I’ve heard tell of a group out of UNC (Greeley) who does RAGBRAI regularly. With luck, I’ll be with my folks on the ride, but since they’re coming from the East Coast I’m looking for a way to the start & from the end.
(Honestly, the biggest reason I’d skip RAGBRAI this year is that driving across Nebraska nearly killed me. As in, I almost fell asleep at the wheel despite fun audiobooks and loads of coffee.)
The biggest trick for not getting sleepy on long road trips I’ve found is not just not eat anything at all from several hours before you start to drive until you’re done.
I don’t think I’d do well getting up first thing in the morning and driving for 8 hours without eating; by the time I got there it would be 18 hours since my last meal and my blood sugar would be rock-bottom! (Not to mention that if you eat today to ride tomorrow, I’d have an empty tank the first day of the ride.)
Won’t have room in our truck, sorry, but it occurs to me that with the start town being Council Bluffs you could take the Amtrack to Omaha. Then you’d just have to figure out how to get to Burlington to catch the train back at the end. I hear that taking a bike on Amtrack is fairly reasonable to manage.