RAGBRAI XLV Countdown – July 23-29, 2017
Friends of RAGBRAI

Forums

Forums Categories

Members

Anyone else carry all their gear on the bike?

(10 posts) (8 voices)
Started 1 week, 5 days ago by yashardonnay smith
Latest reply from Sam 3 days, 4 hours ago

This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Sam Sam 3 days, 4 hours ago.

We used the RAGBRAI truck in the past, and it was a great service, but I’m wanting to prep myself for bike touring excursions. I’ll be hauling my gear along with my partner’s stuff.

Our tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads combined weigh about 8 pounds. We figure another 5-7 pounds for the rest of our haul. We are minimalists, so we’ll bring very few clothes and personal items. So I’m looking at around 15 pounds in my pannier bags on the rack. On the other side of the coin, I’m aiming to lose at least that amount in weight by the time RAGBRAI hits.

Just wondering if anyone else here has hauled their stuff, and if there are any non-camping items that are super lightweight that should be on my radar?


  • Profile photo of yashardonnay
    yashardonnay smith
  • We used the RAGBRAI truck in the past, and it was a great service, but I’m wanting to prep myself for bike touring excursions. I’ll be hauling my gear along with my partner’s stuff.

    Our tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads combined weigh about 8 pounds. We figure another 5-7 pounds for the rest of our haul. We are minimalists, so we’ll bring very few clothes and personal items. So I’m looking at around 15 pounds in my pannier bags on the rack. On the other side of the coin, I’m aiming to lose at least that amount in weight by the time RAGBRAI hits.

    Just wondering if anyone else here has hauled their stuff, and if there are any non-camping items that are super lightweight that should be on my radar?


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 5 days ago ago #1196212

  • Profile photo of Ken
    KenH
  • You’ve done RAGBRAI before so you know that there are others who do this and hopefully if your question gets enough inane responses like this one to keep it near the top of the screen they will start to chime in. From memory I would estimate that even most of them are well above your target weight. Last year was my first time as a tent camper and I’d say I was 60 to 75 pounds between the two bags my charter allowed. Your goal is 15 pounds? For TWO people? I’m impressed!

    Once you get your kit assembled post some pictures so the rest of us can see how you do that….


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 4 days ago ago #1196403

  • Profile photo of Jason
    bamajason
  • I rode my first RAGBRAI this past year and planned to carry all of my own gear. We left from Omaha on Saturday and I carried all my gear the first three days, counting our ride from Omaha to Glenwood. By the time Tuesday rolled around, I decided to head to the Walmart in Creston to pick up a duffel bag and offload my gear for the rest of the week. On the last day, we rode from Washington to the train depot in Mount Pleasant. So, I had to put all my gear back on my bike for that ride (which was about a third gravel).

    I have a deep appreciation for both sides, but hope to not carry my own gear this year. For me, RAGBRAI is supposed to be a week-long nirvana of cycling, beer, and fun. I had a great sense of anxiety everyday over whether I would be able to get a good camping spot, be close to a shower truck, and be able to find my friends if we got separated during the day. As a result, I did not spend as much time in the pass-through times as I would have liked. And when I did stop, I had a new business just getting started back home and spent a fair amount of my rest time making phone calls to handle stuff that came up. It wasn’t as relaxing as I hoped it would be. I hope to change that this year.

    As for gear, my bags and gear totaled 30 pounds. Not too much, but it also could have been much lighter. I took too many off-bike clothes, I took a Surface (laptop) to do payroll while I was away, I had spare parts, tubes, chargers, tent, towel, sleeping pad, sleeping sack, camp chair, sunglasses, sunblock, extension cord, battery pack, etc. For 30 pounds, I had a fair amount of stuff. I am sure I will leave the Surface and the towel behind this year. I refuse to work and I should always be able to pick up a towel from the shower truck for a buck or so. When I offloaded my gear, I probably dropped 25 pounds and kept only the necessities with me (chargers, money, sunblock, raincoat, beer koozie, and that damn laptop).

    I haven’t decided if I will charter or truck it this year. My brother likes the self-contained aspect of carrying your own gear. If he likes it that much, maybe he would like carrying mine too! I think we will end up chartering or joining a team that will get our stuff across the state and secure camping/housing for us each night.


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 4 days ago ago #1196447

  • Profile photo of yashardonnay
    yashardonnay smith
  • Ken,

    As I started tracking the actual weights last night, 15lbs is certainly becoming an ambitious goal but I think we can come close to it. We live in Oregon and go backpacking often, so we have a number of super lightweight camping gear.

