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Bike rental

So last year was my first year of Ragbrai and we are thinking of going again… I was thinking of looking into renting a bike instead of shipping my bike. that’s if I fly…????
Doing a search I haven’t been able to find anything.
Does anyone know who to contact? I seem to recall last year at the biek expo that specialized did some rentals….

any locals have any thoughts… or any bike vendors that travel Ragbrai


7 Replies

jwsknk, February 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

Des Moines operates a bike rental program from Gary’s Lake in the summer and rented some for Ragbrai riders last year. I think it goes through DM Parks and Rec.

here’s another


indianafrank, February 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

What kind of bike do you ride?
I looked at jwsknk’s suggestions, and those bikes appear to be pretty ordinary.
You might be able to ship your bike to the start town, find it there when you arrive, and ship it home at the end of the week. Lots of people do that. Price would total a little more than the $110 rental, but you’ll be riding your own bike, which is preferable — unless you really don’t like your bike.
Some of the vendors will lend you a bike for a day, part of their sales pitch. I don’t know if you could get a bike every day.
What’s it cost to fly a bike anyway? Pretty steep, isn’t it?


jwsknk, February 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm

The one does work with Bike World that is an offocoal shop for the ride. maybe contacting them directly and saying you say the Brenton Plaza bike rental and wondered how it could work for RAGBRAI. Don’t know if the would charge an extra day, Sat – Sat. so it would be $110 +
oh, and on the last day I don’t think they let the demo’s out but you can but them maybe Friday night or at Davenport.


Mike Thorson, March 1, 2011 at 8:28 am

First thanks for the replys, I haven’t had time to research the links you posted. I hope to do that tonight. I ride an Orbea Ocra 57″ frame with the steering tube cut longer then your normal orbea. Last year I rode a specialize Roubaix due to my Orbea being out of commision. Long Story. My local bike shop took care of me and loaned me the Roubaix. which is why I had the steering tube cut longer…. Last year I looked into shipping my Orbea and found that it wasn’t going to be cheap…. I was probalby a little worried about the frame being mishandled.. etc… so I looked at buying a travel case….etc….. It turned out last year we drove.  anyhow This year I am still planning it out and think that a bike rental of might  be the best way for me to go…. unless of course we drive again.. but I really don’t want to take 7-8 days off work this year for Ragbrai…. As for riding my own bike…. as long as I have one that fits and it a decent Bike I’m good and it wouldn’t need to be carbon fiber…… Last year was great and the bike I rode was awesome even though it wasn’t mine…  thanks again..


knotbury, March 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

We are flying our bikes over from England to Chicago for free with Virgin Airlines and then with the CUBS from there. Of course when I say free it is just like the mythical free lunch.

My bike is nothing special but I know it fits. Good luck with the bike hire, I looked into it but a whole week looked expensive.


Mike Thorson, March 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

thanks for the help …..
so currently Renting a bike is not an option.
which is probably ok if I go it looks like we will be driving…. our group looks to be forming….. 



Numbers, March 3, 2011 at 9:44 am

last year I shipped my bike by Fed Ex ground from santa fe, nm to Dayton, MN where the team i was riding with formed, and it cost $75 each way. Got there in 3-4 days and traveled well in a hard case (trico). I had to put it together before and packed it up again after, but that was the worst of it. (well, actually, the worst was working in a garage, mid afternoon, putting the bike back in the case. Pedals, handlebar, saddle needed moved, no big deal, but it was so hot and humid in the garage in MN, that I was just pouring sweat the whole time I packed up. At one point, I just had to laugh it was all so amazing to me how much my sweat my body put out from EVERY  pore). I was very glad to have my own bike on the ride, I didn’t need a “new” bike to contend with in addition to the hoards, hills, humidity, heat, heinekin, h, . I’d recommend you use your own bike if possible. You also don’t know if the bike you rent will be properly equipped either, and there you are obligated to pay for and use the bike, but it might not be what you wanted or expected.Just my 2 sense.


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