This will be my 1st RAGBRIA. I took my bike in today for a tune up before the warm weather rush and told the mechanic that I was going to ride RAGBRIA this year. I pointed out a few things I was concerned about on my bike. He said they weren’t an issue and recommended only a new chain and what I consider a lower level tune up. He is the expert but if he is wrong, how are the bike repair services on the route? If they can handle most repairs that come along then I wont worry about it. If it means some needed repair that comes along is where my ride would end then I think I will get a 2nd opinion.
I agree with CR, tacook, and RN! I had a shifting problem a couple of yeats ago that I fiddled with for a couple of days myself. Finally I took it to one of the roadside mechanics and he had it perfect in no time. He charged me next to nothing for a very valuable service! They do some pretty extensive mechanic work all along the route. Marlin, your official route map will show what towns have mechanics set up. Most larger pass through towns do.
My main concern is that I will be riding an older bike, a 1989 Cannondale. I love the way this bike handles and the way it “feels on me,” and can’t imagine doing this ride on another bike. Still I have concerns about the bike repair shops on the route having the parts available to make repairs on the old girl.
Thanks for the replies. From reading through the posts I figured getting repairs wouldn’t be a problem. It looks like after 40 years of RAGBRIA there are no stones left unturned. If you can book a mobile air conditioned luxury suite to sleep in every night then it stands to reason you can get a bike fixed since bikes are what the event is centered around. I thought I would ask anyway rather than ASS-U-ME. I imagine even if something terrible as a frame breaking happens I could probably even buy a bike. My goal is to be in good enough shape that I can even slice through the entire ride on a big box special if needed.
I hate to say this, but the bike shops on RAGBRAI are many times a better bet then your local bike shop.
They are very experienced, quick and typically charge about half of what my local bike shop would charge.
The shops are everywhere. Their “shops” are portable pop-up tents. You’ll see them in the overnight towns. In the mornings usually on the way out of town. In the afternoons at pass through towns and sometimes you’ll see them at an intersection in the middle of nowhere.
Check items that wear out: Tires, tubes, bar tape, break pads, etc.
Check items that get loose: Handle bar (twists side to side), brake levers (on older bikes can get loose), spokes, seat post.
Check items that need to be aligned: Wheels, derailleurs.
Check comfort items: Is your seat post still at the right height for you? Are your handlebars at a comfortable level?
If it’s your first RAGBRAI, do you have a few pairs of bike shorts and jerseys? Do you have Chamois Butt’r? Chamois butt’r can be purchased in $1 packets at the bike shops. They usually have them in a jar.
I’m a student working some RAGBRAI stats into a recent project, and hoping someone can fill in some holes for me — I’m trying to see how much the price has gone up since the race began, and am having a hard time finding numbers. Here’s what I have so far:
Started charging in 1984
2006 = $125
2008-2010 = $140
2011-2013 = $150
Also, if there’s a resource anyone knows about that tracks how many people have ridden throughout the years (documented, at least), I’d appreciate it!
Shannon, they first charged a fee in 1983, it was $12.50. When I started in’90′, it was $20. The following year they doubled it to $40. Since then it has gone up roughly $10 about every two years. For more info. check out John Karras’s book, “RAGBRAI – Everyone Pronounces It Wrong”.
According to” the History of RAGBRAI ” published by the Register, 1984 was the fist year that started to charge a deem. RAGBRAI IX as the last to end in August. Since then always the last full week of July. The first year estimated 300 showed up at start and 114 did entire roulette. About 500 from ames to Des Moines. RAGBRAI Ions about 2700. III about 3200 started and 2400 finished. That was also the first year they called it RAGBRAI. By XII 7500. XVIwas alo the year the Century loop started. The Century day had been around since VI at least.