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RAGBRAI riders rock out

Mike Knapp’s bike music players have gotten more sophisticated over the years.

Knapp, who rides with Team Flamingo, started riding RAGBRAI 31 years ago and he used his Walkman to pump out hits along the way.

Today, Knapp listens to everything from 60s and 70s to Pink and Lady Gaga on a speaker connected to his iPhone that sits in his water bottle holder. A remote control on the handlebars lets him flip through songs.

“They don’t make these anymore, so I’ll have to take care of it,” Knapp, 63 of Waterloo, said.

His favorite song to power up hills?

“Spirit in the Sky by some guy who’s got a weird name,” Knapp said.

The Norman Greenbaum song was released in 1969.

Casey Shelton, 33 of Des Moines, and the Red Hot Rockstars use a solar panel to help power the giant homemade stereo Shelton hauls behind his bike.

Add a couple cases of beer and it weighs more than 100 pounds.

“I’m the only one who’s dumb enough to pull it,” Shelton said.

Drew Beeber of Carroll has themed music for each day of the week.

Eighties for Sunday, Van Halen tomorrow and Leonard Skynyrd for Tuesday,

Justin Marchant of Upper Iowa University’s Team Peacock hauls a 150-pound sound system with one other person on his tandem bike.

Among other songs on the RAGBRAI playlist: Journey and the Cupid Shuffle.

“We just want people to dance and have a good time,” Marchant said.

2 Responses on “RAGBRAI riders rock out

John Fisher - Des Moines

July 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

Some suggestions:
“Goin’ Up The Country” (Canned Heat)
Further On Up The Road (Clapton)
It’s A Beautiful Morning (The Rascals)
Against The Wind (Segar)
Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
Out In The Country (Three Dog Night) …


January 14, 2014 at 11:52 am

If you’re looking for something a little bigger than a waterbottle and a little smaller than a trailer-mounted system, check out http://www.bikebeatz.com. Powerful enough for the rider and friends to hear over wind, light enough that you can still get up a hill!

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