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  • DYLAN LOVE
  • Wed August 27 2014
  • Posted Aug 27, 2014
I took a too-small bike on a too-long ride, and it proved to be one of the highlights of my life so far.

In 1973, two reporters forThe Des Moines Registerset out on a west-to-east bicycle tour of Iowa to write about their experiences for the paper. The route was made public in advance, and all were welcome to join them as they pedaled from Sioux City to Davenport. Ultimately, 114 people rode the entire route with the reporters. There was such momentum around the ride that it became a yearly event called the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, but you can just call itRAGBRAI.

This year marked the ride's 42nd edition of human-powered Iowa exploration. I made it my first, riding the full 475 or so miles on my daily commuter bike.

For those who cling to the misguided notion that it's all about the bike, allow me to describe my ride. It's a green Brompton M6-L, an English bike that folds down to a fraction of its size for easy indoor storage or for bringing aboard public transportation. I so fell in love with the utility of this thing that I ended up selling my ritzy road bike when it became clear that the Brompton was robust enough to do it all.

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