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Informal Poll: What time will you start riding on Wednesday, the 103 mile day?

Just out of curiosity, and maybe to give some vendors a heads up, what time will you start riding on Wednesday from Emmetsburg to Mason City?

I plan on being down the road by 5:00AM.

I remember 2011 when we had an 80-something mile day, 100F heat, and headwinds. Thousands of people sagged into the end town. I started around 7AM and didn’t finish until 4PM, and I really wished I had started earlier.

27 Replies

HelenP, July 13, 2022 at 6:14 pm

I’ve only been cycling for a little over a year, and am not yet ready to ride a Century. However, just for 2022, PBV charter is running a (now full) paid SAG bus & trailer to let some of us skip either the first or last half of the route that day. I’ll be on the bus at 7pm for roughly an hour, then bike from the meeting town to the end — that’ll still be plenty of miles to pedal. Other riders have paid to cycle to the meeting town, then get on the SAG bus. So the same Greyhound-type bus will cut the route in half for twice its seating capacity.

This won’t benefit just us. There’ll be a little less crowding early on the route, the towns & vendors near the end will get more business, it’ll put less pressure on medical services, and we’ll free up space on the regular, free Ragbrai SAG wagons for other riders who need them.


HelenP, July 13, 2022 at 6:25 pm

Er. . . 7 AM!


LawnchairMan, July 13, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Good catch HelenP, I wondered about that as I read it. I will go with military time to avoid confusion.

In 2012 we had temps over a hundred for three days in a row. On Century Day I got on the road by 0430. I was glad I did because the winds came up just as I was headed into the Karras Loop. It was brutal. I usually start at 0530, but Century Day will depend on the weather predicted for the day. Make sure you have a powerful headlight if you go at 0500. I use a Niterider Lumina 1000. Riders ahead of me think I’m a car or motorcycle.


HelenP, July 13, 2022 at 7:13 pm

And good lights, despite the price, are a lot cheaper than hospital costs. . .


jelly0317, July 13, 2022 at 7:46 pm

8:00, as always


Aaron Norgrant, July 13, 2022 at 7:49 pm

I used to live in Texas and rode the HHH (Hotter “N” Hundred) 100 mile race in August. I averaged 7 hrs and 20ish minutes every time I did it. It was a race and entirely different from RAGBRAI. Our group will be on the road by 0530 and roll into the next town at all hours of the day. Enjoy the ride!!!!


garywilk, July 14, 2022 at 8:13 am

I always do the century and have done several others than RAGBRAI but 2012 was one of the worst. Very hot, I think 108 miles and several steep hills and head wind. I went through about 20 water bottles and the first time I learned about pickle juice. It is just not about hydration but also replace some of the different salts you sweat out. This one this year is fairly flat so it should be a bit better. Leaving at 6:30 like normal but will spend a little less time in the first few towns.


DNik1, July 14, 2022 at 2:34 pm

6am beat the heat


Rob Fuller, July 14, 2022 at 3:42 pm

Not sure of time, but am planning to start in the dark with head/tail lights and watch the sunrise while riding.


JimCoonRapidsMN, July 14, 2022 at 4:21 pm

5:00 sharp – but QUIETLY!

This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by JimCoonRapidsMN.


jclowes, July 14, 2022 at 5:14 pm

I tried the century route out on my Garmin / Wahoo Kickr yesterday. The route seems quite flat, which is good. What I found is that I didnt plan well from a nutrition standpoint, which made the last 20 miles seem like 200. Plan your nutrition so that you replenish yourself regularly (use a schedule!). This will be even more important in the heat. I am a 200-pound guy, and my Garmin said that I burned 3,950 calories while averaging 16.7mph.


LawnchairMan, July 14, 2022 at 6:19 pm

Hey JimCoonRapids,
Since I always leave camp by 0530 I have made spandex sleeves for my tent poles to make them quieter. I also made a multi slot sheath for my tent stakes. They don’t jangle against each other. Hard to be completely quiet, but I minimize it.


JimCoonRapidsMN, July 15, 2022 at 10:25 am

Great idea, LCM!


Chris, July 15, 2022 at 2:40 pm

LCM….that is a neat idea!

….But, if this year’s century day is anything like the Karras Loop day in previous years, at 5am, you’ll have plenty of company breaking camp. We’re out early every day; usually on the road at about 5:30-5:45. Most days, we don’t have a lot of company.
A Hot day….we have lots of company.
The Karras Loop day…..we have lots more company.
A Hot, Loop, Day…..there’s lots and lots and lots of company.

Oh, confidential to LCM: That loop is 2012 was something, wasn’t it? I don’t care who you were that day….anyone on the loop got spanked, and spanked hard, by that wind. I, too, remember turning onto the loop and feeling like we ran into a wall. It was like eating a hair dryer.

….but then there was John at the the town on the loop, in a riding Jersey, shaking hands and taking pictures.
Made it all worth it.

See you in July.


jpclark7, July 15, 2022 at 7:12 pm

Probably at 6:00 A.M.

I wonder when the drunks and alcoholics are going to start.


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