Ultimate NSV: Iowa bike tour

Sparklekitty, Hag of Science
on 7/28/17 12:36 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

Since having surgery, I've fallen in love with cycling. One of my post-op goals was to ride 40mi in the big annual city bike race one year post-op; this past week, I've completely SMASHED that goal.

I rode three days of RAGBRAI, which is an annual coast-to-coast bike ride across the state of Iowa. This year's course went through the town where I was born, so I just HAD to ride! I met my parents in the midwest, and my Dad and I rode over 150 miles together.

Here we are in Cresco, IA, population 58, sharing a porkchop bigger than my face!

Highlights include:

  • Hitting a top speed of 36mph on a ridiculous hill... and climbing back UP that hill without having to get off and walk my bike
  • Helping strangers on the ride after an ugly crash and a flat tire
  • Chatting with farmers from tiny towns and donating to fix their city pools and buy a new fire engine
  • Riding my first "metric century" (100km in one day), which beats my previous single-day distance record by about 25mi
  • Riding in 15mph headwinds without tipping over, and quitting because my butt was sore-- NOT because my legs were too tired, or because I was out of breath

11 hours in the saddle, ~9k calories burned, and no freakin' way could I have even DREAMED of being able to do this before I had VSG!

Managing my weight is a lifetime process, and there have been plenty of times where it's been hard. But knowing that it's allowed me to do things like this makes me so amazingly glad I did it!

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Tucson Roller Derby

on 7/28/17 12:39 pm
VSG on 08/22/16

Absolutely amazing! Congratulations!

on 7/28/17 12:58 pm


Surgery Date June 3, 2016

HW: 329 W at first consult 290. SW 238, LW 128, CW 139

on 7/28/17 1:16 pm - CA
RNY on 10/07/13

That is so fantastic! I've been waiting to hear about your RAGBRAI experience and I'm delighted to hear it was an excellent one. What a wonderful thing to be able to do it with your dad. Maybe you'll ride it with your son one day? :D Moar pics, plz!


Sparklekitty, Hag of Science
on 7/28/17 1:35 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

I'd love to bring Nolan along! I saw quite a few parent-and-kid pairs riding, there were several 12-year-olds that I chatted with who were doing their first ride. :)

I was too busy riding to get many photos, but here are a few:

Sunrise rollout in the fog, day 2

Setting up camp at the middle school

Marionberry pie in Wesley, IA on day 3

The pack heads out of Orange City, the starting city. The bike crowd was this thick the whole way!

Aerial view of cyclists stopped in Heartley, halfway point on day 1.

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Tucson Roller Derby

Steph Meat Hag
on 7/28/17 1:23 pm - Dallas , TX
VSG on 03/14/16 with

Good job on that hill, those are hell!

Age:40|Height: 5'9"|Lap Band 2/11/08 |Revision VSG 3/14/16

The cake is a lie, but Starbucks is not.


Gina 16 Yrs and Still
Hanging In

on 7/28/17 1:42 pm - Burleson , TX

I was wondering if you were EVER going to share this FABULOUS NSV !!!!!!!!!!! Next thing you know, you'll be finding your screwdriver.

I am so incredibly proud of you!!! I feel like I know, at least in part, the hours of effort you have put in...the discipline....the hours away from your husband and child...the hours getting your bike and accessories to color coordinate...

To be able to do this with your Daddy!!! I cannot begin to imagine the memories y'all have made (I am SO jealous--but in a happy happy happy for YOU)

Ok...I'm crying...so I'll stop gushing...for now

RNY 4-22-02... HAG=Honest And Genuine

LW: 6lb,10 oz SW:340lb GW:170lb CW:160

I learn something new, EVERY day, from SOME body

Sparklekitty, Hag of Science
on 7/28/17 1:55 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

I was a little bit sad that I didn't get to color-coordinate on this trip. I borrowed my mom's bike, that way I wouldn't have to bring mine on the plane. It's not as snazzy as my yellow bike, but it's a super-fancy carbon-fiber model that was still pretty cool :)

Now that RAGBRAI is over, I don't get to stop training! I'm doing a triathlon on September 9th, and then El Tour de Tucson is in November, I think I'll ride the 55mi distance. And now that it's cooling down, Nolan can ride in the trailer with me when I train!

My parents and I already have grand plans for our next ride! My mom wants to do the full Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, which is 72mi across the Idaho panhandle, next summer after she finishes both knee replacements. And Nolan can ride with! :)

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Tucson Roller Derby

on 7/28/17 6:22 pm

Great job! I can't even begin to tell you how much respect I have for you. I love riding, too, but I don't have the stamina for much distance and I am in awe of all that you do.

I can't even imagine how good it must feel to have your body be able to do such amazing things!

WLS 10/28/2002 Revision 7/23/2010

High Weight  (2002) 240 Revision Weight (2010) 220 Current Weight 115.

on 7/28/17 7:13 pm - Boston , MA
VSG on 12/28/16