When it comes to a 468-mile bike ride across Iowa, there's a lot to be intimidated by.

Greg George of Elk Point, SD said, "Heat, lot of hills, lot of people, lot of miles."

So some dedicated cyclists are making sure they're prepared for it all. They're throwing on their helmets at least 3 times a week for rides with mileage in the double digits.

Sioux City's Barbara Anne Huculak said, "You want to be able to start slow and build up 'butt' time on the seat and build up endurance but by the time you're doing RAGBRAI you should be doing some70 mile days."

Because once RAGBRAI takes off in Sioux Center, the cyclists will be biking more than60 miles a day. And even before that, there's Sioux City's i-Gran Fondo ride to Sioux Center which is up to 100 miles.

But some bike-aholic's say it's more pleasure than work.

Huculak said, "I think it gets you outside. You're with a group of health-conscious individuals. Maybe there's an endorphin high, who knows. But there's something spiritual as well as the physical element of it and it makes it a lot of fun."

And you don't have to be training to bike in this group. It takes off every Tuesday at around 6:30 from Navarette's in Riverside.

Training Organizer Kathy Roberts said, "It is not competitive at all. It is very family-friendly. We've got some folks with families out here. It doesn't matter what style of bike that you have. If you can do about 20 miles, you can come ride with us on Tuesdays."

So don't forget the training is all in preparation for Sioux City's Gran Fondo ride to Sioux Center on the 21st and of course, RAGBRAI kicks off the very next day.






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