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Anyone else bringing youth riders?

My 11 year old daughter is riding with me again this year. We rode 2 days last year and are registered for 3 this year.
I am hoping to find others bringing youth and maybe arrange to meet up so she will have someone close to her age to talk to a bit during our RAGBRAI time. We are riding Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for sure, with the potential to add Friday and Saturday.

Last year we rode Jefferson to Ames, Ames to Newton. She loved it and out-rode me on almost every hill. The odds are slim that anyone reading this will remember seeing her, but she had her hair dyed red on one side and blue on the other and French braided. She said she loved that people encouraged her and helped keep her motivated to make it through. We both appreciate the positive atmosphere and making her feel welcome!

29 Replies

Brian Wallenburg, July 10, 2019 at 11:18 am

Teach them to ride bicycle and they’ll have no money for drugs! I love seeing kids on RAGBRAI.

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T. Gap Woo, July 10, 2019 at 2:51 pm

I am heartened to see so many young’uns on Ragbrai, whether they are riding in a trailer or on a tandem or on their own bikes. As a retired teacher, I recall too many kids whose only exercise is using their texting/play station thumbs.

Whenever I pass (or get passed by) a youngster, I shout out words of congratulations and encouragement, along with a honk on my ooga horn. I also compliment the parents who have their children along for the ride, as time spent with your children is priceless and the memories will outlive the material things you may buy.

As Daddy Woo used to say, “Spend half as much money and twice as much time with your children and they will turn out just fine!”

Ragbrai not only builds strong bodies, but also strong families! (How’s that for a slogan, TJ? No charge!)

See you along the I-O-Way next year.

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fivegrainja, July 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm

I’ll be riding with my 10yo daughter (on the tandem) and 15yo daughter (on her own), both veteran Ragbrai riders. Keep an eye out for us and say hi – both girls have big stuffed bears riding on their cargo racks.

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Steven Hardy, July 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Brandi- #5 for both. First year a little slow. I was right on his back wheel whole route. Now he could leave me in dust if he wanted. His first year was mountain bike; now on his second road bike.

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goodlaura, July 11, 2019 at 11:08 am

Corey – is it just the two of you again this year?

All 3 of our boys are back this year. 15 and 12 year olds riding solo for their second year. 11 year old on his first on his own bike (we pulled him the previous 2) They love having the freedom to do what they want – we give them money at the start of the day, chalk and an instruction booklet to mark certain locations in each town so that we know they are good. They beat us into camp every day last year, and I’m sure this year will be no exception.

This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  goodlaura.

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kicks9, July 11, 2019 at 11:47 am

Trying to get by 12 year old daughter. She has ridden more with me this year and says she is going with me next year when she is 13. I hope it is true.

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Corey, July 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Laura – It is just the two of us this year and he’s looking forward to hanging out with your three boys. Riley broke his arm training so he and Russ are out. At least I think Russ is out, he mentioned something about riding a few days.

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Brandi Bresson, July 26, 2019 at 11:46 pm

How did all of your young ones do?
My daughter made it through Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as planned. She did not choose to go on beyond that though. She says we can add one day a year. I guess I better put in for my time off to make 4 days possible next year!

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Steven Hardy, July 28, 2019 at 7:26 am

Jack finished his 5th. I sagged last day, so he rode with friend we hooked up with at Bike World charter.

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Sunflower, July 28, 2019 at 6:24 pm

My 15 year-old son completed his 10th RAGBRAI this year.

I encourage anyone who is even romancing the idea of bringing their children to ride to just get with the program and do it.

My son was good for 3 days at 8 and the whole week was no problem at 9. There’s a fellow from Des Moines who has had good success with his children at even earlier ages. If you’re an experienced cyclist and know your way around a training plan its no trick at all to get kids prepped for RAGBRAI. This year I think he had about 50 miles on his legs because I left him in charge of his own program. He was fine.

Just be sure to have a plan if its cold and rainy. Nobody needs to listen to that sort of whining while on vacation.

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Corey, July 30, 2019 at 8:53 am

My 12 y/o son made it all 480 miles. He only complained twice and even at that we stopped in the next town, he got something to eat and was then fine. In fact, food was the biggest thing that I had to stay on top of with him. Some of those long stretches caused him to run out of gas and we just had to find watermelon or something along the way. All in all, we had a great time and he’s ready to go back next year.

I did think this was a rather difficult RAGBRAI with the road conditions, head winds and hills. So, I was rather proud of the way my son handled it. Hope everyone had as great of an adventure as we did.

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Sunflower, July 30, 2019 at 2:43 pm

My 12 y/o son made it all 480 miles. He only complained twice and even at that we stopped in the next town, he got something to eat and was then fine. In fact, food was the biggest thing that I had to stay on top of with him. Some of those long stretches caused him to run out of gas and we just had to find watermelon or something along the way. All in all, we had a great time and he’s ready to go back next year.

RAGBRAI’s guide for young riders is explicit about this, too. You have to keep banging on them to eat and drink and you don’t want them getting cold on the bike because most of them aren’t very good at suffering in silence. If they can ride a straight line without thinking about it and aren’t prone to spastic behavior while riding they’re almost certainly capable of having a fun week on the road.

This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Sunflower.

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Aasimar, July 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm

I ride Tandem with Aaron my almost 13 year old autistic son. My 11 year old son rides on his own bike. This was Aaron’s 7th RAGBRAI and Zachary’s 6th.

The wind is the biggest struggle for Zachary. My job is to keep his morale up and distract him from the wind.

Aaron’s biggest struggle is bottom soreness. he doesn’t have the best bathroom habits so my job is to make sure that he gets clean (or deal with the aftermath if he doesn’t)

We had a great ride this year. we met many of our friends from prior years (Hi Jack and his Grandpa)
It is a huge accomplishment for them to train and complete RAGBRAI.

as usual, Zachary cried as we entered the last town because he never wants RAGBRAI to be over.

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hnschipper, July 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm

My 7 year old nephew rode partial days 5 of the 7 days. He opted to sit out the last day of all days! (He was having too much fun in Donnellson to ride to the finish!) He wants to ride his own bike next year. (He was in a WeeHoo trailer this year.)

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