Registration deadline extended to April 15 for weeklong rider, weeklong non-rider, and vehicles passes!

Looking for California Riders to join "A California Peloton" Group

California Riders from all over the state. Start ride by 7:45am, after breakfast. Ride fairly fast, allowing stronger riders to pull everyone else. Try to finish ride by noon to enjoy being the first ones to lunch and party at host town. Stopping for beer, ice cream, or anything that looks good along the way.

28 Replies

GP_in_SD, November 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Hi Vijay,
Keep me on your list for a peloton. I was born and went to school in Iowa but have been in San Diego since 1985. Have done many many Ragbrai rides and currently am planning to attend in 2017.



vijay israni, November 27, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Hi Greg,

Looking forward to having you join. I did a ride this week to ISU from Des Moines to see the West Virginia Football game. (back home for Thanksgiving) Lots of riders out on Saturday. I went to Urbandale High School and now live in the SFO area. There are about a dozen people going from the Bay Area.

Join our group if you like. “A California Peloton”




mootsman, November 29, 2016 at 7:08 am

Before trying to organize a group that navigates through a much larger group of 15,000+ riders maybe think about why you are going on RAGBRAI which is a tour, not a race. A couple of observations from past RAGBRAIs

**1) groups trying to get through other groups can create dangerous situations. A general invite to “whoever” with a “who-knows” level of cycling skills is ill advised. Drafting strangers can be dangerous.
**2) Maybe let this post know what your reasons for getting into camp early. There may better ways of dealing with those reasons then getting in early.
**3) Maybe look out here on the forum later for teams looking for new recruits. You’d not only find some people to ride with but a social-tribe to hang out in the evenings with.
**4) You’ll enjoy RAGBRAI the most by spending time in the pass-through towns, socializing and of course finding something to eat. The main event of each day is the ride itself so getting through it as quickly as possible may not be the best way to enjoy the tour.

Also, the peloton is defined not has just any group but is specific to road racing: The peloton (from French, originally meaning ‘platoon’) is the main group or pack of riders in a road bicycle race. Riders in a group save energy by riding close (drafting or slipstreaming) near (particularly behind) other riders. … The term is also used to refer to professional cyclists in general.


Luv 2 Ski, November 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm

At first I was wondering if this post was actually a serious post or just one to get a heated discussion going about pace lines and those that ride like it is a race to the end town.

Even though I ride fast I do not think I would join a team that’s purpose is to get to the end town first. I take my time in pass through towns and I still miss things.


vijay israni, November 30, 2016 at 3:46 am

Hello “Let it snow” and “Mootsman”

I really do appreciate your constructive feedback and good points.

I grew up in the great state of Iowa and really love the special and unique offerings of all the pass through towns. I do agree that even if you took a lot of time, it’s almost impossible to stop and see all the cools things on RAGBRAI, you really have to be picky.

In years past, on other rides and RAGBRAI, we started out slow, warming up, until we were on the open road ahead of most of the pack, then stated the peloton; we would never ride fast near and pack of riders riding slow, too dangerous. Most of our group only rode fast three to five days, taking the other days to finish late at night sometimes due to multiple stops; enjoying all the fun activities in the pass through towns.

Finishing early at the host town has a lot of benefits. Sometimes it’s nicer to enjoy “the peace before the storm” at the popular venues at the host towns with the “social tribe” that is serious about riding and partying. This also gives us the opportunity to set up camp early, grabbing the gear of the our group that decided to ride slow that on that particular date. Grabbing your gear, getting the best camp spots, and being the first ones to set up camp before the “feeding frenzy” starts is huge! Trying to find your gear and set up camp at the same time as five thousand people is not the most enjoyable part of RAGBRAI—we’d rather be partying at this time.

The last item is biking, people in our group ride as little as 2K miles per year to over 7K miles per year. Most of us have different groups we ride with throughout the year so we are fairly experienced in group riding, ie drafting and group bike etiquette. Even in the peloton, once we are well ahead of the pack, we also stop for cool things along the way.

Maybe I can modify this groups description to reflect some of the points in my post?




mootsman, November 30, 2016 at 9:15 am


Taking it easy near slower riders is good but when putting a group of strangers together you cannot be sure how others will approach riding while maneuvering through the crowd at RAGBRAI. I think maybe you might be looking at a paceline rather then forming a peloton (main pack in a road race).

Some of the things you attribute to getting in early can optionally be addressed other ways then getting in early. If you go with the main RAGBRAI campground or large charter it might be true about getting the good campsites. If you find an average sized RAGBRAI team (not like a racing team) of 15-30 riders you get plenty of campsite choices at their nightly hosts even if you are not in early. And usually you find people wanting to ride together although not always with a “get there early” approach. There is even a group within our team that leaves late, avoids the crows the whole route, has lights and gets in well after midnight sometimes.

