RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Knitters!

For those of you who love to cycle, knit, cocktail — and repeat!

This is my first time riding RAGBRAI and I’m super excited. I did bike packing when I was a kid, but that was 100 years ago.

Anyone want to join me in knitting at the end of our long days?

30 Replies

direwolf, January 8, 2023 at 12:07 am

Aye, my Sweetie and I are not knitters, but we hope to find you and spin a few yarns.

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Joe Chavis, January 8, 2023 at 5:39 am

So. I’m not a nay sayer, but… I’ve ridden every available RAGBRAI since 1996 and I have a question.

When you attend a knitting ‘bee’ much as a quilting bee… do you ride your bike when you are not knitting? Inquiring minds want to know. Or do you mingle with others… who knit? You know. Walk around, see the town, eat a restaurant…. Have Safe Be Fun and Knit ‘ on.

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Lsdaloia, January 8, 2023 at 10:58 am

Actually, I knit when I’m not riding my bike or otherwise living my best life, and vice-versa. My understanding is that there are a lot of cool things to see in towns, lots of great bands to listen to, and craft beer to sip.

Like many other crafters, I’m able to multi-task. I have no problem knitting while walking around and I’m really good at knitting while listening to music, podcasts, chitchat, waiting in lines, waiting for meals at restaurants, and while watching TV. If I’m knitting something basic I can also knit in the dark at theaters. I’m no stranger to knitting at a campsite at the end of a long day (ride). Knitting’s also a great way to rest a little and relax when you’re on a long hike or ride.

I’m especially skilled at knitting while sipping a cocktail.

There’s even a company that makes knitting bags for walkers so they can exercise and knit at the same time. I’m not going to knit while on my bike for obvious safety reasons.

I saw merino socks at my local bike store; I assume they’re for specialized bike shoes. Guess what? Most of us knitters have made socks at some point. Socks are a perfect project for RAGBRAI since they’re small projects and the cuff makes for mindless cocktail knitting. Cowls are a good choice too and keep you warm on winter rides. Unlike quilts — and I’m not a quilter or sewer BTW — or a weaver (yet) — they are easily portable. AND we have a souvenir at the end of the ride. So thanks for the inspiration @JoeChavis!

Looking forward to seeing all my fellow yarnies on the road!

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Lodie, January 28, 2023 at 8:42 pm

I too am a knitter and RAGBRAI is absolutely about how you want to do it! I usually have a project along but during the week, I don’t get much done – frankly just too sweaty. Go for it and I will try to catch up with you!

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Lsdaloia, January 30, 2023 at 6:50 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Lodie!

I signed up with Alpaca Adventures since they have shade, chairs, and fans. Add a shower and a cold beverage and I think that will be the perfect end of a day at RAGBAI.

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HelenP, January 31, 2023 at 4:04 am

Have a ball with spinning up hills and the knitting! ;-)

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Lsdaloia, January 31, 2023 at 10:13 am

Helen, I love your sentiment!

I’m a little afraid to start spinning and dyeing since that will just fuel my fiber obsession. Although I am thinking about taking a weaving class……

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HelenP, February 1, 2023 at 12:04 am

Just avoid high speed weaving among traffic! ;-)

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Lsdaloia, February 1, 2023 at 9:52 am

Helen, that made me LOL! And I needed it. I went to Big Bend to get some miles in and am stuck between Fort Stockton and Dallas with this ice storm. Luckily I have a hotel room and my knitting…..

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HelenP, February 1, 2023 at 10:10 am

Ooo, looks like you’ve got the dreaded “wintry mix”.

Here, way far to your north & east, it’s maybe 10 degrees warmer, but the poor excuse for snow last night wasn’t even a proper dusting, and it’s now a beautiful sunny day, but still chilly.

I’m not fond of biking when it’s under 50 F. out there, although walking up steeper hills to avoid frosted lungs helps. Been trying to work up my courage to layer on the merinos and all, and get on the bike.

I’m starting to think the best cycling activity for this time of year is shopping for and working on my gear!

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Suzanne Barron, February 1, 2023 at 11:47 am

Will be driving across the country to get to our 1st RAGBRAI and will definitely have a sock knitting project with me (while my husband is doing the driving, of course!). I’m a hard-core crafter but a recreational cyclist, and 60-80 mi days (and consecutive days of those!) might not be conducive to knitting at days end. Especially after a beer. Or 2. Although I’m psych-ing myself into thinking that the training will be harder than the actual ride. I’m there to have fun, right?! I’ve just started looking at the forum now that I know the route, 1st task is to find a charter to get 2 people/2 bikes/tent stuff from end -> start. Not getting too freaked out as the 50th year should mean everything is smooth sailing. : )

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Lodie, February 1, 2023 at 6:38 pm

Welcome to RAGBRAI Suzanne.
The charters are great for getting you from the end to the start. This is likely to be a busier year than average so would recommend locking down your arrangements sooner than later.
Hope your first RAGBRAI is spectacular!

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Mary Pekot, February 2, 2023 at 5:06 pm

I always bring a knitting project along, after all it’s a long trip to Iowa for me. Would love to spend some time with fellow knitters and a drink after cycling. I look for private yarn shops in the overnight towns but they are often closed in the evenings.

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Suzanne Barron, February 3, 2023 at 10:47 am

Thx for the tip about charters, Lodie! Just secured 2 bus seats. Now that I know I’ll be at the start, just have to begin training to make sure I can get to the end. ; ^ P

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ESchiers, February 5, 2023 at 6:26 am

Knitters- can’t wait to see your projects! Knitting while camping/ touring is very doable. Note a few suggestions: bring a small project that fits into a fanny pack. I like to make mittens, hats, and socks (not on a magic loop). You’ll get a lot done while standing in lines or taking a break, grab the needles, keep the yarn in the pack, and get ready for the questions. (What are you making? What is that? How did you learn? Wish I could do that.) It’s an easy way to start conversations and not think about the wait.
It’s going to be humid, hot, and your hands may be dirtier than usual, so you may not want to bring expensive yarns, intricate pattern work, or wools (tension can get funky in the humidity). Lately, acrylic blended with bamboo has been nice to use.
It would be fun to have a knitalong somewhere along the way.

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