RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

How much will the crowds effect my average speed?

I fully expect Ragbrai to be a slower ride, mainly because of the crowds. I’m also not planning on being in “attack mode” anyway, and plan to smell the roses a bit and have lots of fun. But in trying to set my speed expectations, I am wondering how much the crowds will effect my overall speed. Example – I typically cruise on flat or mostly flat rolling terrain at a comfortable 15.5 mph. If I push it, I can average 17 mph, but I don’t plan to push it. Running at my exertion level of 15.5 mph, how much should I calibrate down to account for the crowds? And I’m not factoring in the typical bunch-up near pass through towns – just open road cruising? So, on the open road – if I can “ride all day” at 15.5 mph, what’s a good ballpark speed that I should expect when factoring in the crowded conditions? Should I expect to average 14 mph moving speed, or should I calibrate even lower?

48 Replies

Michrider !!!, May 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

ST, “talking to the old guys”? Guess that’s us!!! BTW, does the crowd affect my average beer/Kurb time?????

#203933

Sandaltan ., May 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Michrider:
ST, “talking to the old guys”?Guess that’s us!!!BTW, does the crowd affect my average beer/Kurb time?????

If you consider “waiting in line at the bar to be served time” then….yes. Of course you can buy two at a time.

RIDE RIGHT

#204358

jwsknk, May 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Sandaltan: If you consider “waiting in line at the bar to be served time” then….yes. Of course you can buy two at a time.RIDE RIGHT

Isn’t that what’s virgins are for? to stand in line for you, put up your tent, you know, be at your “beck and Call”… oh wait, that’s in the Skunk pledge, don’t tell the virgins, they find that out saturday afternoon at the team meeting. What are they going to do then? walk home:lol:

#204407

Michrider !!!, May 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Sandaltan: If you consider “waiting in line at the bar to be served time” then….yes.Of course you can buy two at a time.

RIDE RIGHT

I don’t like to waste Beer Minutes!!!!

#204408

ChristineP, May 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Greg:
It’s my first RAGBRAI.

For normal cycling I love to break out, ride fast, and crank out the miles at top speed.

But I won’t be doing that at RAGBRAI.I’ll be taking it easy, making a lot of stops.Chatting with other riders.Getting to know people.Sitting & talking with old guys.Laughing & dancing with the pretty girls.Eating at the kid’s table.Laughing & dancing with the pretty girls some more :) .Sitting in the shade with a cold drink.

Least that’s my plan.You want to crank out 20-22mph avg speeds over the week, I definitely understand the impulse, and the road is yours. :)

It’s my first RAGBRAI, too. I’m not fast, I ride about 18 (much less with headwind) and I already figured I wouldn’t be even doing that. So last weekend I did my long ride at 12-14 just so I could get used to being in the saddle that long. That’s my real worry, being in the saddle for hours longer than I trained for.

#204464

Paul, May 8, 2012 at 5:09 am

Hmmm… “Virgin Greg”.

Sandaltan, I think you have coined a nickname that will stick.

See you on the ride.

#204985

danjpeat, May 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

iceman: the chance to go brain dead on my bike for a week attracts me year after year.So don’t give your speed a second thought.

Being able to take a week and just concentrate on nothing more than enjoying a good bike ride is exactly the reason I can’t wait to go and do this ride! :-D

#205179

Jboz, May 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Folks – please read my OP. I’m NOT a speed freak. I’m NOT trying to finish Ragbrai as quickly as possible. I’m well aware that it’s a ride, not a race. In fact, if it were a race I wouldn’t come within 200 miles of Ragbrai. I have no desire to arrive at the overnight towns at noon. I’m looking forward to the entire experience – the pass through towns with church ladies, the pie, naked beer slides, the kurbs – all of it.

When I asked how the crowds will effect my average speed, I’m not the least bit concerned about being slowed down. In fact, I’m expecting – no make that HOPING to be slowed down. I’m only trying to noodle through in my mind the following equation:

On Day ____, If I leave at ____ AM, smell plenty of roses, scarf some pie, share a kurb and a cold one with Michrider :), ride along at my “go all day” pace but accounting for some bottlenecks, I think I will roll into the overnight town at about _____ PM.

My reason for trying to figure this out is only out of curiosity because this will be my first Ragbrai and I find myself thinking about it all the time.

Thanks all for your words of wisdom. I’m not concerned about speed at all. This is going to be a hoot!

#205195

Michrider !!!, May 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Jboz, we understand! It’s just that most of us love to talk about RAGBRAI!!!

#205209

Jboz, May 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Michrider:
It’s just that most of us love to talk about RAGBRAI!!!

Me too – and I haven’t even done it yet :)

#205211

Sandaltan ., May 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Jboz; “what will it be like?” is a question I ask myself every year. I normally cruise at about 13 mph and at the end of the day I may average 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 mph. Once I averaged 14 mph into Fort Dodge with a giant tail wind and I skipped the stop at Mutt’s in Barnum just to maintain that average. A secret; I seldom look at my average for the day, this year I don’t think I have looked once at my average speed at the end of a ride.

RIDE RIGHT

#205235

Browner, May 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Jboz: On Day ____, If I leave at ____ AM, smell plenty of roses, scarf some pie, share a kurb and a cold one with Michrider :) , ride along at my “go all day” pace but accounting for some bottlenecks, I think I will roll into the overnight town at about _____ PM.

This was my thought as well, but did not ask it. I’m not worried about the first two 50-60 mile days, but was concerned about the 80+ mile days. When our group rides around town on the weekends and hit a few bars, we only do 30 miles in 5 hours. So we either need to cut down on the stop-over times or pick up the speed between stops. And don’t forget about time for a nap and shower once at the overnight town.

Better bring our lights just in case.

#205237

Michrider !!!, May 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Jboz: Me too – and I haven’t even done it yet :)

Look me up in Iowa, we’ll share come Kurb space and some beers!!!!

#205493

ridingwest, May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Attack mode at 15.5. My wife rides at 15.5…

#205645

Jboz, May 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

ridingwest:
Attack mode at 15.5. My wife rides at 15.5…

15.5 is my comfortable cruising “ride all day” speed, not attack mode. And speaking of attack mode…was that intended as some kind of dig? Kind of a strange thing to say to someone you don’t know, and whom you know nothing about.

#205692

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