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Reply To: 13 year old rider

Jboz, November 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

My son’s (Bozlet #1) first RAGBRAI was 2012 (very, very hot). He was 13 at the time. He had virtually no meaningful saddle time, but I knew that he was extremely mentally tough. I was right…he powered through every day, every mile. I have another son (Bozlet #2), about 1 1/2 years younger, and I would never take him on RAGBRAI unless we had done the requisite training. Bozlet #1 can sleep on a bed of broken glass and not say a word. Bozlet #2 likes his creature comforts, and sleeping on the ground would get old for him after about 10 minutes.

Both are great kids, but they are night and day different. The key is to know well ahead of time whether then can handle it. It’s a tough slog at some points. If a kid can be a bit of a whiner, then it will be a very long week for both of you.

One other piece of advice for the OP or anyone else considering letting a child do this ride. Cycling is obviously your thing, or else you wouldn’t be on this forum. But make sure cycling is really their thing before you commit them to RAGBRAI. If they are doing it because you kind of pushing the idea, or they aren’t really into it but they are trying to please you, it might not go well. A two day training ride of 50 to 60 miles per day, and with overnight camping will tell you everything you need to know.

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