My son and I are thinking about riding in 2013. I have no doubt that I will love it, but I do have a few concerns in regard to my son. He will be 15 years old next year. I know that he can physically handle the ride; last summer we rode across NY, VT, and NH with fully loaded panniers.
I have to be honest, looking at online photos, I do not see many young people. The prime Ragbrai demographic appears to be people that look like me! My son rides with his “ole” dad a lot! None of his friends ride; I was hoping that he could find a few new buddies and hang with them. He does make friends easily. So… any thoughts, ideas, or opinions would be appreciated!
Are you from the Des Moines area, we have a group called the dream team and it is a large group of 13-18 yearolds that start training together in Jan. The younger kids are paired with adults but they all camp together. I took my daughter starting at the age of 12 she did not ride all day but she was considered part of the team. We took her to the local pool or beach to let her swimm, movies most of all she just talked to anyone it didn’t matter there age. The problem we had when she was 14 was the pool and the beach was not that big of a deal anymore and she wanted to go see the bands play which some she was able to get into others you had to be 21 to get in. I didn’t take her this last year because she does not like to ride anymore but if she did ride I have no problem taking her.
To answer your question look up the DREAM TEAM and see if they have any suggestion.
One of the first RAGBRAI’s I rode, I saw two girls ages 8 and 10. I saw them multiple days and at the end of the ride. I asked them at the end if they rode every day. They did! I’ve seen teenagers as well, certainly not as many real teenagers as the 30-60 year old variety. 😉
l’d invest in a pair of walkie talkies so that you can communicate with your son at night if he hooks up with other teens and goes on the town with them. Cell phones are unreliable in a lot of the smaller towns as the existing towers are not always able to keep up with the demand of 12,000 additional cell phones hitting the air waves. Get a pair with a range of channels so you can pick one with little chatter on it. They also tend to help conserve your cell phone batteries for calling home, etc. if recharging them becomes a problem, rather then waste battery time for on ride communications with each other..