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Several first-timer questions
Hello, everyone. I’m thinking about my first-ever RAGRAI this coming coming July, and I’d appreciate a little advice and some suggestions.
I’ve done a lot of unsupported, loaded tours in the last few years, of a duration of four weeks or more…Buenos Aires (Argentina) – Valparaiso (Chile), Costa Rica/Nicaragua, eastern Europe Warsaw-Bucharest (along the Danube, mostly), and most recently The Great Benelux Battlefields Bikeabout, looping from Amsterdam, through the Netherlands, into Belgium, northeast France, back thru Belgium and finishing in Luxembourg, visiting WWI/II battlefields and sights along the way. So, I’m not unfamiliar with cycle touring. Some questions about RAGBRAI, though.
I own a Trek 5.0 Pilot road bike and a Surly Long Haul Trucker tourer. Which is the more appropriate bike for RAGBRAI, do you you think?
Assuming I bring the Trek (my preference, since it’s lighter and faster, and I don’t have to haul a lot of sh…uh, stuff) are 23mm tires appropriate? I’ve read that the road surfaces on RAGBRAI ain’t always optimum for skinny tires. Would you advise going up to 28mms?
Did a lot of camping – well, most of the time – on this last tour, and I ended up, halfway thru it, mailing my tent on to my already-booked accomodation in Luxembourg City, simply ’cause I wasn’t using it. I vastly prefer a hammock – far more comfortable, easier to swing/strike than a tent, didn’t have to worry about finding level ground, etc. I do have a rain cover for it, of course. Question is – how hammock friendly are the campgrounds along the route, generally? Some campgrounds don’t like them, or have nowhere they can be swung. I suppose I could bring both hammock and tent, but that’s a little bit of a PIA. Do the campgrounds have suitable areas for hammocking?
Thanks for any insights or comments you might have to offer.
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