While I’m not cycling across the country or up the coast this summer, I am cycling across the state of Iowa. Unlike my other adventures, this one has attracted over 10,000 people to traverse the same cornfields. Wish I could say I had something to do with it, but it’s all about the legacy of RAGBRAI. We’re just pedaling it forward.
Here are some interesting facts:
- RAGBRAI: Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa
- Started in 1973 by two reporters at the Des Moines Register
- Now the oldest, largest, and longest bicycle touring event in the world
- Begins at the Missouri River and ends at the Mississippi River
- The 7-day route changes yearly
- Towns in Iowa apply for the privilege to be a “host community” and welcome the cyclists into their town overnight
- 8,500 week-long cyclists traverse the entire route and 1,500 day-riders jump in each day
- Lance Armstrong is joining the ride this year
- RAGBRAI is listed as one of America’s 100 Best Adventures by National Geographic
How the Legacy of RAGBRAI Applies to Leaders
Imagine Iowa is a company. Two people – John Karras and Don Kaul (pictured here) – worked for Iowa and decided to do something different to bring some energy and enthusiasm to Iowa (the “company”). Do you think they set out to create such an epic legacy for Iowa intentionally or inadvertently?
At first the ride was just a pilot, held at the end of August. But people gave feedback – they were taking their kids back to school and could they hold the event earlier in the summer? So the ride was moved up earlier and earlier until one year it landed on the last week of July. 2013 marks the ride’s 41st birthday. Its reputation for being one of the best adventures is magnetic. People from all over the world descend upon Iowa to participate. That was one helluva successful pilot!
Imagine the towns are like departments. Each year they apply to serve as the “host communities” because of the honor of carrying on the legacy and because of the economic boom for their residents (“employees”). Imagine if the legacy you create today kindled actions in leaders in departments or teams everywhere and their actions fueled the organization’s legacy with great pride.
The Legacy of Leaders
Did John and Don have any idea they were creating a remarkable event? Did they set out on their bikes to create their legacy as leaders? Probably not.
But remarkable leaders and remarkable legacies are created only through remarkable experiences. And we can intentionally create those every day – at any moment we choose. That’s what John and Don did. That’s what you can do.
What remarkable experience are you going to create today, this week, this month, or this year? Share with the Moxie in Motion community
This entire week I’ll be sharing pictures of the remarkable experience Team Moxie in Motion is intentionally creating through the cornfields of Iowa. Stay tuned!