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To anyone who thinks RAGBRAI is merely a casual ride across Iowa, this year proved them wrong. This year the five P’s were evident: Pre-Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Like the guidelines for RAGBRAI say, if you aren’t in the right condition to do the ride, don’t come. SAG is not a taxi service. I’ve been honored to ride with some very hardcore people on RAGBRAI, from the guys on hand-cycles, to our Armed Forces members supporting each other every mile. Who can forget the unicycle or the skateboarders? Sure the weather was hot and humid; it’s July in Iowa! The miles were long, and some of the hills were too. All in all, I enjoyed my RAGBRAI. The training I put in prior to the ride made me feel stronger every day. Others I talked to had the same experience if they were fit. Those who thought RAGBRAI was a pie eating contest washed down with beer maybe not so much. My charter carried more people to the next overnight town than in the previous 9 years combined. They finally started asking people to merely ride into the first pass-through town to catch the Register’s SAG. The charters don’t travel with buses.
So did your training pay a dividend? And for you newbies, do you still think a 70 mile day in the saddle is just “7 10-mile rides linked together?” (Somebody actually posted that little bit of nonsense pre-ride.) Are you proud of your accomplishment? I felt the applause coming into Clinton had been earned.
Toughest one of the 6 I’ve done. Tuesday with 110 miles, 105F temps, hardest day ever on the bicycle. In the end, proud and happy.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276063
Roberto- Those who thought RAGBRAI was a pie eating contest washed down with beer maybe not so much
I can’t speak for everyone, but pie really doesn’t go with beer. Someone bought me a piece so I have now had five in my 7 years of riding. As for beer, I still managed to spend over $100 a day.
-do you still think a 70 mile day in the saddle is just “7 10-mile rides linked together?” (Somebody actually posted that little bit of nonsense pre-ride.)
Ragbrai is still a series of short rides. You ride to the next town, then get off your bike and explore. Take a break, stretch out, refuel. If your goal is to get to the next overnight town as fast as possible so you can spend all day reading a book, do us all a favor and stay home. If that is your idea of fun, go ride Brag instead. You’ll love it.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276065
Yes, we all bow down and worship you, O Glorious One.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276066
Here’s my take. I’m 53 and very new to adult cycling (rode lots as a teen). Ragbrai was something I have always wanted to do, but demanding work (road-warrior type jobs), young kids, 7 corporate moves in 12 years found me not physically fit. So, Ragbrai served as the inspiration for me to get back on the bike and train…because without a goal, I find it too easy to lose focus. Having never done Ragbrai, I heeded the advice of at least 1000 training miles prior to July. I don’t think there is such a thing as over-training, but I agree with the oft-expressed posts by CR that under-training is a huge mistake which stresses the system and poses a danger to other riders.
I rode every mile, every day, as did my 13 year old son. Day 3 was the toughest physical challenge, but I hit the mental/emotional wall on Day 4 (the heat and distance combined with the cumulative effects of the prior days). I refused to SAG and gutted out every mile, but over those last 20 miles into Marshalltown, I convinced myself that I would not complete the ride. Only the storm and ensuing temperature break snapped me out of my funk. Plus, I would not allow my son to ride alone and he was devastated at the notion of not finishing. So, we decided around 8 PM Wednesday to forged ahead, and I’m glad we did!
In the final analysis, my 1000 miles of preparation was just barely enough. I honestly think that 900 miles would have led to a different outcome. It was that razor close. My son, on the other hand, trained a grand total of exactly 48 miles prior to Ragbrai. Oh, to be 13 again . So, proper preparation and the requisite number of miles is a highly individualized number. Clarence Pickard trained less than 100 miles in ’72…the OP trained more than 6000 miles in ’02. As for me, did I need 6000 miles? Of course not – and a person would have to be in very bad shape to actually “need” that amount, so I suspect that the OP (who is obviously in great shape) rode this amount because he truly loves it, not because he felt compelled to in order to be ready for Ragbrai. Did I need more than 1000 miles? YES…I cut it too close. And while I enjoyed it thoroughly, I would have had more fun with more miles. Next year, 1500 to 2000.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276077
Oh, and to answer the question of “Are you proud of your accomplishment?”.
