At Disciplined Growth Investors we have a close-knit team that is curious, passionate and a little eccentric. In their own ways, they each exemplify the qualities that make DGI unique. In order to recognize and encourage what our people were already doing, we created Project Bold.
DGI sponsors employees as they make bold moves in their own lives. To try something new. To stare down the unknown until it hands over its secrets. To ride no coat tails. To rest on no laurels.
These are their stories…
In 2012, Robert decided to sign up for the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). At roughly 470 miles, the RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. He knew the task would be challenging, but he had no idea the kind of hardships he would face along the way.
“I saw a lot of ambulances along the route. My only feeling when I crossed the finish line was, ‘I just want to go home.’”
Not only did the ride prove to be long and grueling, it was perhaps the hottest RAGBRAI in the 41-year history of the event. Every day the air temperature was around 90 degrees, which translated into about 115 degrees near the scorching Iowa pavement.
The third day was “Century Day,” when riders had the option of taking an extra 20-mile loop that turned the 80-mile ride into 100 miles. Robert and his friend Max decided to take the extra loop, which had two of the longest, steepest hills of the entire route. This proved to be a bad decision. By the end of the day, Max had “bonked”—bicyclist term for hitting the wall. He was suffering from sunstroke and fatigue, and couldn’t go on. Suddenly, Robert was on his own.
The next day, nearing his breaking point, he noticed a group of riders wearing shirts for a school where Robert’s father-in-law had once been Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “I rode like a banshee to catch up with them and asked if I could join them. They had all been required to collect donations to join the group, so I wrote a check, and they let me join. Things got a little easier after that.”
When the long, hot, grueling ride was finally over, Robert admitted he felt a sense of relief rather than a sense of accomplishment. “I saw a lot of ambulances along the route. My only feeling when I crossed the finish line was, ‘I just want to go home.’”
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