Hi everyone! This will be my first time doing RAGBRAI. As far as bikes go, I have always had a mountain bike. I have been looking into getting a nice bike for the ride, probably a hybrid, but after a trip to a local bike store yesterday, it seems like its really hard to find one which fits me and is comfortable, looks appealing to me, and is within my budget range (the big kicker). I just graduated college and don’t have a full time job yet, which means this is a great opportunity to do RAGBRAI but I don’t have the money coming in to justify getting a really nice bike. My parents will buy it for me if I ask, or at least chip in some money, but I hate to have them continue to provide for me. Ideally, I’d find a nice Schwinn at a Dick’s Sporting Goods or something, but I know selection can be limited so I’m worried I won’t find one.
Currently I’m riding a Mongoose mountain bike. I know that Mongoose isn’t a super good brand and mountain bikes are not very good for long road tours like RAGBRAI. However, all I’ve ever ridden on is a mountain bike, so it’s what I’m used to. Furthermore, this bike is technically several years old, but has been sitting in the basement or barn for most of it – my mom got it because she thought she would join my in cycling and then never did. Until I started using it to train for RAGBRAI two months ago (after I wore out the bike I had been riding since I was 13), it probably had less than 50 miles on it. So it’s in near-perfect condition. I’m in good shape myself, and while I have never done a lot of long distance on a bike (any bike), I can do 20 miles on the Mongoose easily, without feeling sore or exhausted. As for RAGBRAI, I’m planning on stopping in almost every town along the way, taking it easy, and I’m not planning on doing the optional loops.
So, do I really need to get a new bike? Or do you think I can manage on what I’ve got? I’m just frustrated at being a broke recent college grad. Sorry for the long post. 🙂