RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

How plugged-in or unplugged will you be?

Wondering what electronics everyone will have for the ride.  I’m trying to balance traveling light with needing some basic necessities that reflect the realities of 2011 .  My list is:

Cellphone (for emergencies)
Digital Camera
iPod
2-Way radio in case I get separated from my son

Any other electronic essentials that I’m missing?

38 Replies

Hillman, February 20, 2011 at 9:40 am

I hope people realize that there are some curmudgeons on these forums that think their way of doing RAG is the only way. 

Yes technology has moved past their friction shifters, black and white tvs which they love playing PONG on and their rotary phones.

Do RAG the way YOU want to do it.  There is no wrong way.  If you want to SKYPE your kids at night, DO IT!  If you use a Garmin because you enjoy it, go ahead.  

If we listened to some of these folks RAG would have the Lemon Sisters and ShaNaNa playing the Lemonade Garden in downtowns. 

I personally like knowing via my phone that I’m about to get hit with a severe t-storm. 

Enjoy life as you will and enjoy RAg the way you want as well… 

see you on road

#14826

ehlent, February 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

<strong style=”border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; “>Hillman is correct in that you can do RAGBRAI anyway you choose.   All I carry is a simple cell phone.   However with that phone I can take pictures (although I almost never do).   Most of the time, the phone stays in my back pocket.   There is really no need for it during the day.    It does make life a little easier in finding your camp site once you get to the overnight but that’s about it.    I have no need for ipods, ipads, smart phones, GPS, or any other electronic devices.

#14827

Tony, February 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

I have a Cateye Strada/cadence on the dash. I may wear a HR monitor this year. Cell phone I will have to leave on to stay in touch with the support crew. My trusty Nikon point and shoot camera.

#14828

Gypsy Rose, February 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I agree with the “do it your own way” sentiment, with one important distinction – as long as it does not adversely impact the safety and enjoyment of others on the ride.

i.e. if you can’t hear another rider calling “On your left!” because you’re distracted by piped in music, or, if you’re calling/texting while riding the bike, or if you’re fiddling with some other gadget while under way, then you become a liability to those around you. At that point, your choices go beyond your own personal riding preference and, IMO, are unacceptable.

~ Kevin

#14829

Amanda, February 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Hillman said:    If we listened to some of these folks RAG would have the Lemon Sisters and ShaNaNa playing the Lemonade Garden in downtowns. 

BUT I like ShaNaNa! I think I have them on my iPod. I would hate to go back to pre cell phones days. I had to call home a lot those first years (and to work) and it was such a hassle looking for a phone, standing in line and then having someone behind you in line, asking “are you going to be much longer?”  It made me tense. Now, I don’t call home or work as much but I can do it when I want and talk as long as I want! And that is how I like to spend my vacation. :)

I pull off to the side of the road to text and call – I don’t want to be a liability!

#14830

“Bicycle Bill”, February 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Gypsy Rose said: I agree with the “do it your own way” sentiment, with one important distinction – as long as it does not adversely impact the safety and enjoyment of others on the ride.

i.e. if you can’t hear another rider calling “On your left!” because you’re distracted by piped in music, or, if you’re calling/texting while riding the bike, or if you’re fiddling with some other gadget while under way, then you become a liability to those around you. At that point, your choices go beyond your own personal riding preference and, IMO, are unacceptable.

~ Kevin

Excellent point, Kevin — and Hillman, I know that I’m one of the curmudgeons you were making reference to….and I’m OK with that.

I have nothing against progress, so long as it is progress for a good reason.  I don’t want to go back to friction shifting any more than I want to go back to hand-crank starting on my car….although I do still have it on Trusty Rusty, simply because anything newer does not belong on an accurately-restored 1977 Trek.

But it seems to me that there should be a middle ground….especially for something like RAGBRAI.  With all the support we have on the ride, starting with the ISP and working on through to the civic officials of the pass-thru and overnight towns themselves, there’s really no need for you to find everything for yourself.  The route is marked and we’re pretty much all going to the same place anyway; and if there’s something significant like a severe weather system on the way, rest assured that you will be advised even if you don’t have a weather radio or smartphone.

-“BB”-

#14831

Michrider !!!, February 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

B.B., on another thread you posted, “I read the posts, even though I am not part of the charter, because I want to”.  Some of us take our various electronic toys because we want to!!!!

#14832

Zinger, February 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

While I do take my cell phone, I’ve refused to get a data plan so that for one week out of the year, no Facebook or e-mail. Like the Princess, I need help finding our camping spot each evening! There’s a part of me that would like to ban cameras on the ride. I might have more fun it I knew it wouldn’t be documented and splattered all over the web! ;)

#14833

“Bicycle Bill”, February 21, 2011 at 7:51 am

They were digging a foundation for a new building in Wisconsin, and the construction crew came upon traces of old copper wire at a depth of ten feet below the surface.  Scientists came and examined the wire and, based on the depth, concluded that 100 years ago they already had a telephone network in Wisconsin with underground wiring.

In the weeks that followed, an Iowa archaeologist dug to a depth of 20
feet and, shortly after, a story in the DM Register read: “Iowa
archaeologists, finding 200-year-old copper wire, have concluded that
their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network
a hundred years earlier than the people in Wisconsin.”

One week later, a local newspaper in Kentucky reported the following: “After
digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near Beer Swiller Holler; Michael Sullivan, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely
nothing. Mr. Sullivan has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Kentucky had
already gone wireless.”

-“BB”-

#14834

jwsknk, February 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

no cell phone ( I may be about the last one in Iowa)
the weather radio is also a flashlight, solar or crank charge but it just travels camp to camp, not on the bike.
maybe a new digital camera, don’t want to take the good one it takes up a lot of room anyway.
the only other electronic device is the pump for the mattress.

#14835

Sandaltan ., February 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

A tip of my helmet to Beebs for the story and to Mich who keeps us updated on the happenings in the holler.
RIDE RIGHT

#14836

Michrider !!!, February 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

“Bicycle Bill” said:

One week later, a local newspaper in Kentucky reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near Beer Swiller Holler; Michael Sullivan, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely
nothing. Mr. Sullivan has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Kentucky had
already gone wireless.”-“BB”-

Beebs, cute story!  However, by now you gotta know that I ain’t digging no 30 foot hole!!!  Unless…maybe there was a load of Budweiser down there!

#14837

John L, February 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Cell phone to tell all my friends what they are missing….camera is on it. no apps. I must get a pic of beer and pie on a curb.

#14838

David Daniels, February 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

<FONT face=Calibri>Electric Titanium Kickstand.  cheers, just dave</FONT>

#14839

Gypsy Rose, February 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

If I develop the RAGBRAI habit as so many have done over the years, perhaps someday I’ll put “pacemaker” on the list.

For now, however, I’ll stick to my Luddite style of bike touring.

BTW, my 30-year-old touring bike is still going strong, even after two 5000-mile-plus transcontinental trips, plus lots of mileage in between. Still got the Campy friction shifters and toe clips on it, and it’s still a dream to ride. I’ll be taking it x-c again in 2014. (I won’t have it with me on RAGBRAI, though, as I’ll be riding my daily commuter bike – STI shifters and clipless pedals.)

Best,
~ Kevin

#14840

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