RAGBRAI LI Weeklong and Day Passes available until 7/5!

1st timer ?'s

I’ve never done a ride such as RAGBRAI before, though like to do distance riding. Albeit, not for 7 days straight. I’ve noticed services that duplicate RAGBRAI services for a fee. In their promotion, they comment as to being “closer” to showers and other “functions.” I see they do double the original cost. Are they worth it? I know this is subjective, but a few comments would be appreciated. I do like the idea of having my vehicle parked around the half way point to replenish fresh clothes and the like. I’m guessing having a tent and other personal gear can add up to some amount of bulk. Are there limits to what RAGBRAI will haul for participants? Thanks to all that reply.

7 Replies

Michrider !!!, May 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

sorbut, welcome to the RAGBRAI Party! RAGBRAI will transport one 50 lb. bag. Check out the info section of this website for answers to lots of questions.
https://ragbrai.com/about/general-information/

#198814

jwsknk, May 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

most of the new “technical” fabrics dry out prety quick compared to cotton, poly, woll blends. Unless, you leave it outside your tent at night, then it could be wetter than it was when you hung it out.
I’ve been riding with the same team for 28 years. 1st time with one other guy and did host homes through his school teaching connections. 2nd time went alone ended up hanging with a group from Burlington I met the first year for half the week. Also ran into some of the Skunks that year that I knew from Ames. So the 3rd time it just made sense I would go with them. Have truck, trailer and bus leaving from right down the street and coming back there at the end.
You will probably end up packing way more that you need the first time. Pack it up, carry it down the block to the farthest corner and back. Drop it on the floor, unpack, repack and leave 1/2 of it out. And pack each days in plastic bags ond only take out the duffle what you need for the next day. and leave that in plastic bag until you are ready yo put it on, just in case.
I will probably pack 4 jerseys, pairs of shorts and 3 “nighttime” shirts alonf with a pair of shorts, arm & leg warmers, and a rain jacket and pants. Maybe 1 pair of sock in case it gets cool at night and a pair of shorts and a long pair of sweat pant to sleep in.
For bedding, air matterss, pillow, sheet, light blanket, tent fan and a light I can use on or off the bike.

#198816

WIbiker, May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

First of all – I love the “sorbut’ name! HA! I am a 1st timer as well, to RAGBRAI and road biking in general, and have no idea on where to really start for packing for this crazy adventure! I have found that the folks at Bike World are MORE than fantastic about helping you out and making suggestions. Personally, I’ve visited Joe at the West Des Moines location and have asked 348957203945702345 questions. He’s absolutely wonderful. I’m currently not joined up with any team but think I’ll sign up w/ Bike World….as opposed to riding completely solo (for safety reasons of course). Let me know if you hear of any good tips!!!!

#198832

Ken, May 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm

WIbiker:
First of all – I love the “sorbut’ name!HA!I am a 1st timer as well, to RAGBRAI and road biking in general, and have no idea on where to really start for packing for this crazy adventure!I have found that the folks at Bike World are MORE than fantastic about helping you out and making suggestions.Personally, I’ve visited Joe at the West Des Moines location and have asked 348957203945702345 questions.He’s absolutely wonderful.I’m currently not joined up with any team but think I’ll sign up w/ Bike World….as opposed to riding completely solo (for safety reasons of course).Let me know if you hear of any good tips!!!!

One of the hardest things to do on RAGBRAI is to “ride alone” I remember my first, stopping along side the road, climbing up top a stack of hay bales and seeing a string of bikes as far as I could see in both directions. Then arriving at the first pass thru town and seeing wall to wall bikes. Absolutely breathtaking.

The terms teams and charters get used here a lot. Mostly, the charters and teams serve the purpose of moving your gear and selecting your camp area. I’m sure some of them ride together or at least start out the day together but it is difficult to stay together the whole day. If you try, you will spend a lot of time worrying where the others are and trying to contact them. That time and effort is better spent, in my humble opinion, on getting to know the folks that are right next to you and enjoying all of the sights and sound of RAGBRAI.

Ken

#198875

Anonymous, May 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

You nailed it Ken!

#199157

Ride4Life, May 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Sorbut,

First of all congratulations on being selected to ride. Michrider offers a excellent suggestion regarding a link to the services provided by RAGBRAI.

1. With respect to the RAGBRAI services, remember you’ll need to tear down your campsite and get your gear on the transport carrier by a certain time each day. Then after riding all day, you’ll need to locate your gear and reset your site.

2. Contracted service while expensive, do offer many nice amenities. I’ve personally never utilized them but know of friends that have and they rave about them. I’m not sure they still have space for riders but you can try. One that comes to mind is Pork Belly Ventures. http://www.pkbelly.com/

3. The method I employ is having a designated driver who breaks down our campsite and then sets it up in the next overnight town. Has drinks and snacks available for us in the daily meeting town and when we’re finished.

Regardless of which method you choose, remember that RAGBRAI is a ride and not a race. Take time to talk to people, ask questions and above all have fun. It’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

Hope to see you in Iowa!

#199174

Michael Knapp, May 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I’ve been on RAGBRAI 30 years. Here’s my advice.

If you are doing RAGBRAI and having them haul your gear, you need to go to a local Army/Navy store and buy a military duffel bag (or go to Walmart or Shields and buy a comparable bag). Then you need to strip your gear down to what can fit into the bag (including your tent). Pack conservatively. Riding shorts and cycling jerseys are multi-use necessities to cut down clothing. Go as Spartan as you can, as you’ll be hauling your baggage quite a ways from the loading zone to where you can camp.

How to pack.
If you have your own support vehicle or are riding with a larger team or charter group, you have more options available to you. It is always better to go with less however. RAGBRAI has a good video on the website with packing tips. I’ve tried a lot of systems but the best one I’ve used is to invest in 2 t 3 pairs of cycling shorts for the ride. Put a clean t-shirt, underwear and socks in a zip lock bag for each day’s change after riding. Wear the socks the next day on the ride if you don’t ride in sandals. Take a long a long sleeve t-shirt, hoodie or windbreaker for temperature drops. Putting your clothes in zip locks help keep them dry. You can pick up more t-shirts on the ride if needed (either this year’s souvenir model or prior year’s from the discount boxes.) Your tent depends upon if your solo, have tent mate, or with a charter that provides one. If you’re carrying your own, bring along a garbage bag to put the tent in the next morning if got rained on or wet from dew). This will help protect the rest of your gear from getting wet. I still put everything in a garbage bag that serves as a liner in my duffel, as an added precaution to keeping things dry. Forget your rain gear. Bring more trash bags that can be stored easily and converted into rain poncho if needed. Bring a different pair of shoes or sandals to wear when not riding. A pair of flip flops too for the showers (which can get pretty nasty).

Be sure to pack sun block, lip balm and whatever else you normally need (talc powder, butt butter, etc.)

#199175

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