Gravel Day 2021! (not loop)

Good to see that RAGBRAI leadership looked outside the loop and came up with a gravel day. It keeps the main route less congested with riders hitting the same section twice and gives gravel fans more miles of gravel. New ideas are appreciated.

This topic was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by mootsman.

18 Replies

Papa T, February 15, 2021 at 8:57 am

Right you are David! I did not understand that the gravel, tho not a loop, was still optional. Sorry about the rant, but I really HATE riding on gravel. and for many years we were required to. I still love the ride and I’m sorry its over for me.

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“Bicycle Bill”, February 15, 2021 at 11:23 am

My personal take on the matter is that a bicycle should be able to handle a small amount of gravel/dirt/unimproved roads, much like we did back in the early years (the Karras/Kaul and Karras/Offenburger era) of RAGBRAI when a ‘narrow’ tire was a Michelin 27 X 1⅛.  I LOATHE the idea that someone will not take their precious machine out onto the road now unless the surface is groomed, smoothed, swept, and for all I know combed and brushed like the felt on a pool table because they are trying to run a race-specific bike on what is in effect an adventure tour — something that makes about as much sense as using a nitro ‘funny car’ for a quick run to the Kwik Star.

Now I’m not saying you have to be able to ride on gravel the size of railroad ballast rock, but the occasional sections of pea gravel on sealcoat roads, limestone screening (or bare dirt) as is found on things like the Cedar Valley Nature Trail or the Wabash Trace, or a connecting link on a class-B road should not send one into a screaming tizzy.  Just properly prepare yourself, slow down, take it easy, and pay attention to what you are doing and you’ll be fine.

Remember, sometimes you have to put some effort into something to reap the rewards.  There’s no escalator to the top of Everest, either.
-“BB”-

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mootsman, February 15, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Still will see what they will do about a Gravel Day patch. Coupon on segment 1, patch for the coupon on segment 2??

For those talking about tires, I did GL#1 easily on 25mm tubeless. The trick isn’t to go slow enough but fast enough. Not saying it should be a super fast pace, fast enough so 25s don’t sink. A very slow speed causes you to sink into the gravel on the looser stuff.

And thanks to RAGBRAI leadership for this. Maybe the Karras loop should be an alternate longer route also instead of a loop. Kind of messing with a much longer running tradition there though.

More important for safety is to avoid groups on gravel as you are trusting everyone in the group to have an appropriate amount of skill for gravel.

This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by mootsman.

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