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Gearing up for RAGBRAI is no joke for a NEWBIE but I am certain everything will work out in the end.

Updated: Mar 20

We are a week away from my 500 miles ride across Iowa and that overwhelming feeling of unpreparedness is haunting me every second.

I am definitely not longing for perfection on this one but I know that failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.

''Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.'' Eddy Merckx

I am still juggling to find the right balance to get things I need done now; including training and planning all the small details .

It is certain that I will not be able to bring my family (Wife+daughter) as anticipated due to the limited budget at my disposal at this time.

It would have been really nice to have them come along as weekly non riders.

I am sure they would have enjoyed discovering Iowa culture and their physical presence would have been a mental boost for me while I embark on this journey. It will certainly be challenging both physically and mentally.

Cyrille on a group ride lead by Landry's Bicycle in Worcester-Mass .June 2023

Residing in Worcester-Mass, I will be flying from Boston Logan International Airport the morning of Friday, June 21st.

It will be an early flight (7:00 am) from Boston to New York for a layover then New York to Des Moines, Iowa.

I prefer early flights in busy seasons as they allow me to anticipate any flight delay or cancellation inconveniences.

Once I arrive in Des Moines Iowa, I will be picked from the airport by members of the Major Taylor Iowa Cycling Club.(MTIA)

I met Sunnie, founder of the MTIA last year at the first edition of the Major Taylor Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

She rode her bike that weekend with other attendees, mostly black Cyclists from other Major Taylor Cycling Clubs. At the time, I would have never imagined myself riding a bike let alone trying to do 500 miles across Iowa.

Sunnie and Cyrille in Indianapolis (June 2022)

Before then, we have only been following each other's work and advocacy online.

So when I decided to ride RAGBRAI, it was logical to me to partner with the MTIA.

Sunnie is not a RAGBRAI newbie like me, she has done it last year and also has way more experience in the saddle.

I am looking forward to riding with her and other members of the MTIA club that I have only seen through pictures of club rides.

Sunnie & members of the MTIA

The Des Moines chapter of Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB) will be hosting Major Taylor Cycling Clubs crew in their Expo Booth in Sioux City, Ames and Des Moines.

WHIRLWIND will be able to host Meet & Greet Sessions, film poster signing and networking meets in the booth as well. (More details coming soon!)

Watch WHIRLWIND Trailer Concept below :

''If you hang around the barbershop long enough, sooner or later you're going to get a haircut.'' Denzel Washington

I am new to cycling in general and really started riding consistently two months ago when I decided to ride RAGBRAI to raise awareness and funds for the documentary I am making about Marshall Major Taylor who won the world bicycle championship in 1899.

At the time I am writing this article, the longest I have ridden in one ride is 25 miles.

Anyways I really need all the support, motivation and prayers now more than ever !

You can join and support this campaign/ride by donating on our GoFundMe

Learn more about the film project in Cycling Weekly

Check out the Press release of this campaign/ride HERE

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