West Point Women Take on RAGBRAI

West Point Women Take on RAGBRAI

When a friend and fellow West Point Woman reaches out to say “do you want to…” it’s almost a given that the answer will be a loud and thunderous “Yes I do!”

In this case, when the opportunity arose to create a team of West Point Women to take on the adventure of RAGBRAI, fifteen women (including three friends of WPW!) answered the call and joined together for an unforgettable week of camaraderie and adventure.  

RAGBRAI is the oldest bike touring event in America, and July 2023 represented the 50 th anniversary of its founding. The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa changes routes each year and the West Point Women’s team chose a year with one of the longest, hilliest and – as it turned out – hottest rides in history.

Over seven days, 500+ miles, and 16,000 feet of climbing, our team of 15 weeklong riders from classes spanning from USMA82 to USMA99 showed the grit and perseverance that is at the core of being a West Point Woman!

While completing each day’s ride through the beautiful Iowa countryside was the original objective, as the week went on it was apparent that the true adventure was the time and opportunity to get to know each other, this remarkable group of women who supported and cheered each other every day of the ride! In a way that is so unique to our sisterhood, each woman had a deep sense of what it meant to operate on a team and it showed from the first day.

With varying skill, training, and knowledge of what to expect on the ride, each woman contributed where she could. We shared food, water, sunscreen, led a draft pack, or set up camp for the night, each to her own ability and outcome that day. When you had a good day, you could lift someone up, try to help a teammate who may have struggled in the 110* heat that day.

The support and camaraderie was real and on display each and every day; no jealousy or animosity to be found, as we all felt the success and strength of each other. The bonds of the Long Gray Line were also on display.

In Ames, Gene and Marylou Nosco represented the West Point Society of Central Iowa, working together with Adam and Colleen Schwartz, parents of Hannah Patterson ‘20, who opened their home to our group for food, fellowship, and air conditioning!!  



It was exactly the support we needed after three days and already over 200 miles of riding. We were so grateful to grip hands in friendship!

Representing West Point Women with our high visibility kits and in our riding groups was a thrill, and gave us the chance to proudly and positively represent our alma mater! Together we were as strong as we looked. There was not one woman that didn’t cheer on the accomplishments, big or small, of another.

RAGBRAI is an accomplishment for anyone who completes the route, and for the group of West Point Women who conquered this year’s route, it was an adventure of a lifetime!

Amanda Coussoule '97, Casey Moes '99, et.al. 


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