A Journey to RAGBRAI, Father & Son Bike from Arizona - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

A Journey to RAGBRAI, Father & Son Bike from Arizona

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By: Sabrina Ahmed

People from all over the country and the world come to RAGBRAI, but not very many people ride their bikes for 37 days and thousands of miles to get here for the big ride.

Eric Ewing has always had big dreams of cross country bike riding, but then life got in the way and he let that dream fade.  But when a family doing just that visited the Ewings in Tucson last year, that spark was lit again.

"When we met the family of touring cyclists, I couldn't even ride 10 miles to greet them and escort them to the house," Ewing said.

Since then, things have definitely changed for Ewing and his step son, Makani.  They decided they were going to ride their bikes through 7 states, 1,346 miles, 36,000 feet of climb, and make it to Iowa in time for RAGBRAI.

"Honestly, RAGBRAI is epic," Ewing said.

"When is somebody going to ask you that ever again, you know?" Makani asked himself, not hesitating to say yes to the trip.

Ewing is down 40 pounds and Makani has lost almost 20, but this journey has been much more than just a physical one.

"Growth spiritually, growth emotionally, maybe some greater appreciation for what I have and the people in my life and the relationships that I have.  Absolutely," Ewing said.

But that is not to say this was an easy ride.  It's a mental battle through every mile, and keeping your body healthy and energized is hard sometimes.

"In Tucumcari, I found myself in harm's way and I thought, well, I'm an overweight guy.  I could easily go to the hospital and convince a doctor that he has to tell me I can't do this anymore," Ewing said.

But they made it! And now, they're hoping this can be an inspiration to other people.

"Anybody can do it.  I mean it may take you longer, but you can do it.  It's just riding your bike," Makani said.

"You can't settle for the normal life.  You really have to do the epic things every once in a while.  You really have to live your life," Ewing said.

The Ewings did get to Iowa a couple days early.  They're glad because they could use a little bit of rest.

If you're interested in this team's adventure, you can follow them!  They have a website with a daily journal and map, along with pictures of what they see along the way.  Just go to www.simplespokes.com.

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