Team Simpson revs up for RAGBRAI


by Kelsey Hagelberg

Simpson College is looking for 50 new riders to participate in the 2011 RAGRAI bicycle ride as a part of Team Simpson.

The team allows anyone who has a connection with Simpson to join whether it be alumni, current students, faculty, parents or friends.

The team actually formed unexpectedly.

“Two years ago Indianola was selected to be an overnight host for RAGBRAI, and it seemed like an ideal year to start a team to build alumni connections and promote the college,” said Chris Goodale, senior advancement officer and co-caption of the team.

Since then, Simpson has completed two successful rides.

Participants are able to purchase a Simpson themed bike suit for $65.

“Each year we work with the design team at jersey manufacturer Louis Garneau to design a jersey unique for each RAGBRAI,” Goodale said.

This year Simpson’s colors and name are printed across the chest with maple leaves to accent the design.

Team Simpson offers participants a chance to make new acquaintances with other members on the team or with the families who allow the team to stay in their homes.

“The camaraderie between the riders and our hosts as well as the awareness we build for the college are the greatest outcomes of Team Simpson,” said Kelley Bradder, senior vice president of information services and chief information officer and team co-captain said.

No fitness level is required, but a little preparation would aid in the performance.

“Year round training is ideal, but as a young person if a student could ride about 500 to 600 miles, especially in June and July, they should have a good RAGBRAI experience,” said Leslie Held, participant and director of alumni relations.

The hard work prior to participation will help on the days where the weather may not cooperate.

“The rainy days that seem to be uphill both ways are the greatest challenge,” Bradder said. “With the support of the team, individuals will help each other get over these humps.”

If individuals do not want to ride with the team they can still wear the Simpson College uniform. It will show support for the college even if riders aren’t apart of Team Simpson.

“There are no better ambassadors for Simpson than our students,” Goodale said.

Working with others through Team Simpson allows people to build relationships with others while providing an opportunity to network with those along the ride.

“The friendships and fellowship that comes from getting good people together in the name of Simpson is its own reward,” Goodale said.

If you are interested in being a part of Team Simpson, contact Goodale or Bradder for more details.