Looking to ride both and I have a lot of newbie questions…

Posted this on Reddit but they suggested I post here.
Now that both rides have been announced I’m trying to figure out how to do both rides. I’m already entered into IowasRide, I’ll be entering into RAGBRAI next week.

A little about me: I’m a 1st time rider – coming from California. I’m an experienced cyclist, daily mountain biker, bikepacker, capable with all my gear but I’ll want to use the truck services to haul it from overnight town to town during the event(s). Not sure about charters or shuttles. I’ll be on my Orbea Terra but I’ll have it built up more for gravel and travel (currently it’s built for fast and road). I’ll be doing a few centuries and a double century (Davis Double) this year prior to the ride(s). I can box my own bike, build my own bike, so I don’t need a bike shop for that.

My Orbea Terra

I would be considering a club or charter(?) but looking at doing this on the cheap.

I figure I’ll fly into somewhere with my bike in a bag but then I’m at a loss as to what next. I have a million questions…

  • Where do I leave my bike bag?
  • How do I get from the airport to the start?
  • Once finished with one Iowa’s ride, how reasonable is it to ride to the start of RAGBRAI?
  • Once finished with the RAGBRAI, how do I get my bag, and how do I get back to the airport?
  • What airport? I’ve heard Moline, I’ve heard Dubuque…
  • How many kits should I pack? Other stuff?
  • I’ve read a bunch in the FAQs but they can’t possibly cover all of the logistic questions I have.

    I keep hearing about “Iowa Kind”, can’t wait to experience it, just not at all sure how to make this all happen. Help!

    6 Replies

    Mike Mueller, January 29, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Not sure why my bike image didn’t show – let’s try that again…
    null

    #1314906

    Bernard Schwartze, January 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Mike,

    Welcome to the party! You sound like a great rider and I’m sure the great Iowa Forth and Back will be a blast.

    To address your questions:

    1. Bike Bag. I’d approach a local bike shop to hold it for you. Several people I rode with last year on an ACA Tour did that and it worked pretty well. Which town’s LBS depends on your logistics.
    2. Airport to Start. I’d keep monitoring this forum to see if someone with your desired itinerary pops up. I live in Colorado and all the people from here riding RAGBRAI start looking for help or offering it after the full route is released and registrations are confirmed. You can see some of that now on this forum.
    3. Iowa’s Ride to RAGBRAI. Similar answer as #2. Iowa nice will surely pop up here too. For example, my nephew lives in Rock Rapids and I’m going to suggest he and his friends offer shuttle services to make a few bucks. Yesterday on this forum, a person put two route ideas up that you may wish to look at. Some people on this forum have discussed bypassing Rock Rapids and heading straight to Le Mars from Sheldon. Some charters are supporting both rides and may have room for you if you just want the shuttle.
    4. Bag at end of RAGBRAI to airport. Keep on this forum. You may find the person who got you to Dubuque also needs to go back from Clinton, you may find someone new. Part of that is where you choose to leave your bike bag. Indeed, you may find someone willing to take it from the Dubuque LBS to the Clinton LBS for you.
    5. Which Airport? Sorry, can’t advise much on that. Too many variables. For example, lots of big airports within a half day’s drive of eastern Iowa. I’d look for logistics help first, then decide.
    6. Number of kits? Since you bikepack, I’d draw on that experience to answer your question. Lots of opinions on this forum and others on how much to pack. In fact, you’ll likely see a bunch of bikepackers self-contain riding on RAGBRAI and IR. However, consider that it is quite humid in Iowa in July so air dry time for your stuff will be longer than you’re experience probably tells you.

    You’re going to have more fun that you expect. That was my experience with my first RAGBRAI and I had high expectations. BTW, remember to bring your ice cream spoon. The Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Le Mars is awesome.

    Good Luck!

    Bernie S.

    Posted this on Reddit but they suggested I post here.
    Now that both rides have been announced I’m trying to figure out how to do both rides. I’m already entered into IowasRide, I’ll be entering into RAGBRAI next week.

    A little about me: I’m a 1st time rider – coming from California. I’m an experienced cyclist, daily mountain biker, bikepacker, capable with all my gear but I’ll want to use the truck services to haul it from overnight town to town during the event(s). Not sure about charters or shuttles. I’ll be on my Orbea Terra but I’ll have it built up more for gravel and travel (currently it’s built for fast and road). I’ll be doing a few centuries and a double century (Davis Double) this year prior to the ride(s). I can box my own bike, build my own bike, so I don’t need a bike shop for that.

    My Orbea Terra

    I would be considering a club or charter(?) but looking at doing this on the cheap.

    I figure I’ll fly into somewhere with my bike in a bag but then I’m at a loss as to what next. I have a million questions…

  • Where do I leave my bike bag?
  • How do I get from the airport to the start?
  • Once finished with one Iowa’s ride, how reasonable is it to ride to the start of RAGBRAI?
  • Once finished with the RAGBRAI, how do I get my bag, and how do I get back to the airport?
  • What airport? I’ve heard Moline, I’ve heard Dubuque…
  • How many kits should I pack? Other stuff?
  • I’ve read a bunch in the FAQs but they can’t possibly cover all of the logistic questions I have.

    I keep hearing about “Iowa Kind”, can’t wait to experience it, just not at all sure how to make this all happen. Help!

    #1314910

    Mike Mueller, January 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Great answers Bernie! Thanks!
    On the spoon, I can’t wait!
    Hey I even have the right one in mind… My SPORK

    #1314912

    Richard Arnopolin, January 29, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I’m not qualified to offer specific advise as I have never flown with a bike.
    That being said, might be a good idea to fly into O’Hare in Chicago?
    I would imagine there will be charters returning to Chicago after RAGBRAI.
    I will be signing up with OOS and do both rides, but I have transportation to and from Clinton,IA.

    #1314919

    klkoopman, January 30, 2020 at 7:12 am

    If you simply did RAGBRAI there is 47 years of trial and error and plenty of people on this forum who can advise you on how to fly to Iowa with a bike in tow. With the addition of this second ride, all is brand new to everyone and you’ll probably see solutions proposed over the next several months. It will more than likely involve a charter service which is servicing both rides.

    In regards to a choice of airports, it has to be very expensive to fly into Sioux City or Dubuque or the Quad Cities. Des Moines is going to be the most economical and you can more than likely get a direct flight. Being the major population center there are many bicycling teams who will sell you shuttle services from Des Moines. You need ground transportation from DSM to Dubuque at the beginning and then the same from Clinton back to DSM at the end. Takes a lot of driving time? Sure, but so does transferring to a second airplane to get Dubuque. No way you are going to find a direct flight from California to a small airport.

    #1314933

    Sandaltan ., January 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    One more option, you could rent a bicycle. Bikes to You rents bikes and picks up in Grinnell and Des Moines. Yeah, I like those people at BTY. Call them up and see what they can custom for you.

    RIDE RIGHT

    #1315025

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