RAIN!

I’m thinking about doing my first RAGBRI in 2020, but the thought of possibly riding a day (or more) in the rain doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. What happens if it rains during RAGBRI?? Just push on and ride through it? Is rain common during RAGBRI??

69 Replies

2newknees2newbeers, February 7, 2020 at 10:29 am

I knew a guy in town who rode the famous Soggy Monday ride. That got me hooked since I’ve already ran maratons in rain and colder weather. He said he rode the whole day. He said a riders went into used clothing stores and bought anything to keep them warm and dry. He said he bought a 3 piece suit with vest and shirt, no tie, he said it was quite a sight seeing the riders going along all wearing miss matched suit jackets and coats. He said he finished late and slept in a church since everything was wet. He showed me the patch on the ride. Meanwhile I just bring a raincoat to wear after riding in the rain to stay warm. I’ve ridden in hail, sleet, cold rain and hot rain on Ragbrai and I always do a few training rides in bad thunderstorms just to get used to it. And every year I apply a thick layer of seam sealer on my tent. Can’t wait.

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Jose Medina, February 7, 2020 at 12:16 pm

2newknees , Is this the same guy thats on a shrimp boat and plays ping pong. Great movie ! Yes , I can picture riders in their Sunday best. Only in Iowa on Ragbrai. Funny.

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Michrider !!!, February 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

I’m thinking about doing my first RAGBRAI in 2020, but the thought of possibly riding a day (or more) in the rain doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. What happens if it rains during RAGBRI?? Just push on and ride through it? Is rain common during RAGBRAI??

First, it’s RAGBRAI! Yes, rain happen on the ride, more often than we like! Just bring something to wear that will keep you warm, nothing will keep you dry on a warm July day!

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Michrider !!!, February 7, 2020 at 12:43 pm

I’m thinking about doing my first RAGBRAI in 2020, but the thought of possibly riding a day (or more) in the rain doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. What happens if it rains during RAGBRI?? Just push on and ride through it? Is rain common during RAGBRAI??

First, it’s RAGBRAI! Yes, rain happens on the ride, more often than we like! Just bring something to wear that will keep you warm, nothing will keep you dry on a warm July day!

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Norm Ovens, February 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm

yes you should assume it will rain. I lived there 15 years and Thunderstorms are common too. Two years ago there was an overnight Thunderstorm mid-week. The week before RAGBRAI last year soaked the state. We were lucky to just have a wet ride on day one. My advice,take rain covers for your feet and a light waterproof, windproof type jacket. If you need a new saddle get something like ‘Fabric’ which is impervious to moisture, otherwise take a bag to cover overnight. Some people will ride with an old school RAGBRAI bin liner jacket. But the right bike jacket can be used for colder mornings too.

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Iowa Mike on a Bike McClellen, February 9, 2020 at 9:29 pm

Yes! it is true! soggy Monday we bought out a going out of business clothing stores inventory! The mens wool dress jacket got me in! wet but warm! Next day was wonderful warm sun! go with the flow enjoy the ride!

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montestaples, February 28, 2020 at 2:24 pm

In 2011 my daughter and I rode all day in a cold rain. We eventually took refuge in a convenience store in a tiny pass through town along with about 200 other riders. They kept making hot chocolate and running a wet-vac to keep the water level on the floor below 1/2 inch. Eventually someone yelled “I got the weather to work (on a laptop). It’s going to pass us in about a half hour.” There were cheers. We all waited then rode the last 20 miles in sunshine. Shortly after we got to camp a young man rode in not looking like a drowned rat. He had checked the weather and hung out in the starting town till the storm passed. He rode behind the storm in sunshine the whole way. Lesson learned.

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montestaples, February 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Becky Gilreath said:
I have a question about gear…I have a couple of rain jackets, so I’m good. But I’m not sure what to do with my head. I thought I wanted a hooded jacket, but then I started to think how hard it would be to turn my head to check traffic etc.
So what do you suggest as a head covering?[/quote]
One rainy RAGBRAI day I had a grocery plastic bag in my bag. It made a pretty good helmet cover by tying it tightly over my helmet. Since then I have a waterproof helmet cover like you can find at almost any bike shop. I keep it packed with my rain jacket. It really makes a difference in keeping you warm. Nothing keeps you dry because you sweat inside you rain jacket but vents in your jacket do help.

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cannontandem, March 2, 2020 at 10:46 am

I too rode through Soggy Monday. My friend and I were able to buy tall kitchen garbage bags from two guys along the road trying to sell cold fruit juice. Back then very few riders had rain gear. As stated by others there were a lot of riders that don’t ride the whole day but about 2/3’s did. Back then very few didn’t ride the whole week. That year a lot of them stopped and went home. Those of us that did make the whole week know we have done something on RAGBRAI that will probably not be repeated. I would do it again if need be but I hope that is the last time RAGBRAI has such a headwind, rain and cold day.

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