I have thought about doing this ride since I was in my early 20′s ..some 40 years ago.
Our local paper, the St.Pete Times went so far as to have its own cross state ride a couple times back in the 70′s .Of course in South Fla this worked out to 120 miles ,the idea being to start with your back wheel in the Atlantic and finish the same day with your front wheel in the gulf of Mexico.
I know that the spandex clad dude and dudettes are a large part of the crowd, but what i’d like to know is there any proportion of the crowd who rides at the 9 -10 mph pace? My wife and I both average around 9 mi. per hour on long rides on our terra trike rovers. Do many seniors participate in the ride?
Thanks in advance,
There are a lot of 9-10 mph riders out there as well as a bunch of seniors. In fact, I believe the average age of a rider is around 45. You have all day to do one thing…..make it to the overnight town. If you hit the road by 7am, that gives you 12 hours to ride an average of about 70 miles per day. At your projected pace, that gives you 7 hours of ride time and 4-5 hours of play time along the way. The only bad thing about going 9-10mph is time in the saddle. Make sure you have plenty saddle time prior to the ride. My first year I went self-contained on a mountain bike with my wife and I bet we road 7-9 mph and loved every minute of it. Also, I see you are from Florida so hill training will be tough to simulate. Not that Iowa has mountains, but a day of rollers can tire a fellow out. I used to live in Iowa so hills were never a problem. Now I live in Kansas,(like FL without the oceans) and I hill train riding into the wind and ride my mountain bike in sandy soil. Seems to work.
Don’t sweat the pace Bill. Just join us and enjoy.
The route is “open” meaning supported by the sag wagons, stste patrol and bike shops , from 6 am to 6 pm. the towns have closing times based on a 10 mph average. That means a town 20 miles from the overnight shuts down support services at 4:00, 10 miles out 5:00. Just try yo keep right but be aware that somebody will probably try to pass on the right at some point and no matter how slow or fast people think they are, ther is always someone faster or slower on any given day.
Ragbrai is ridden by all forms of wheeled vehicles. Roller skates, blades, skooters, trikes, unicycles, great wheels, diamond frame bikes, mountain bikes, recumbants, velomobiles, bananas,…if someone thinks of it, you will see it driven. The age breakdown favors older enthusiasts, but people young at heart of all ages participate. Whatever speed or skill level, your willingness to complete each day is all that is necessary. Time limits allow for sheltering almost all drivers from unnecessary car/truck traffic, but early morning/late evening is ridden by many. Bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to get along. It’s like a moving circus. Check it out on youtube. Most dress up in spandex, but many ride conventionally or even in costume. All facets cannot be seen, even in a week! You will not forget it, but peddlers of all types unite. Ride RIGHT!
Schoss…I’m in my “upper” 70′s and “ride off to the right side of the road a lot”. You will be just fine at 9-10 mph and often slower. This year can be a fairly hilly route (rolling hills every day and occasionally a serious hill that has a “name” such as Mockingbird Hill on day 2), so it would be nice to have triple cranksets on your bikes, say a touring setup with a granny gear at 24 teeth and the other two chainrings which are comfortable for you. My setup is 48/44/24 up front with a 13-32 freewheel. “Senior riders” are in quite the minority percentage-wise, but with 10,000+ riders on RAG we still make up a significant number of happy folk. Good luck and hope to see you on the road. Cheers. LP
If you tip over from lack of speed, you’re going to slow. Anything faster than that is just fine. Just get an early start so you can enjoy your time on the route, stick to the right, and you’ll be fine.
For last years ride, I pushed hard early in the mornings when it was cool, riding a fair pace at 15 mph with short stops in each pass through town. Once the days got hot, I slowed way down and spent more time at towns and road side vendors, re-hydrating and having fun before moving on. Average speed for each day (breaks included) – 10 mph. Have fun, it is not a race.
Many years ago I lived in St Pete so I know you will be more than ready for any heat you might encounter in Iowa. I also know you have few hills upon which to train so I would take every opportunity to train INTO the wind to try and make up for the flatness of Pinellas County. Otherwise, I think you would have to travel a bit north to find some hills. Follow the training suggestions you’ll get on this site – but just make sure by the time you go to Iowas in July you can ride three days straight (in Florida) for 50+ miles. And Iowa is not flat.
Come on out and ride !
I am doing it for the first time this year, I am a self contained tourer so I am used to grinding along at 7-10 mph and i don’t plan on changing for this ride. In fact I may just “bag it” all the way so it feels like a tour. You won’t be the fastest but you probably won’t be the slowest. Though someone has to be I guess…hope it ain’t me : )
My average speed for all rides year-round is about 11.8 mph. It was no different for RAGBRAI last year. I was able to “catch up” with my son in pass-through towns for a fresh start and enjoyed the scenery.