RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

Reply To: Century Days

Mark47n, March 29, 2022 at 4:31 pm

I’m a bit surprised at the complaining about a century day. No one promised a still through the garden, it’s 450 miles, or so. The length of the days are based on the towns, available services and whether or not they’re willing to play host, overnight, to thousands of cyclists. The solution that the planners came up with is increased SAG support for that day, which is an eminently reasonable solution.

For those of us that registered prior to the route being announce, we all knew that this was a possibility, despite how long it’s been since the las mandatory century day and we have nothing to complain about since we bought in blind. For those that are registering after these numbers were announced, well, you have no excuse. All that said, the day before and after the century are short, 56 and 48 miles respectively so there’s a decent build for mileage in the 3 days before the century.

This event is not a public service, it’s a for profit venture. If that offends you then don’t participate. Why someone would begrudge someone a little cash in their pocket at the end of this venture is beyond me. Many such events are for-profit, or are for special interests groups that support cycling. That said, I’d say that this event supports cycling.

I’m going. I plan to train so that I’ll be in shape for this event and so that I don’t feel like hell every night.

For those that are spending there time worrying about it, well, there isn’t anything I do that will convince you that this is more of a mental barrier than a physical one. Every year (except, perhaps, that last two) more than 10,000 cyclists complete the STP, or the Seattle to Portland a two day ride covering 208 miles and 5000’+ of elevation gain, and the RSVP, of the Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, 186 miles and 6330′ of gain. I’ve watched all sorts of people do this on all sorts of vehicles. Unicycles, skates, skateboards, velocipedes, double stacked bikes, etc. While not all finish, for a variety of reason…I helped out a guy who busted the rear derailleur mount off of his very expensive frame, to simple exhaustion.

Finally, cycling is an individual activity. No one can get you through it but yourself. Yes, a good team can form up a fast peloton, perhaps someone’s carrying some extra stuff for others but really it’s about what you can and can’t do. You have to train for it. You have to ride it, and you have no one to blame but yourself…for anything.

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