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Fly or Drive

This will be my first RAGBRAI and I am coming out with my 16-year-old daughter who brought the event to my attention. We are from the Boston area and were considering whether to make a road trip out of it or fly out. I’d appreciate any insight from some of the veterans. How is parking at the end of the event?

Thanks!

31 Replies

Larry Klaaren, December 21, 2021 at 9:35 am

I forgot to say “Merry Christmas T Gap and everybody else!” I am retiring in March, so I will probably be on the ride this year and will see you there, depending on when and if we can get in to the Netherlands to visit some family. Biking there is fun also.

#1349131

T. Gap Woo, December 21, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Larry,

Wow! Thanks for the lead! I couldn’t tell you how many times Mrs Woo and I have been close to this winery and never knew about it. We’ve been in Lewisburg and nearby vicinity many times, most recently two weeks ago and will be passing nearby again next weekend on the way to and from northeast Ohio. The winery seems to be a slight detour from our route, but strawberry rhubarb wine is worth the trip. Thanks again!

See you along the I-O-Way next year.

#1349143

Dusty Ayers, December 28, 2021 at 9:01 am

It’s a pretty reasonable drive and driving will save you some trouble of shipping/boxing up/rebuilding bikes – unless of course you’re used to doing that and you sound like a family who rides.

It will also give you some time with your teenager and that can be rare. They are obviously interested in spending time with you if they suggested RAGBRAI to you.

Parking at the end town is never an issue and taking a charter that will ship your bikes and you across the state is pretty easy – I’ve used Brancel and thought everything about their service was great. Can’t remember pricing – not too expensive and not too cheap for a non regular route.

And as someone else pointed out getting home will feel that much faster!

Good luck and enjoy it. So many of us cannot wait to do this for a really really good reason!

#1349163

Phil Stearney, December 31, 2021 at 7:28 am

GrayRaver:
I agree with the idea of driving like so many have suggested. If you do decide to fly, I might suggest flying into Chicago and shipping your bikes either to Chicago or to the end town. The flight will be more cost effective than Des Moines or the end town, which may not even have an airport… Then use Brancel or another charter to get across the state with for you & your daughter, your bags, and bikes. In terms of getting to the end town, I am in the Chicago area and can offer you a ride – as I am sure others can too. This will be my fourth RAGBRAI – so as much as I am not a ‘veteran’, I can certainly offer some opinions and options – PM me if you want to talk / ask / answer any questions.

#1349181

T. Gap Woo, December 31, 2021 at 11:27 pm

Hello, Larry Klaaren!

Thanks for the tip on Seven Mountains winery. Mrs Woo and I paid them a visit on the way out to northeast Ohio yesterday. We bought their last case of strawberry rhubarb wine — talk about good timing and even better luck! We already sampled the wine with family and it’s excellent!

While there, I learned that they have an outlet store in Carlisle PA right off I-81. We drive past them every couple of months when we visit Daughters Woo and the Grandwoos in the Carolinas. Who knew??? Now that we know, we’ll never run out. Thanks again for the tip.

Happy New Year to you and all of my Ragbrai brethren and sistern.

I’ll see you along the I-O-Way later this year!

#1349184

Tim TenClay, January 1, 2022 at 8:34 am

I drove from Long Island a few years ago with my 2 daughters. They were 8 and 12 at the time. I agree with driving and taking a few days to do it.

That said, if I make it this year, we’ll be doing a crazy straight-through drive from the Aderondaks.

#1349185

Dizzy, January 4, 2022 at 6:56 pm

Hello GrayRaver,
Up to now, only one charter provides service from the end town to the beginning town on Friday; Pork Belly Ventures.
By using them, I’m at the start town late afternoon on Friday and get the experience of watching the “circus” come to town.
It also provides a nights rest prior to arrival day allowing you a relaxed experience of several things that others miss: the incoming hoard, the expo, an opportunity to ride to the Missouri River to tire-dip before Day One and a good nights sleep before the ride starts.
The Friday Eve / Saturday AM experience is one of my favorite parts of the ride.

All the best, D

#1349214

Mark47n, January 4, 2022 at 10:01 pm

My wife and I are coming for our first RAGBRAI and are bringing our 16 year old nephew. We’re coming from Seattle. Alas, our Rans Screamer recumbent tandem doesn’t fly so the drive it is.

#1349216

ThomasNye, January 5, 2022 at 10:11 pm

If you can, driving is the way to go. I drove from California for the first 15 years and from Florida for the last six.

#1349229

Larry Klaaren, January 6, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Hello, Larry Klaaren!

Thanks for the tip on Seven Mountains winery.

You’re welcome Mr. Woo! Guess I haven’t been on much lately.

Enjoy the wine!

Larry

#1349240

ncrosgrove, January 17, 2022 at 7:32 am

Hey GrayRaver – I rode my first several RAGBRAIs driving from MN, and several years now driving out from NC. My hubby is from IA so several of those years we have parked in the end town and gotten a ride from family to the start. On the years that we didn’t have family drive us we’ve rented a car from near the end town and returned it near the start town. You can almost always find a ride to/from the airports for the rental. It’s an alternative to the charter if you like the convenience of setting your own schedule.

#1349364

pattigiannasi@gmail.com, January 18, 2022 at 2:55 pm

Shipping my bike and gear ahead and flying in to Omaha.
Will ship all back to AZ at end of route
Take bus back to DM and fly to Cancun on Sunday if still alive 🤪

#1349384

Jose Medina, January 23, 2022 at 1:08 pm

Great to hear from everyone again specially T Gap. This will be my 32 Ragbrai and I met my wife on Ragbrai. I live in Ankeny, Iowa and have heard from riders that drive and fly. Whatever is convenient for you is the plan. Just get here. You are going to have the time of your life.

#1349485

maddog, April 8, 2022 at 12:31 am

Thanks for the amtrak suggestion! Now I can leave my truck at home and bike to Sac train station.

#1373712

HelenP, April 8, 2022 at 4:15 am

Better check the time tables for that, maddog. Iowa’s many train routes are designed more for freight than passengers.

What I found was that, coming from the east, getting to Chicago would be ok, a little longer than driving, but taking a train to NW Iowa would take for*ever*! We decided to drive instead, saving nearly an extra day of travel in total.

The best train route from near Washington, DC, seems to be: take the Capitol Express train to Chicago, switch trains and continue to Omaha, then get a regular bus or RAGBRAI charter bus from there to the start town.

That uses part of one of Amtrak’s 3-day cross-country routes, for fast travel to Omaha NE.

Amtrak sounds bike-friendly, too!

However, end town Lansing is a real issue for getting to any public transportation — it’s sort of all alone out there.

#1373713

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