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Not wanting to bike alone

This will be my first year that I will have to bike alone. My husband prefers to not make any stops in between towns and I like to stop and enjoy the towns along the way. I usually bike with my daughter but now with a new baby for her she is unable to this year.

20 Replies

Kentucky Husker, January 30, 2012 at 3:38 am

I’m in a similar boat. Family won’t be making the ride this year. But can you ever really be alone on RAGBRAI?


rouleaua36, January 30, 2012 at 8:07 am

I am making my first RAGBRAI. My 28 year old son and I are coming from Maryland. I plan on making lots of stops and taking my time, as this route takes me near all the important places from my Iowa youth. Would welcome the company.


Michrider !!!, January 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

The only place I’ve ever been alone on RAGBRAI is inside a KYBO!!!!


CyclingRoberto, January 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I’ve done 5 and 4 were alone.  Any questions?


Tony, January 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Michrider said: The only place I’ve ever been alone on RAGBRAI is inside a KYBO!!!!

Kybo’s are dark scary and lonely place. Especially at night. Don’t forget your flashlight.


bevelyn382, January 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I guess I am just getting a little nervous about riding alone if I break down or something else goes wrong.  I did ride one day alone last Ragbrai and after arriving at the overnight town, I felt so happy that I have done it myself.   It was such a sense of accomplishment. 


pHIlo, January 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

Good for you!  So you know it’s possible to ‘go it alone’ …

You shouldn’t have any problems if you ‘break down’ … gals always seem to get helped before guys … doesn’t matter how young/old you are either.  Most mechanical probs seem to happen on the first day & early in the day.  As you saw last year, ‘bike shops’ are pretty prevelant the first 20 miles.  If your bike is in good condition & you’ve got some miles in, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Having a charged cell phone might ease your mind abit.


jwsknk, January 31, 2012 at 11:14 am

bike shops will be in the pass through towns, usually 2 of them will be there until the town closes. That’s all on the maps when they come out.
If it’s something minor I’m sure plenty of people will go by and offer to help or ask if everything ok and willl “loan” you a tube, pump up your tire, or put your chain back on. I’ve done all those at one time or another.
 If you need the sag wagon, turn the bike upside down on the LEFT hand side of the road, easier for them to see and stop on that side.
If you make it to a town, stop at the entrance or go to the fire station or first aid station but they may have a hard time trying to get there. The sag wagon drivers think those places know how to contact them, from talking to people manning some of these places though it’s a different story.


SFC JKL 2, January 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  bevelyn- My husband prefers to not make any stops in between towns and I like to stop and enjoy the towns along the way.

Boring.  You’re much better off riding alone if that’s his attitude.  The towns are the thing that make this ride special (as opposed to most rides which do everything possible to avoid civilization).  If you’re not stopping, you really miss out.

Tell Mr Cardio to stay at home on the trainer if he wants to spin.  Leave more room for the rest of us to enjoy.


Wonder Woman, January 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I will say you are right on stopping to experience the towns…that’s what makes it different than just biking a bunch of miles at home….That and THE PEOPLE. You will not be alone. You will always have someone to help you on the road (even if you are staggler…) One of the main reasons I love to ride RAGBRAI is to meet other people who like the same things I do…people that stay too close to their familiar miss out on a lot of the experience. Just go with the flow.


mjd1221, February 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

bevelyn – if you have a breakdown on the road (mechanical or otherwise), just ask for help. I have seen so many examples of supportive strangers helping out others on the ride, and I’ve been the beneficiary of it a couple times myself. The first year we rode (my husband and I), a spoke on his rear wheel broke, and the wheel was so badly out of alignment that he couldn’t ride. We had no clue what to do, but practically instantly we were joined by four or five others who stopped to help and got us back on the road. We were able to get a complete repair at the next town.

Last year, I witnessed a young woman being yelled at by her partner, over a misunderstanding about where they were going to stop and rest. (It happens. We’ve all been there…we’re tired, it’s hot… nerves fray.) In any case, people quietly and discreetly came to her aid and gave her a word of encouragement. I saw the pair riding together later.

Sure, there are arrogant people on the ride, too, but there are many, many more like yourself out there, and they just want to see the ride go well for all of us. You won’t be alone.


Cathy Veal, February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

bevelyn, even though I’m with a team, I ride alone most of the time. I’m somewhat of a tourist, I make a lot of stops during the day.  I always pull over to buy water or food from the kids along the way.

Being alone forces me to talk to others while waiting in line or when I pass other riders I ask if I can ride along with them for a while. I meet some great people this way.

Last year I did have some chain problems and “rider off” to see what I could do.  People did stop to help me, again meet some really great people.  A day later I passed the help along by stopping to help someone with a flat tire by helping her inflate the new innertube, her arms had turned into noddles. Found out she’s a doctor from Oregon and that this was her 8th RAGBRAI.

When riding alone I’ve learn to set my pace and accept the fact that I will be getting into camp after 4pm on those days that are over 60miles.  It’s just a fact, most of my team get to camp by 1pm. This is the way I ride RAGBRAI and I have a great time.

See you in July, Summer




tjdale, February 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

Sorry Mitch, but sometimes you are not even alone inside a Kybo.

Never Alone At RAGBRAI“>


tjdale, February 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

Thanks Mitch


Michrider !!!, February 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

sorry, double post due to stupidity!


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