur in two?! If you guessed Fabrice or Krista, guess again!

One Julie Marner discovered that the reason her derailleur snapped was because she had a broken hanger. (What? We don’t speak bike either. See bottom of Blog Post for bike definitions.) Now sidelined due to overstressing her bike on day one, a fellow rider stopped, took one look at Julie’s bike, and proclaimed “Oh, you’re toast.” Not wanting to slow the rest of the team down, Julie sent Fabrice and Krista ahead.

At this point, Julie was left no choice but to jump in the Sag Wagon. Since it was such a major bike issue, she had to wait until arriving at the RAGBRAI Repair Town of the Day to get her bike assessed. She had to go to 2 separate mechanics just to diagnose the problem, and was told by said mechanics that they’d “never seen anything like this before.” Fearing she’d be out the rest of the week, her bike was finally able to be fixed and she was back up and biking! Needless to say, Jules was the last person to make it safely to camp today.

Fabrice studying

Meanwhile back at camp, we thought we’d hear tales of the team getting some much needed R&R. Instead, the camp scene looked more like Jane doing yoga in the sun, Fabrice intensely chatting up someone he just met, sporting his Cycling4Burundi shirt, while the rest of the gang hung out under a beer tent! Nothing can slow this team down! All in all, despite the bike malfunction that had never before been witnessed in the history of RAGBRAI, it was a successful day for the team! We can’t wait to see what adventures await them tomorrow on their continued RAGBRAI adventure!

Oh and P.S. The picture of Fabrice sitting on the grass looking at his computer? That’s no big deal. In addition to riding 428.1 RAGBRAI miles, Fabrice is not only studying for Finals this week, but is also wrapping up homework due tonight, for his American Government and World Civilization class. Talk about stopping at nothing to support Burundi!

Support the team’s 43-mile ride today by donating $43 towards our Cycling4Burundi team now:


**DERAILLEUR: For those less literate in speaking bicycle, we turned to an article in The Guardian on derailleurs, and learned that they are “mechanical marvels which move the chain [on a bike] when you move up or down a gear.”**

**HANGER: Translation according to Ribble, “Hangers are made from a soft metal designed to break under extreme stress…to protect the more expensive parts of the bike first.”**

**SAG WAGON: Bike Iowa tells us that the Sag Wagon is “…For bicyclists, the welcome vehicle that rescues you, your bike and what gears you have on board when you can no longer ride due to fatigue, injury of you and/or your bike.”