Ride Suggestions if RAGBRAI cancelled

I’m assuming most things will be cancelled this year…bummer. However, just in case, does anyone have suggestions for some awesome rides? Could be a one day century, weekend ride or week long. I really need something to train for…it helps with keeping the weight off.

22 Replies

Jose Medina, April 12, 2020 at 9:12 pm

If Ragbrai does not happen this year, I plan on visiting a couple of the overnight towns for the day and riding around town. I might even spend the night and enjoying a nice dinner even if it is carry-out. I will respect social distancing if it is still in effect. I do live in the great state of Iowa. It’s home.


Mike Howe, April 13, 2020 at 12:23 am

Im thinking about doing Bike the Coast in San Diego in October. Theres different route options ranging from 7 miles to 100. Its far enough away that it hasnt been canceled yet and 100 miles enough to keep me riding/training consistently the next several months until October. Im the type if I dont have something to train for I wont ride nearly as much.


Jboz, April 13, 2020 at 7:27 am

I’m looking at 3 main options now.

Shorline West (MI) in early August still appears to be moving forward as planned, and that’s my #1 choice.

#2 is Mountains to Cost which is a 7 day ride across North Carolina with some decently longish days and total mileage similar to RAGBRAI.

A distant #3 is dependent on whether the stock market cooperates over the next couple of months (and Mrs. Boz grants her approval) for a 6 day ride from Jasper (Canada) to Banff that has been on my bucket list for awhile. I hear the scenery is breathtaking, plus I have a RAGBRAI friend who is doing it and that would be fun. It’s way more expensive than RAGBRAI due to the fact that it chartered and uses hotel stays, plus logistics of getting there and back…but life is short.


Jboz, April 13, 2020 at 8:56 am

One more observation…small footprint (500 or less) and low-key rides are probably far less threatening to a community than a 10k to 15k army of riders, vendors and support. The small rides also require less resources like HS camping areas, traffic control, etc. from those communities than RAGBRAI. I suspect that even if RAGBRAI is cancelled, I suspect some of these small rides will move forward as planned, especially the later ones.


Ken Koprowski, April 13, 2020 at 9:50 am

I need to look into that one- I live near Pasadena and Joshua Tree- down that way all the time-


mootsman, April 13, 2020 at 9:59 am

[quote quote=1317684]I’m looking at 3 main options now.

Shorline West (MI) in early August still appears to be moving forward as planned, and that’s my #1 choice.

I know a couple who has done this ride the last several years and loves it. The pictures look great and it is a low key RAGBRAI alternative. Now you have me thinking about it.


trknight, April 13, 2020 at 1:14 pm

I was signed up to do Cycle Zydeco this week in Louisiana.. it has been postponed until October with an option to roll over to next year’s ride in April. I’m pretty sure I won’t do it this October… just don’t see it being safe and question next spring if we don’t have a vaccine. For the Michigan rides, I suspect LMB (League of Michigan Bicyclists) is evaluating whether their larger group events can be done safely before finalizing a decision. I did their MUP (Michigan Upper Peninsula) ride last year (early July) and I just don’t see how they can reasonably modify things to eliminate the risk. It only takes one asymptomatic carrier….


Sandaltan ., April 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm

Jboz: Cautionary on CNC; we had four days of rain on our two CNC rides some many years ago. Take warm clothes, yes even gloves, and rain gear. The Little Stoker was on a Vision R40 with no front fender, so much water kicked up and drained into the fork that when we got home and I hung the bike upside down on hooks more than half a cup of water drained out of the fork. About a month later I noticed “spider veins”, red rust lines around the weld between the dropouts and the forks. Not good! The dealer in Chariton replaced the fork at no charge. We have had no desire to ride CNC again.

Shoreline West however is a great ride. You could do that same route solo or with friends and a baggage van.



GP_in_SD, April 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

Mike and Ken, I live in SD but haven’t specifically done this event before (Bike the Coast). In looking at their website it looks like it is basically a ride on the coast highway south from Oceanside on a Saturday. I ride that route frequently but in reverse, Del Mar north and back. Fantastic ride and although the coast highway can be very car busy (not so much right now) it is very bike friendly with some areas having one of the two lanes in each direction designated as a bicycle lane. On sunny saturdays (most saturdays, July through Oct), it is typically very busy with bicycles. I recommend stopping at Pizza Port in Solona Beach for a beer and slice of pizza. You can sit on the outside patio and watch all the other riders stream by with a craft beer cold one. Pizza Port is the mother brewery of many of the craft beer breweries in San Diego.

If you come for this event, let me know, I’d like to enter and ride with a group.


Steve Hexom, April 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Speaking as someone who has done this ride every day for 40 years in a row, in years gone by, when I needed to jump start getting in shape, I would take a week off and do MOCKBRAI. I would plan a route each day for a week approximately the same distance and do the ride on my own. Obviously a loop but it worked very well to train and be in that much better shape for the actual event. Since I was on vacation, I would try to do special things at night as well all that week. Was it RAGBRAI? No. But did it get me in shape? Yes. In an uncertain time, do the best you can!


Jose Medina, April 13, 2020 at 6:02 pm

Steve H. Congrats on your many years of Ragbrai. Great advice !I have done 30 and hope to be at your 40 someday. Stay safe ! I am always thinking about our fellow riders and how this virus has impacted their lives. God Bless.


Eric Strobel, April 13, 2020 at 8:50 pm

These are all great suggestions. I know what you mean but needing a goal, something to train for in order to keep up with the miles needed. I’m going to check them all out. Love the Cali one as I’m in AZ and it’s close. Love the Michigan ride as I’m from there…Go Blue! The Canada ride looks intriguing and something to consider for future rides (I bought low Jboz during this downturn so the market going up will help the cause).


Mike Howe, April 13, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Eric Im in Arizona as well. Tempe to be exact. Was thinking about doing. Bike the Coast because it was close as well. Quick drive over to San Diego Friday. Ride Saturday and then head back Sunday.


ThomasNye, April 14, 2020 at 8:49 am

I haven’t missed a RAGBRAI in 20 years, so to support the overnight towns that have already invested their time and resources for 2020, and in keeping with my favorite weekly tradition, my plan is to drive to and start in each overnight town at a community location (park, community center, high school, etc.), cycling an out and back loop halfway to the next overnight town while wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing recommendations and spending as much as I would on RAGBRAI at as many businesses as practicable, again only to the extent that I am meeting any and all Iowa safety and social distancing guidelines in place at the time.


garywilk, April 14, 2020 at 9:03 am

Our backup is in Northern Indiana. amishlandlakes.com. They have a three day option and also includes a century. Also the price is right and if you get signed up early enough hotels are still available.


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