RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Going alone?

After too many years of trying to find people to go to RAGBRAI I am now thinking about trying it on my own. This will be my first RAGBRAI although I have done one other week long ride. I was wondering about the experience of others who have gone to RAGBRAI on your own. Is it possible to join a group and how does own go about this? Any issues with safety? I am definitely going to join a charter and will rent a tent. Any advice is appreciated.

46 Replies

Csprint, February 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Yes, with a charter and a tent you’ll be fine. It’s good to make acquaintances with your charter mates if you don’t know anyone else on the ride. If not, being in camp under the hospitality tent can be a bit lonely, sitting there looking at your phone. Of course, all 18,000 + riders on a given day are your friends! Just don’t do like I did in 2014 and miss the chartered bus back to the start (ouch, yes, stupid)!


Team Wimpy, February 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm

Hello Karen,

If your interested in riding with a group that likes to have a lot of fun I welcome you to ride with Team Wimpy. Team Wimpy will take care of all of your needs and leave the stress behind. We have been doing RAGBRAI for over 25 years.

If you are interested please reach out to me at Jeff@bikewimpy.com and I can get you all the information you need.


mclousing, February 6, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Even if you start out sunday morning by yourself you really have to work hard to not meet up with different people, half the fun is finding random people on the route, you will meet all types of people on the route. I talk to everyone on the route, and so does my SO it is great we can meet random people, heck I met my boss’s Olympic room mate on the route last year (and that was 30 years ago, just a random meeting by saying I like your jersey.

Choose a charter that works for you and have fun you won’t be alone for long.


bphawkeye, February 7, 2018 at 8:33 am

I rode my first whole week of ragbrai last year. Went up there solo. Chartered with PBV.
It seemed that if your were not on a team or with friends, that a lot of time your were doing things by yourself. At least that was my experience. Mind you I’m not one to just go up to a bunch of people and act like I’m part of their group. So if your more gregarious, you might have better luck.
I’m trying to find a team this year. Don’t mind riding by myself but I’d like to have a group to hang with at stops and end towns.


IndianHillsTed, February 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

I went solo the last time I did it in 2014 and had a great time. I am a fairly introverted person and initially I thought this would be a challenge.

I went with Brancel’s charter service but I wouldn’t say a charter is necessary. The only things I want from a charter service are saving me a place to camp without having to finish early, finding me a shower, and having coffee in the morning. I talked to the same folks each night but never rode with any.

I met new people every day. Rode when I wanted to. Rode as fast/slow as I wanted. Took a mid-route nap when I wanted. Drank (or didn’t) when I wanted. Most people I met we would talk about hooking up again and we never would. Which was fine because there was always someone else to meet.

One of my friends said it best “When you’re by yourself you’re approachable, when you’re with someone you’re part of a gang.”

Now you mentioned something regarding safety that I was not concerned about (I’m a guy). I cannot imagine (with the exception of traffic) anyone having to worry about personal safety along the route. If this is really a concern to you, perhaps a charter service would make you feel more comfortable in the evenings.

Go for it, you won’t regret it.



bugs11, February 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

Re: coffee; when one can’t get a decent cup of joe I’ve found Enerjets Wake Up energy drops (lozenge) make a decent replacement for a caffeine fix – I like the Hazelnut Creme flavored. I’m spoiled though, I get free quality coffee at my place of employment all day, everyday.


Mike Emery, February 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

I’m going solo this year, nobody I know is interested in doing something like this. If nothing else it’ll be an adventure.


Joe Cona, February 7, 2018 at 11:32 am

Glad to hear the positive commentary. I am also taking the plunge solo and using PBV but bringing a tent. Everyone I know who has ridden RAGBRAI previously, had only good things to say about the overall experience not just how much fun they had on the bike ride. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing.


Mike Emery, February 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm

I’m also using PBV so maybe I’ll see you there :)


W Fanning, February 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Last year was my first.. went with a friend.. PBV is awesome.. a small town by it’s self… had a phenomenal time.. they have everything you could need.. this year I’m going with another group.. cut back on cost.. now that I feel I know the ropes.. I live in NC.. PBV helped with the logistics… took a lot of stress away.. Having fun on 2 wheels…


Barin Beard, February 7, 2018 at 11:29 pm

I rode it solo last year. I’d been wanting to RAGBRAI since the early 80s and finally did it. No worries doing it solo. I signed on with Brancel Bicycle Charters and they did all the logistics, so I just rode my bike, enjoyed the scenery, and met people. I liked being solo because I rode my own pace, my own ride. When I reached camp, my pack and tent were waiting, I’d go find a spot, set up my tent, then hang out and/or go find dinner (after a shower at the shower truck). No worries going solo!


Jason Stoller, February 9, 2018 at 11:57 pm

On Ragbrai you are never alone unless you are a slow rider like me lol!



lhansen, February 10, 2018 at 8:37 am

I have went alone for the last 7 years. I use Brancel Charter so I always know where I will be camping plus having someone to carry my things each day. Like has been said above there are always plenty of people to talk with as much as you want. You meet some very wonderful people from all over the country this way. I know you will enjoy your first Ragbrai and hope you have many more.


Ann McCollum, February 10, 2018 at 11:19 pm

I rode RAGBRAI by myself and with a charter in 2015. Loved every minute! Safety as a woman never felt like an issue. Lots of great people. I loved the freedom to be alone or strike up a conversation, ride fast or slow, stop when I wanted, etc – do as the mood struck me, no voting! :)


Jason Stoller, February 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm

I am attempting to go alone again this year although I know on Ragbrai I am never alone. I do it a little different every year. This year I am hoteling it! Imagine that! Even though I can use the Ragbrai Truck to haul a bag, for the sake of simplicity I will just haul my clothes and tooth brush with me.



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