Feature Story - Team Bat's Stay

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by Chris Wilbeck

When we heard that the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) was rolling through Jefferson - bringing more than 10,000 riders and their support staff - we were as excited as most in Greene County.  When Kevin's sister, Kira Ahart, mentioned that her RAGBRAI bike team, TEAM BAT, was looking for a place to stay when in Jefferson, we were thrilled to host and offer our campground.

So, on the night of July 21 and the morning of July 22, we hosted 27 members and friends of TEAM BAT.  They pitched their tents at Camp Coyote, used the temporary gravity-feed showers Kevin recently installed, and ate breakfast on the front porch of our house.
We enjoyed meeting them all.  They were great guests.  And, as I'm told is characteristic of most RAGBRAI guests, they left the campground exactly as they found it ... in perfect order.

See photos of their stay below.

Waiting for the BAT bus

Kris Roecker (Kevin's sister pictured on the left), daughter Bailey (center) and friend Shelly Kasperbauer from Denison enjoy a cool lemonade on our front porch, as they wait for the team to arrive.

The bus arrives

Around 7pm that night, the big white BAT bus makes its approach to our drive.




BAT Kids greet the team

BAT Kids greet the team.  Pictured with them are team members Kira Ahart (Kevin's sister on the left) and Denise Ditto.





Kevin and team members discuss the logistics of unloading their gear and transporting it to Camp Coyote with our tractor and wagon.

Setting up camp
Team members pitch their tents, while Kevin takes this aerial shot from a hydraulic lift borrowed from our neighbor. 

Come-and-go breakfast

Our guests come-and-go for breakfast on Tuesday morning.

Our Greeter and Hostess

Jan Wilbeck, Kevin's mom - standing next to our menu board and beverage station - greets the team as they head for the breakfast buffet set up in the dining room. 

Bikers need fuel

To ensure they had the energy they needed to bike to Ames that day, we served egg casserole, crunchy breakfast potatoes, french toast strips, sausage links, rhubarb coffee cake and Gert's dessert (a cream cheese, whip cream and butterscotch dessert named after Kevin's Grandma).

Breakfast on the porch

Team members eat and chat on the front porch.

No tables required ...

Even though we had more tables set up on the front lawn, our guests ate and relaxed on our shady porch stoop and ledges.

Loading the bus
Camping gear was taken off the wagon and loaded onto the bus.

Official Team Bat T-Shirts

On behalf of the team, Jesse Gerlits presents Kevin with Team Bat T-shirts and Team stickers.

We will wear them proudly!

Going, going, gone!
Before we knew it, they were packed up and on their way to their next stop.  Another day on the bike and another town to explore.

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For more information, call Chris Wilbeck at 515-229-6988.