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Vote Dick... Continued

boarding isn’t torture,” “there is no insurgency,” and “the constitution is for sissies.” When other riders would ask us if we were joking, we responded with a question of our own: “Is freedom a joke?”

In general, the jerseys did receive responses from across the political spectrum. We had conservatives assume that we were Republicans voicing our displeasure with McCain, and therefore tried to engage us in serious conversation about the future direction of the Grand Old Party. Somehow, other riders actually thought our jerseys were offering support to McCain, though I’m not sure what evidence they based that on. We encountered many liberals who took our jerseys as a sign of the apocalypse, and felt the need to tell us that Cheney was a Nazi who ate kittens (and, by extension, so were we).

There were, though, many riders who asked for no explanation. Many people would pass by and tell us they liked our jerseys; others asked if they could take our pictures. We had to pose for cameras so often that as the week wore on we felt like celebrities. “Vote Dick” t-shirts that we could hardly give away at the beginning of the ride were almost sold out by the end.

By the last day, I began to suspect that we may have actually won the hearts and minds of the state of Iowa. Until, that is, a middle-aged woman asked me “What is the story with Cheney ‘08?” “What is the story?” I responded. “It is the story of American Freedom. It is the story of a line of great American presidents, of which Dick Cheney is the next chapter.” Her friend asked, “So you guys really like Dick?” “Lady, I love Dick,” I said. “I can’t get enough Dick.” The first woman appeared convinced. “I knew it! I knew you guys supported Cheney.”





RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day ride across Iowa the last full week of July. It began in 1973 when two members of The Des Moines Register decided to ride across the state and write about it for the newspaper, and invited the public to join them. The route averages just short of 500 miles, but starts somewhere along the Missouri River and ends along the Mississippi River every year, passing through dozens of small Iowa towns and countless Iowa cornfields. Now limited to 10,000 officially registered riders, RAGBRAI has established itself as the longest, largest and oldest bike tour in the country. For more information, visit: