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Century Days

I see the century day is 105 miles this year. The article said the last year they had a century day was 1984 but it was 1985 which also went to Mason City. The first year they called it a century day was 1978 but there were 100 mile days before and after 1978-1985.

88 Replies

Uncle Kraig, April 4, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Jboz – Ok I got it. I use the RAGBRAI baggage truck and would have to ride to Emmetsburg to get my bag no matter what, that is what I was thinking. If you are turning off the route north of West Bend you must be a bagger or have someone driving for you with your stuff. Either way, your plan sounds like a good one. See you in July.

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Jboz, April 4, 2022 at 8:56 pm

Will be using the baggage truck, but on Tuesday I will just throw a clean jersey and few small odds & ends like my toothbrush in my handlebar bag. Won’t need access to my bigger bag (tent, sleeping bag & all). Then I will get reunited with my stuff the next day in Mason City. I am assuming an unclaimed bag on Tuesday night will just get reloaded back in the baggage truck. But might be a good idea to check with RAGBRAI just in case.

#1373546

Ben There, April 4, 2022 at 9:07 pm

” I am assuming an unclaimed bag on Tuesday night will just get reloaded”
This is a large assumption. Assuming it is unloaded near the morning position of the truck, and Also assuming that nobody messes with it through the night.
Maybe make a friend that would secure your bag for the night and throw it back on in the morning?

#1373548

Heather, April 4, 2022 at 9:19 pm

Ragbrai never loads the bags in the morning. Either you do it (or have someone you trust do it) or the bag gets left there.

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HelenP, April 4, 2022 at 9:49 pm

Make sure you put that friend’s RAGBRAI ID number on your bag’s ID tag, too, or else the crew won’t let them claim it.

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CyclingCyclone, April 4, 2022 at 10:28 pm

RAGBRAI XI in 1983 was my first RAGBRAI. I was 13 at the time, and I rode with my friend, and his dad who rode the year before was our chaperone.
I remember that century day quite well. The night before during the storm in Grundy Center, my friend, and his dad decided they’d had enough, and asked me if I wanted to quit too, and head back to Ames. Otherwise, they’d come, and pick me up in Dubuque on Saturday.
I really didn’t want to quit, and so I called my mom. I remember her saying to me “If I know you, you’ll want to finish”. So I stayed.
The bike I was using was a police auction bike my Grandfather bought for ten bucks. It was pretty much a tank. Steel frame, and 26” rims with broken spokes. It was in such poor shape, shouldn’t have made the ride.
So on that Friday morning I set out for Manchester by myself. During the ride my rear derailleur cable broke so I was left with 2 out of the ten gears. I figured I could get by so I opted not to stop at a repair van.
I rode the 105 miles into Manchester close to 6 PM that night, and I was completely spent. Unfortunately all I had left for the rest of the ride was about five dollars. I went into a gas station, and bought a candy bar, and a soda for dinner.
I found my bag at the main campsite, and attempted to set up this 6 person dome tent by myself. I was so tired, I wrapped myself up in it, and laid on the dirt of the fairgrounds. I remember people walking by asking if I had was too drunk to set up my tent.
The next day riding the hills to Dubuque with only 2 gears was too much so I decided to stop at one of the repair vans on the route. Hoping what little cash I had left would be enough for the fix. Once I got to the front of the line, the mechanic told me I didn’t. I was pretty dejected and was ready to head out. A kind woman behind me offered to pay, and gave me a few bucks to get to Dubuque. -Iowa nice.
I made the 45 miles of hills to Dubuque. tired, sore, completely sunburned, and absolutely thrilled as there were my friends waiting for me. As I told John Karras many years later when he rode with us on Team Skunk, this became the start of my RAGBRAI obsession. To this day, the only one I’ve missed was in 2013 after the birth of my triplet daughters.
We’ve had many long and hillier days on RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI XIII in 1985 was 540 miles. Every day was long that year if it wasn’t raining, it was hot. RAGBRAI XXI in 1993, we had if I remember right, 5 days over 80 miles, one day over 70. That was the year the ride was in jeopardy due to flooding. We had flood waters up to the shoulders going into Clarion. The 150 mile loop in 1996 was an unbelievable achievement of mine. RAGBRAI XXVIII in 2000 we had a 70 mile day that was 4400 feet of climbing. In 2001 mid week was a 80+ day followed by 2 90+ mile days.
Point being, IMO, a good challenge is good for the soul. If it’s your first RAGBRAI or first century we have a few months to prepare. If a skinny 13 year old from Ames on a bike that shouldn’t have left the farm could do it in 1983, I think just about anyone today can too, especially with current bike technology. Besides, I believe Mr. Karras used to say in his articles that RAGBRAI was for the pure enjoyment for himself, and his co-host, and that everyone else rides, and enjoys at their own risk.

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Joseph Schlau, April 5, 2022 at 5:12 am

Ok I got it. I use the RAGBRAI baggage truck and would have to ride to Emmetsburg to get my bag no matter what

When the Century Day thread started in mid February, I noted that riders with options could change their ride to what they feel comfortable with. This year is also the first year that RAGBRAI allowed support vehicles for everyone, not just teams. So there is time left on this one.

Mention was made of the baggage issue. Contacting an existing team with transport on the forum and pre-arranging for them to move your bag is also an option. There have been several posts on arranging an RV shuttle. They may take a bag along too.

It’s your RAGBRAI, ride it as you like.

#1373553

HelenP, April 5, 2022 at 6:08 am

Well, then. . . *wry grin* . . .

Scotty, beam us up!

#1373554

JimCoonRapidsMN, April 5, 2022 at 8:39 am

Inspiring story Cyclone – thanks for sharing it.

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Uncle Kraig, April 5, 2022 at 9:02 am

Jboz – Many, many times I have left my bigger bag under the RAGBRAI baggage truck overnight after taking a small bag out to head to a hotel or host home. The bag was always just fine and untouched the next morning. That being said, I am 99.9% certain that the baggage crew will not load your bag the next morning for you if you do not claim it. They have told me this directly and emphatically. Plus, your bag will likely be in the way for reloading the next day if it is left where it is unloaded. You should find someone to move your bag under the semi on Tuesday afternoon and then reload it the next morning for you or I’m afraid you may be in for a bad surpise in Mason City with no bag. Good luck.

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direwolf, April 8, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Eyup, Algona is going to be full of bikers on Tuesday night. If I know Algona, they’ll be ready for it.

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Chris, April 9, 2022 at 7:37 pm

“That being said, I am 99.9% certain that the baggage crew will not load your bag the next morning for you if you do not claim it.”

I’ll tidy up the 0.1%: They baggage crew will not load your bag the next morning.

Last year, we had a couple that was camped next to us for a few nights. On Wednesday (?), we were setting up camp and chatting with them when they said they were staying overnight with a friend who lived in town, but wanted to leave from their house in the morning, so they needed their bag to get back on the truck. We went walked over to the Luggage Director (really nice guy, though I can’t remember name). And, from the horse’s mouth: no, they are not permitted to load luggage for us. It had equal parts to do with liability (read: if your bag didn’t make it to the next town and RAGBRAI was supposed to load it, where is it?) and overworking his crew in the morning, as we all see how hard they work the rest of the day. Sure, they’re happy to help us toss our bag on the pile in the truck, but it’s on us to get it on the truck in the first place.

The easy solution: our friend left his bags with us, and we threw them on the truck in the morning. Yes that does require a measure of trust in the person you’re asking to watch and load your bags, but if us on RAGBRAI doesn’t have trust in each other, we don’t have a ride anymore.

See you in July.
-Chris

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flyinbrian, April 10, 2022 at 11:38 pm

After reading through it would appear there are really only a couple vocal people truly upset. I sincerely have no sympathy. Nobody is forcing anyone to do it. The overall week looks actually fairly normal. Shorter for those of us that usually do a gravel and Karras loop. If someone finds the day challenging then they’ll just feel better when they make it. The other funny part is I think days 1 and 7 will be as tough as day 4 in some respects.

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