Looking to form a small, informal touring group (no more than 4 to 6 total due to COVID) of like-minded riders.
My situation: The group I’ve been doing RAGBRAI with has sort of disbanded for 2020 and plans to regroup for 2021. I’ve suggested a homemade small DIY tour with them, and one or two might be game, but most of them are all still working and don’t want to give up a week of vacation unless it’s RAGBRAI (it’s RAGBRAI or nothing for them…and that’s cool). But I’m retired and REALLY feeling the need to get out on the road. I will go solo if necessary, but it’s always more fun and interesting to ride with others. My son is a 21 year old college student, and he might ride with me too. I have a great deal of flexibility and can go just about anywhere and any week (a little shorter or longer if needed).
Riding style: I really like the RAGBRAI approach of 60 to 70 mile days and routes with pass-through towns approximately every 15 miles or so. Would prefer a multi-day circle route to start/end in the same spot, or a single town with multiple loops. I’m not in a hurry by any means, so stopping in towns to relax, eat, look around & stretch my legs (and rest my butt) are definitely part of the plan. I typically ride at a touring pace of 13.5 mph give or take. I can go faster when needed, but for long days I really prefer to keep my heart rate down. On RAGBRAI, it seems like I pass about as many riders as riders pass me, so I think I’m probably somewhere in the middle. But there have been many times when I ride alongside slower riders for long stretches if I enjoy talking with them. Easier for me to slow down than to speed up. I like a few adult beverages, but in moderation. At age 61, my hard-charging party days are thankfully behind me.
Preferred route location and accommodations: I live in northern Illinois, but really love riding in Iowa. But would be interested in Nebraska, SD, Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan routes as well. I like my “creature comforts”, so I will want to create a route than has overnight town lodging options (budget motels +/- $75 per night). Happy to ride with other riders who want/need to camp, but just know that I won’t be camping. And if my riding partners happen to be campers, they can feel free to take advantage of the shower in my room.
Anyone out there ride at a similar speed, style and approach who wants to kick this around?