Way back when the very first RAGBRAI was beginning its journey across Iowa, the head of our family, Grandpa Dave, was on the Chamber of Commerce in Storm Lake, Iowa. Storm Lake was the very first overnight town for RAGBRAI and the people from the Des Moines Register asked the Chamber if they would set out some cookies and possibly coffee on a table at the edge of town. So, Grandpa did just that. Legend has it that Grandpa served the founder of RAGBRAI, John Karras that day too.... At that very moment the gears in Grandpa's head were already turning on perhaps getting even more involved with this crazy event in the future....
Fast forward a few years to RAGBRAI XXII. Grandpa Dave got a call from his son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Joyce, just to see if he'd like to ride a couple of days of RAGBRAI. Grandpa was always up for an adventure so he took up the idea, hopped on his very flashy six speed bicycle, and away they went.
Shortly after our family's first RAGBRAI they started thinking that they needed a team name- something about us. They wanted to pay tribute to our Norwegian heritage and our great great grandparents, Andrew N. Nelson and Anna Margaret Dahle who came to America with their two year old, Nels Johannes. Nels later married Ida Josephine Holland. Growing up, many of the Nelson kids would hear Nels and Ida say "uffda" a lot in everyday life so they thought a team name after such an expression would be fitting. Thus, "Team Uffda" was born.
As the years went on, more family members got involved in pedaling their bikes across Iowa with Grandpa and before we knew it, RAGBRAI had become a summer tradition for the Nelson family. Nearly 20 years later, Team Uffda is still making RAGBRAI part of its summer plans each July, and as our family continues to grow, so will this tradition.