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?

1 Reply

Jboz, January 13, 2021 at 7:35 pm

I will relay the bagging experience of my son, who went self-supported in 2018. He was 19 at the time, and his main reason for bagging was to see what it was like. What he especially liked the feeling independence and the ability to sleep in. What he disliked was getting last dibs on campsites because he hit the road around 10AM and rolled into the overnight town pretty late. He also missed the companionship of going with a big outfitter like PBV, although he said baggers kind of form their own sub-culture and there is some solidarity among them. A few were kind enough to buy him beer – and hey, a 19 year old hauling his own gear across Iowa in July deserves a few beers regardless of what the law states. The extra weight didn’t seem to bother him too much, although he said hills were tough. I only rode Day 6 that year, so we rode from Sigourney to Iowa City together. On Day 7 I took his gear in my car and met him in Davenport. He said riding that last day was like heaven because he wasn’t hauling all his bags. He told me the uphills felt like downhills after bagging for 6 days.

For the late sleeper, it’s a pretty good way to go. But if you like to hit the road early (like me), the minor hassle of a baggage truck seems like a small price to pay for being able to ride 7 days without the extra 10 to 15 (or more) pounds.

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