Why I RAGBRAI on a unicycle

Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, will celebrate his golden birthday Saturday by unicycling into Guttenberg from Independence.
The 25-year-old (for several more hours anyway) is tackling his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle. He rode the entire route in previous years, but this year joined the ride Friday, for his birthday weekend, because of a new job.
“I really enjoy doing it because of all the people I’ve met,” Pardie said of opting for one wheel over two and no handlebars. “If I was on a bike, they’d never realize who I was.”
This year Pardie is debuting a new 29” ride with two gears, rather than his typical 36” unicycle.
He said he can cruise at a speed of 14 to 15 MPH with optimum wind conditions. But that was not the case Friday morning with a challenging start in Waverly. Rain and brutal gusts of sidewind toppled him over multiple times during the first 15 mile stretch.
“It was a rough morning,” Pardie said Thursday.
He’s hoping favorable winds will blow his direction for a happy 26th birthday in Guttenberg.

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