    Here’s what I’m at so far in pounds:

    Two person tent – 3.7
    Two sleeping bags – 3.46 combined
    Two air mattresses – 2.25 combined
    Footprint for tent – .44
    Portable charger – .5

    That’s 10.35 pounds so far. A little more than I had hoped, but can still keep us on track for less than 20lbs.

    I figure fewer than 5lbs in clothes. As I learned last time, I really brought too many items. Just 2-3 shirts/jerseys max, one long sleeve, and 2 shorts will really do the trick. Wash them a few times along the route and hang them to dry.

    The rest will come from small items: Travel-size hygienic items, phones, etc.

    If we can keep everything to around 18 pounds I will be ECSTATIC.


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 4 days ago ago #1196457

  • Profile photo of yashardonnay
    yashardonnay smith
  • Bamajason,

    Great insight! I’m sort of challenging myself with this, and it’s good to know that we can go the duffel bag route if necessary. But I really want the freedom of having everything with us and will train appropriately. Hopefully you have a much more relaxed time this year. RAGBRAI should not be stressful to any degree!


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 4 days ago ago #1196458

  • Profile photo of jim
    jwsknk
  • wish I would have weighed my bike loaded. Probably 20-25 lbs gear range for a 10 day ride we did. 2 man tent took up front panniers. tent and poles one side, stakes, rain fly & ground cloth other. cloths in back, bike gear, arm & leg warmers, rain gear one side (took 3 sets, so 2 in bag). other side 2 sets for off bike, 1 pair of shorts had the zip on legs, 2 hi tech shirts. shower bag, charger cords, etc. Off bike sandals on top of rear bags. Bedding in dry seal bag strapped on top of rear rack. Front rack had bag for camera and lens, maps, sun screen, lip balm, insect repellant (was in Minnesota)


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 3 days ago ago #1196569

  • Profile photo of Chuck
    Dockat
  • 20 lbs is probably doable for RAGBRAI. Last year I rode the optional 2100 miles thru Canada to Buffalo and on to DC. Great ride and I wish I could have done twenty lbs, I averaged about 50 lbs , but food cooking gear and a 10 lb tent add up. I used RAGBRAI as my warm up and let the truck do the heavy lifting. Plan to do a similar trip this year just going a different direction.


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 3 days ago ago #1196596

  • Profile photo of Kevin
    Gypsy Rose
  • In two transcontinental tours, I’ve never carried more than 35 lbs on my bike, including full cooking and camping gear. (I’ve always been a low budget sort of traveler – always camping, and preparing most of my meals from provisions purchased along the way.)

    That said, I fully acknowledge that it’s a personal style sort of thing. What one may consider an indispensable item might be deemed a pure luxury by others. Depending on what end of the spectrum you fall, I don’t doubt that one could get by with 15 lbs of gear on RAGBRAI, given the warm temps and the plethora of services available along the route.

    Enjoy!
    ~ Kevin


      Quote

    Posted 1 week, 2 days ago ago #1196995

  • Profile photo of paednoch2
    paednoch2
  • I started Riding in 1988 at age 18. I rode self-contained that year with just a backpack jean shorts and flip flops and one t-shirt however I didn’t wear the shirt one time the whole week…even inside the bars and eateries (we called flip flops thongs back then btw). Funny I don’t recall ever getting tired that year but that was 29 RAGBRAIs ago.

    In the 30 RAGBRAIs I have done I would say I have “bagged” (carried my own gear) 8-10 times. I never carried more than 20 pounds complete in the panniers. A few years I rode from my own town to the start pulling a trailer and then across the state. One year it was a Burley kiddie trailer filled with my gear the other time I used a Bob. I quit using the trailers because it was completely unnecessary. If you decide to self-contain 20-25 pounds will be plenty. I never packed more than 3 shirts 3 shorts and a scant amount of toiletries for the whole week. Use water and wash stuff and hang dry. Its not a fashion show. I will add that the last 12 RAGBRAIs I have slept in a bed in a house every night and I no longer carry my own. It is one of the advantages of riding the ride so many times and having lots of teacher friends…we always know at least one family in the over night town that we call the day the route is announced to get a spot usually we stay in the same places we did the previous time we were there. I’m looking forward to the ride this year. If I can give any advice to riders is to leave after 8 AM or even closer to 9 AM the bike traffic is far safer and your chances of getting caught in a pile up are drastically less.


      Quote

    Posted 4 days, 22 hours ago ago #1198745

  • Profile photo of Sam
    Sam
  • We were slightly over 15 lbs that year.
    Quadrabike


      Quote

    Posted 3 days, 4 hours ago ago #1199369

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

© 2017 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy