It's about to be RAGBRAI's 50th anniversary. What started as an idea from two Des Moines Register journalists to bike across Iowa has exploded into a phenomenon, attracting cyclists (and beer enthusiasts) from nearly every corner of the world.

While many taking to their bikes this summer will be seasoned RAGBRAI veterans, the ride's 50th anniversary is also attracting newbies – some who have thought about signing up their whole lives but never found a chance, or even some who'd never heard of it all and are eager to give it a try.

Here are some of their stories. Maybe it will inspire you to get back into that training routine, or to sign up for yourself along the route to experience what RAGBRAI is all about.

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