Baggers What’s it like?

Hello to those who carry all gear on RAGBRAI-

Would you give details on how riding bagged is different on Ragbrai than on other touring trips? With the mass of humanity around and the camping situation, what have been your experiences and challenges? Why do you choose not to put your gear on the trucks?

5 Replies

ederdn, March 9, 2021 at 3:14 pm

I’m a recumbent rider, planning on self-supporting this year (after having ridden four times with an outfitter). I posed this question on bentrider.com and got a couple of enthusiastically positive responses. One from a guy who had done it more than 20 times. According to him, it’s much easier to find a desirable camping spot away from the throng that picks up their bags at the truck, especially since you have the option of stopping before the overnight town, or going past it. He also claims baggers form a loose network, supporting each other. The big challenge my buddy and I now have is finding a ride from east-to-west.

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czysk, March 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm

If you are not riding “Bandit” you can buy a ride and bike transportation a from one of the charters without using their weekly service

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ederdn, March 9, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Thanks–I registered for a band. So will check it out. Appreciate it.

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Chris, March 12, 2021 at 4:26 am

We’re normally RAGBRAI truck riders; we bagged it in 2015 just to give it a try. We love the RAGBRAI truck- no, I’m not being sarcastic. We have had zero trouble with it over the years, especially since they went to the newer system in…eh, 2012?, where they lay all of the bags out by time. Never takes more than 5 minutes to find our bags, and the college kids hauling them could not be more friendly and helpful. The only reason we tried bagging was really just to try it.

Different experience overall. People tended to give us a wider berth than on the singles or the tandem. Getting though towns was a hair tricker as I was loaded heavier than I should have been, so the tight little turns were less fun. Setting up camp was nicer, as it did give more flexibility as to exactly where we wanted to camp, what time we wanted to leave, etc. The masses of people didn’t figure into things too often, as we purposely rode later in the pack, so the traffic was thinner. Quite a few baggers back there with us, and yes, I’ll second the “forming a support group” thing. We were all chatting right along.

All in all, I wouldn’t have called the experience better, or worse. Just different.

See ya in July,
-Chris

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jnewsom22, March 16, 2021 at 10:54 am

I bagged it the first 3 years I rode the route and I loved it! I was typically a fast, early, and solo rider as it is, so the trucks were a GREAT option for me. Typically I would beat the RAGBRAI Baggage trucks into the overnight town by a few hours and have some time to tour the towns and enjoy the communities along the way. Finding a good campsite in the shade could be a challenge in some towns, but all in all it was a great experience. I got sucked into team riding when I needed to catch a ride up and back and have ridden with a group ever since.
We have had a few self supported baggers ride up and back with our team now and again as well. They all seem to enjoy it and have a good plan for their overnights. NO real issues it seems with Bagging it other than having to be self sufficient. RAGBRAI is a good group of riders. When you need help, there’s always a few people around to lend a hand.

This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by jnewsom22.

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