A few “virgin” friends and I are contemplating our first RAGBRAI this year. Riding through some of the blog pages and other FAQ’s, it appears that 9,000+ riders rolling into a town half that size can be pretty overwhelming.
We aren’t concerned about getting in the miles; we are all experienced riders and very comfortable riding those daily distances. Our concerns and apprehensions are how reasonable it will be to get a nightly shower, food, and camp site given that number of participants. How do RAGBRAI coordinators, or the communities we are descending on, actually have enough showers and facilities for that many people and how is the usage managed? I’m expecting that the food is handled by all the non-profits that they can get to come out and provide food, plus it sounds like there are some vendors and food trucks that are trailing along with the group from night to night.
We have considered getting in a double-metric the first day to get in front of the crowd to avoid some of the congestion, but didn’t know if the advance communities would be prepared for that with showers, etc.
On the other hand, we don’t want to miss out on the experience – we just want to be mentally prepared for what to expect so we can truly enjoy it.
Any comments and thoughts from RAGBRAI veterans would be appreciated!