Just who is Team RoadShow?
Team RoadShow is an integral part of the RAGBRAI experience, providing free entertainment and ambiance to RAGBRAI participants and locals since 2003. But, just who are these rapscallions, with their rogueish good looks and penchant for pleasing packs of partying people by performing acts of perpetual peril and puckish parody, pranks, and tomfoolery? Good question!
Team RoadShow is made up of jugglers, clowns, circus folk artists, musicians, acrobats, and even some engineers and scientists. Also known as the “Poorest Team on RAGBRAI,” Team RoadShow has financed their trip by performing at the RAGBRAI overnight towns and sometimes along the route since 2003. While only some of TRS perform in their main shows, the team is filled with talented people, and their camp of 30 or more usually resembles an exploded circus tent.
TRS is primarily based in Wisconsin and Iowa, but has members all over the country, including Indiana and Oregon. They reunite once a year at RAGBRAI, and come up with a brand new and unique show each year. The main performers are members, alumni, or otherwise affiliated with the Iowa State Juggling Club, who can be hired for shows in Iowa year-round. Members of TRS have have also performed with the (now defunct) Gravity Works Jugglers, and Sir Yapsalot currently performs regularly in Eugene, Oregon with the GreyMatter Jugglers, Free Pile Sirkus, and Earth DescenDance Fire Theater.
Team RoadShow is also the main support team of crazy people attempting RAGBRAI on unicycles. Team RoadShow members who have completed all or part of RAGBRAI on a unicycle include George Barnes, Jesse Shumaker, Aaron, Kai Martin, Joseph Sherman, CT Guzman, Jason Pardie, and Mike Matula.
Team RoadShow was founded as the Road Show USA during the fall of 2002. Road Show USA now refers exclusively to the self supported cross-country charity ride that occurred the summer of 2003 (June 5, 2003 – August 15, 2003). Road Show USA raised nearly $5,000 dollars for the Shriner’s Childrens Hospitals, a non-profit organization providing free burn and orthopaedic care to children. The trip was an overwhelming success, and raised money through pledges and juggling performances along the way. The group of nine riders (7 for the first half, 8 for the second half) carried all of their gear and juggling equipment with them, slept in parks and back yards, road up mountains, through freezing rain, traffic, and 110 degree heat. RoadShowUSA.org is the archived website for the trip, and includes a road journal and photo gallery. I encourage anyone interested in our history to read that site. It was quite the adventure.
The trip was such an overwhelming success that the members decided to create Team RoadShow for future cycling events.