My answer would be no. I am proud of my son. As for my own efforts, I would say that I have a deep sense of satisfaction which, with the exception of this post, I will hold internally.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276083
There were no surprises for me. Well I didn’t expect the temps to be quite so hot, but otherwise Ragbrai came as expected. I agree with you CR about Tuesday (mine was 107 miles) being the hardest day I’ve ever spent on the bike, but I’m glad I did it. I ride hard and that day came close to biting me in the butt. I was glad for an occassional shade tree and The Giant Fan! I also think we share the same thoughts that Sags are for emergency mechanical or health issues. I hope I never need one, but am glad they’re there if I should. It was a good ride, a great 7 days that I’ll always remember with a smile, but probably my only Ragbrai.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276090
I agree with the OP on the comment that the “just a series of short rides” concept is flawed. For anyone who really believes that it’s just seven 10-mile rides linked together, that simplification only works if you have truly done multiple consecutive days of riding 70+ miles in segments. To the uninitiated who thinks “I can easily do a 10 mile ride, so all I have to do is repeat it 7 times each day.”, you will be in for a very big, and a very unpleasant surprise. Segment 1 is a whole different animal than segment 7…especially when it’s 105 in the shade.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276099
To clarify, I never suggested my goal is to get to the next overnight town as fast as possible. I stop in every town, bypass none. I leave around 8 AM and get to the next overnight stop around 3-4 PM every day (exception was Tuesday 6 PM).
I’m not looking for worship. I’m merely a cyclist who has observed what happens when you take training too lightly. Congrats to those who hung in there, gutted it out when the going got tough, and RODE the entire route. To the others, better luck next time.
And I don’t think I want to go back to 13 again. 40 maybe, but 64 is looking pretty good to me right now.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276106
CyclingRoberto, your a snob, plain and simple. I am a bicycle commuter, due to the fact that I cannot drive. I put between 4500 and 5000 miles a year on my bike, and thats carrying a load most of the time. Since my bike and trailer are how I haul things. Was I ready for Iowa, and Ragbrai, sure, but where I live if it gets to 20% humidity, it rains. And yeah, I sagged it, three times, do I feel ashamed for doing it three times. NO! Why should I push myself to the point of total melt down, when I dont have too. After all Ragbrai is a Ride Across Iowa, not a race.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276107
A wise man was once asked, “How do you eat an elephant?” The wise man replied, “One bite at a time”. It’s the same with RAGBRAI. How do you ride 500 miles in a week? One mile at a time.
The point is that unless you’re someone like Lon Haldeman, Pete Penseyres, Michael Shermer, John Marino, or the late Dr. Bob Breedlove, you’re not going to try to ride RAGBRAI all in one sitting. Hence, the analogy that a 70-mile ride is “seven 10-mile rides strung together” is indeed apt and fitting; although I will agree that one does need to be reasonably sure that one *CAN* do four or five 10-mile rides in a single day.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276114
I think you miss the point of RAGBRAI. While this was my first ride I get what you don’t. It is not about the cycling, it is about your own personal journey experiencing Iowa. I am surprised that some of the Midwest humility and genuine congeniality have not permeated into your personality with your multiple rides.
I am most proud of my 13 year old daughter whom did not ride every single mile.She fell apart on day three in Aurburn. She was on the ground as Caseys not looking so good. I tried to get her to eat and tried to get her to drink she refused and claimed she did not feel well. She did not look well and I was concerned. A local lady passing by who was a school teacher out of Stormy Lake took one look at her and proclaimed she looks green around the gills I will take her to the meeting town she proclaimed and I agreed. The rest and air conditioned ride helped allot as well as the ice cold cranberry juice. She got back on her bike in Farnhamville and road the rest of the day. At one point her sister 17 was cooked and wanted to go fast after Lehigh. My 13 year old could not keep the pace. I had a rope which I then gave to her and towed her for a few miles on our way to Webster City as to not break up our group.