If its peace you want by getting in early you get a little enclave of that with most RAGBRAI team host sites. Sometimes our team was near downtown but many times in a neighborhood or even a mile outside of town. So you can visit the RAGBRAI party and return to your team’s peaceful enclave most nights.

It’s true you can enjoy the overnight town getting in early but also even getting in late afternoon you’ll have lots of time there.


vijay israni, November 30, 2016 at 11:08 am

Yup, all good points, thx. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of experience with RAGBRAI. I hope to meet you during the ride.

Our group will definitely be more of group ride with stronger riders “pullinjg” on the open road than an actual “peloton” ride. (it’s pretty easy to tell if someone has ridden in a group before).

This year we’d like to stay within the “RAGBRAI” campground vs private camp ground or someone’s back yard (for a change).

Thanks again,



T. Gap Woo, November 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Vijay, Mootsman et al,

Please allow me to repeat a common thought from threads of prior years. As long as you RIDE RIGHT, there is no correct way to ride Ragbrai. It’s YOUR Ragbrai, so ride it however you want.

BTW, as the Sage of Rabbit Hash says, “Ragbrai don’t care!”

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


KenH, November 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

vijay israni:
Start ride by 7:45am, after breakfast.

In years past, on other rides and RAGBRAI, we started out slow, warming up, until we were on the open road ahead of most of the pack, then stated the peloton; we would never ride fast near and pack of riders riding slow, too dangerous.

I am glad that you acknowledge the danger of a group of fast riders continuing at pace when the road is crowded. The real problem with pacelines on RAGBRAI, in my opinion, is that many of them never want to slow down for anything. Ride as fast as you safely can, but no faster. I think it was that great cyclist Albert Einstein who said that….

I cannot see how you are going to get ahead of the pack with a 7:45 start however. Perhaps you can on other rides, not at RAGBRAI! If you hit the road at 6:00, ride hard until your breakfast stop, and eat quick you might be able to get ahead of and stay ahead of the pack. I hear that some fast riders like to wait until 9:00 or 10:00 to avoid the pack but they ain’t gonna get to the end town by noon that way.


vijay israni, November 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Hi Ken,

We’ll try for 7:45, might have to push to 7:15 to 7am.

RIDE RIGHT is our first priority and going slow enough to keep it safe.


mootsman, December 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm


Since you’re going with the main camp it makes sense to get in early if you want the better campsites. Also you might get shorter shower lines. I think the charters also sell you a shower’s use for $5 or so. The main group may also get to use schools restrooms I’d guess if you like to avoid the kybos. But always have your own tp stash along. A distinctive flag or banner could help your group spot the general area your group camps in also.

The only disadvantage to getting in early is it might be harder to single out your gear but then its less likely to be mistakenly picked up by someone else also. One year someone mistakenly grabbed my tent but I located them quickly since our team only had 50 people. Mark you luggage boldly and distinctively to find it more easily especially on the ends of it. It also helps others avoid mistakenly identifying it as theirs.

If your group riders meet the night before to discuss safety details all being on the same page helps. One thing for the front person to watch for, riders in front of your group closing in on riders in front of them. It predicts if they may make a sudden left move into your group’s lane of travel for those that don’t look before moving left.


vijay israni, December 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Yup, now you are starting to understand why we want to be first in town….every year we enjoy the benefits of no lines and being the first to use “clean” facilities and often times great free gear + food. One year, one of our riders got to hang out with Lance Armstrong (for what it’s work now).

In years past, we’ve actually helped unload the semi trucks.

We have lots of experience finding our bags, we use electronic locator beacons which are linked to our smartphone. You might want to consider this.

RAGBRAI is not as bad, there is ride on the west coast which is only 50 miles that has had 20,000 riders on it.


Jboz, December 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm

If riding fast and getting to the next host first is your main priority, you guys could just get motorcycles and get there by 8:30 AM.


vijay israni, December 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Well said Dr. Woo

Please allow me to repeat a common thought from threads of prior years. As long as you RIDE RIGHT, there is no correct way to ride Ragbrai. It’s YOUR Ragbrai, so ride it however you want.

BTW, as the Sage of Rabbit Hash says, “Ragbrai don’t care!”

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


mootsman, December 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

Cool idea about the electronic locator with a phone app… Although I’m trying a charter this time that delivers luggage to a pre-setup tent. If gets routed to the wrong tent it could be a trip saver.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.





Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI