First Timer Questions

Hi Everyone! Well I seemed to have gotten myself talked into helping my friend check something off of his bucket list, so it looks like I’m riding the RAGBRAI!  It actually sounds like a lot of fun, but with something new comes a lot of questions. So I’m hoping someone could help me with some of these.

1.  We thought about taking an RV, but it seemed like the logistics of getting the RV from point A to B each day isn’t going to work UNLESS someone has an idea. 
2.  There is no way I can possibly sleep on the hard ground for a week and still be able to complete the ride.  Has anyone brought an air mattress or something like it with them and is there a place to blow it up?  Are there any other ideas or recommenations other than an air mattress? 
3. What do most people carry with them on their bikes other than the normal maintenace stuff?  Do people carry a change or clothes or rain gear in a backpack?

I apologize in advance for all of the questions, but I want to make sure I’m prepared since I’m a newbie. I’m looking forward to helping my friend to meet his goal, and meeting you all out on the route.

43 Replies

mclousing, January 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Satman, I need to say that your comment about “They both weigh a lot, but who cares” makes you come accross as a major @$$.  The charter groups have to lug these things in and out of the trucks and yeah you might think it is only one bag that is heavy so whats the deal but what if everyone does the same thing.  Think about it they need to move your bag 4 times every day (in and out of the truck in the morning and evening).  Weight is a major concern.  Besides the air mattress is not needd.  I did the ride with a 2.5 inch sherpa’s mat.  I never had an issue with not being able to sleep. 

When Packing please be considerate of those that are helping you so you can ride your bike. 

As for other things to take on the bike it all depends on what you are comfortable with.  I brought rain jacket for the ride but never took it out of the bag – even with leaving waterloo (I should have that day but didn’t).  If it is 70+ degrees and raining I would not wear the jacket, if 40 and raining  I would.  Every day I had my normal seat bag packed with tubes and wrench and such and had a small waterproof bag (smaller than a sandwich size ziplock) that had my phone/Money/ and the cheat sheet for the location of my next campsite (although I never needed it).

#13229

Bartaped, January 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Here is what i carry………..
http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx191/Midniteflyer/Seven002-2.jpg

#13230

jwsknk, January 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

neither ny mattress or pump weight that much more. Both Coleman picked up at k-mart off season. The bags that or people don’t like are the trunks and giant rubbermade containers, when the get tossed around they tend to pop open.and heither can be thrown up on top of the bags when people load them, they pretty much have to take up floor space because the won’t conform to fit.
And our driver and whoever gets in early only handle the bags once a day, to unload the truck. You have to carry your own bags to your campside and load it on the truck in the morning. We allow 2 bags, so hopefully neither one gets too heavy, if they are, maybe you have too much stuff..

#13231

KittySlayer, January 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Bartaped said: Here is what i carry…..

I would imagine all the snow will be melted by July so you wont need the snow shovel. If not, you can become a vendor and make sno cones.

#13232

jwsknk, January 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm

KittySlayer said:

Bartaped said: Here is what i carry…..

I would imagine all the snow will be melted by July so you wont need the snow shovel. If not, you can become a vendor and make sno cones.

 I think I would find a different way to mount that shovel. a quick stop could be really painful. The snow may be gone, but there was a story this morning about how more counties are letting the back roads revert to gravel by leting the asphalt break down. Maybe the shovel is for digging out of sand/gravel traps, or its the backcountry bathroom.

#13233

ts, January 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm

ScottStoef said: 1.  We thought about taking an RV, but it seemed like the logistics of getting the RV from point A to B each day isn’t going to work UNLESS someone has an idea.  2.  There is no way I can possibly sleep on the hard ground for a week and still be able to complete the ride.  Has anyone brought an air mattress or something like it with them and is there a place to blow it up?  Are there any other ideas or recommenations other than an air mattress?  3. What do most people carry with them on their bikes other than the normal maintenace stuff?  Do people carry a change or clothes or rain gear in a backpack?

I apologize in advance for all of the questions, but I want to make sure I’m prepared since I’m a newbie. I’m looking forward to helping my friend to meet his goal, and meeting you all out on the route.

RV’s sound cool.  Davey obviously loves his, but alas, they’re not an option for all of us.  Air mattresses are pretty easy and the way to go if you’re in a smaller tent.  You can get battery powered inflators so blowing them up is no problem.  The inflators double as deflators so they’re quick to pack up also.  Some people in our group take cots, but they’re heavier and bulkier. 

#13234

ts, January 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Michrider said: The ride out of Waterloo was wet and cold!  I think that’s the coldest day that I’ve ever rode in July!  I did 30 miles, stopped at some farmers roadside stand cause they had coffee & food.  They ran out of styrafoam cups so they went into their home and brought out coffee mugs to use.  I sat in his barn for about an hour until the sky cleared. That’s the kind of hospitiality we find in Iowa.  The people are the greatest!!!!

I had a very similar experience.  About the time I got to Winthrop I was soaking wet and actually shivering.  My little stuffable wind jacket was worse than useless when wet.  I stopped at a house where they were selling cookies and coffee in the garage.  I spent about half an hour there just drinking coffee and talking.  They were the nicest people – it was really one of the highlights of the ride.  After getting a stomach full of hot coffee, the rest of the ride was very enjoyable.

I did learn my lesson, though.  This year I’m taking a proper rain jacket as well as arm and leg warmers if there’s even a hint of rain.

#13235

ts, January 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Bartaped said: Here is what i carry………..http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx191/Midniteflyer/Seven002-2.jpg

That is a sweet setup for sure.  Nothing like being self-sufficient!

#13236

Sandaltan ., January 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Great looking rig there Bartaped.  Have you ever weighed your gear???
RIDE RIGHT

#13237

Sandaltan ., January 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

A friend of mine swears by his Eureka Spitfire tent for touring and says it is on sale at Campmor for only $85.  If my Kelty Zen ever fails me I would take his advice.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23889

RIDE RIGHT

#13238

Bartaped, January 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Thanks TS, Sandaltan, All the gear and bike come in at about 80 pounds. I could lighten it up some but i like a few comforts on the ride like my tent fan and heavy weight thermarest. The bike is my commuter and i pack it to around 20 pounds of gear for training before Ragbrai. I see a thread about crowds, if they wanted to thin the herd they could get rid of the baggage trucks and make everyone support themselves………..hehehe. 

#13239

Michrider !!!, January 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Bartaped said: Thanks TS, Sandaltan, All the gear and bike come in at about 80 pounds. I could lighten it up some but i like a few comforts on the ride like my tent fan and heavy weight thermarest. The bike is my commuter and i pack it to around 20 pounds of gear for training before Ragbrai. I see a thread about crowds, if they wanted to thin the herd they could get rid of the baggage trucks and make everyone support themselves………..hehehe. 

Bartaped, I love the bike! 

#13240

knees36, January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Bartaped said: Here is what i carry………..http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx191/Midniteflyer/Seven002-2.jpg

Really~~~a very nice two wheeler, BT.  Everything looks like the latest in technology.  I still go with bar-end shifters as you do…love’em!  Have a good ride from Woodbine to Sioux Center this July!!!  Knees.

#13241

Davy Sprocket, January 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Bartaped said: Here is what i carry………..http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx191/Midniteflyer/Seven002-2.jpg

Nice rig, but that seat post looks pretty well maxed out and WAY over the bar height.  Is your frame too small for you?

#13242

Bartaped, January 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

Frame hieght is correct, with the compact geometry the post looks long. It is a 56″ frame and just right for my 5’11” build.

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