The next day outside St Anthonys she lost it. We were near the house that saved many riders from heat stroke that day. I saw she was on well her way there as well. I saw a sag and tried to get her on it, it was full. The gentleman at the farm said to get to Clemon and the sag would be there. Once in Clemon I found out that the sag was severely taxed. We found out it would be a very long wait. She was in the air conditioning in City Hall for about a half hour. She proclaimed herself fit to ride. I busted out the rope again and towed her for a few miles on our way to Marshallton
She did not ride every mile and I could care less. I am so proud of the way she faced adversity stared it in the face and continued her journey. Her body failed her a couple of times but her spirit did not. Where it would seem you see failure I see bright and shining success.
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276115
CR – I’ve been riding Ragbrai for 6 years and I’ve lurked on this forum for 6 years. I’ve known you to be a skilled, experienced cyclist who dispenses good advice. For reasons I (we?) don’t understand this year your advice seems to have transitioned into a diatribe. We get it – you’re very fit – you’re very dedicated – you are personaly disappointed in those of us who are not. We get it.
For the record, my goal is to train 100 miles for every day I plan to ride – I don’t usually meet this goal. This year I rode the last 4 days and trained 400+ miles. I was more comfortable on this ride than any other year, probably because of better electrolyte management. I rode all but the last 10 miles on Wednesday as I started getting the heat shivers which scared the pants off me and my father came and scooped me up off the side of the rode.
In the time when I am not training I am volunteering at my children’s schools, my church, my community choir. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and this is how I choose to spend mine. You have made different choices, fantastic. I respect you for your choices and ask you to please respect mine.
Thank you. That is all…
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276117
Oh, and to answer the question of “Are you proud of your accomplishment?”.
My answer would be no.I am proud of my son.As for my own efforts, I would say that I have a deep sense of satisfaction which, with the exception of this post, I will hold internally.
But you see – that’s the difference between you and CR. He is only proud of himself. According to what I have read in nearly all of his posts, he is ONLY proud of himself – and he wants you to know it.
His posting here – about training – he kind of misses the point. I see guys riding much tougher rides than Ragbrai – such as Ride Oregon – and they never get on their soapboxes like CR does.
hnschipper might have it right – we should either bow down and worship the dude, or we should just ignore the poor moron!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276121
CR wrote: “I leave around 8 AM and get to the next overnight stop around 3-4 PM every day (exception was Tuesday 6 PM).”
Sheesh. I stop in every town and get there faster then that. For a guy you judged by his picture – that must be pretty ok huh?
CR wrote: “I’m not looking for worship.I’m merely a cyclist who has observed what happens when you take training too lightly.”
Sorry – I don’t believe you. I really think you use the argument of what happens when you take training too lightly as an excuse to ask for worship.
CR wrote: “Congrats to those who hung in there, gutted it out when the going got tough, and RODE the entire route.To the others, better luck next time.”
Ah – sounds the exact opposite of what you wrote earlier today in another post. Please – try to stay consistent. You didn’t congratulate me for riding the entire route – you attacked my picture and your estimation of my health, weight, and fitness. No where did you say, “well – you rode the entire route, gutted it out on Tuesday, and made it – congrats!” I think you hope people will forget your words – but words stated on a forum are there forever.
CR wrote: “And I don’t think I want to go back to 13 again.40 maybe, but 64 is looking pretty good to me right now.”
Don’t worry – you act 13. Hold it – that might be an insult to Jboyz’ 13 year old – who from all appearances, is a much tougher hombre than you! He only trained for only 48 miles. In fact, my 21 year old son made it with ease this year – and he only trained for 250 miles in the last 2 weeks. He didn’t even own a road bike before October 2011.
I don’t think CR is as smart as he thinks he is!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #276122
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