Meeting an old friend on our Des Moines bike ride: Sister Vicious Power-Hungry Bitch (no joke!)


Meeting up with an old friend at DSM Pride Fest - Sister Vicious Power Hungry Bitch and another Sister of Perpetual Indulgence!

Meeting up with an old friend at DSM Pride Fest – Sister Vicious Power Hungry Bitch and another Sister of Perpetual Indulgence!

I didn’t expect to bump into an old friend on our weekly Sunday bike ride in Des Moines but as we rode into the East Village, the scene was livelier than usual – much livelier thanks to the annual PrideFest. And amidst the rainbow clad revelers I saw a bunch of white-faced nuns and realized they must be the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a famous group of gay activists from San Francisco. About 14 years ago, I wrote a profile for the Des Moines Register of one of the leading sisters who just happened to be from Des Moines: Sister Vicious Power-Hungry Bitch.Here’s Sister Vicious’ story about how it all began in the 1970s at the University of Iowa! He/she was charming and it was one of my favorite stories ever – and there she was (she’s the sister in red) back in Des Moines where apparently she spends every summer (She lives most of the year in San Francisco’s Castro district.) We had a nice catch little chat! Can’t recall the name of the other sister in the pix but good to see them.It all began with four gay nuns in Iowa!!

That wasn’t the only excitement on our 32-mile ride  – we left and returned under cloudy skies which briefly turned into a downpour near the Saylorville Dam on the Neal Smith trail. We waited it out then rode through another brief shower but it could have been worse – and certainly looked worse than it was. The weather has been so lousy, especially during these “June” weekends that us bicyclist are resigned to riding in the rain if need be, especially to get in our RAGBRAI training hours. Gnats were omnipresent (I got some in my mouth and ears.) And we even came across some Bow-fishers – yes, guys fishing with giant bows near McHenry Park and North High on the trail. (I thought they were bow-hunting deer at first).

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