Riding Solo

Looks like most folks are on teams. Any recommendations for a week long solo rider/camper/non-drinker (yeah, I know) to get the most out of the experience.

59 Replies

steve zink, May 7, 2018 at 9:06 pm

Ken, I would never get to the overnight if I made a habit of line standing..already did the math, countless ragbrais have me plodding along at 8 mph now..I looked up your Fuji..right, it really not rag touring but still workable with modification..I retired a 74 panasonic touring..for a wheeled lawn chair..which I suspect will make me even slower..but thats ok..I say steel is better than aluminum for touring..unless you have carbon fiber money?


Rich Hawkins, May 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

Do you have to be registered to ride solo? Or can I just show up? I am considering it as well….




Rich Hawkins, May 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm

How do you get your bags to the next town? Are you carrying everything yourself?



hnschipper, May 8, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Registered riders can use the RAGBRAI baggage truck for no additional cost.


Rich Hawkins, May 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm

registration is closed for 2018 though, do you know of any other way to shuttle baggage?


LawnchairMan, May 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Hi Rich,

Not exactly sure what you are asking, so if I have it wrong please forgive me. If you are asking whether you have to be registered to ride Ragbrai, the answer is no. The routes we take are on public Iowa roads. No one can stop anyone from riding along. While there are up to 10,000 registered riders, there are usually that many unregistered that ride too.
The disadvantage of not registering is that you would not have official support. You would have to either carry your gear or have a friend take it town to town. You would have to find your own place to camp instead of using the main camp ground or charter camp areas. If you breakdown on the road you can’t depend on the Ragbrai SAG wagon to help you. Vendors should charge more for non-registrants.
I think all of the previous writers on this forum are registered riders. I think the main concern of this thread is how hard it would be for a registered rider to ride without a team. I am a solo rider myself, but I use a charter service to provide camp areas and to transport my gear. Charters don’t allow non-registrants.
So, you could just show up, but you have to provide your own support. Above all I hope you know, or can learn, how to ride safely in large groups of riders. I encourage you to register for next year’s Ragbrai.


Rich Hawkins, May 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Thanks Lawnchairman, I would like to ride this year and it’s too bad they close registration in April as I would gladly pay to ride this year; I suppose they close it to get lead time for logistical planning, and I can’t blame them. Well, see ya all next year hopefully!


Denton Kernodle, May 8, 2018 at 1:05 pm

To get a week riding wrist band the lottery is closed but the “per day” registration is open until June or until they are all gone. The per day wrist bands are $30 per day and when you get those you can stay in the official campground and transport your gear via the official baggage truck.


Rich Hawkins, May 8, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Denton! That would work for me!


LawnchairMan, May 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm


I forget about the daily wristbands, so that is a good suggestion. You could also ask to buy a week long band from someone who can’t go this year. Many people buy or sell. Put up a request.

I think there are steps to take to transfer ownership. Look at the Ragbrai FAQs.


KenH, May 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Yes you can probably score a weeklong wristband on the secondary market as the ride date approaches. The action will heat up around the time they start sending out the packets in June. If you find one to buy you will be able to transfer it to your name and you will be 100% legit; the area on this website that allows you to do that will open sometime in June too. If you cannot find a weeklong wristband anywhere else you can email Pork Belly Ventures. They set up a wristband exchange to help people who’ve had to cancel out hook up with people who are on their waiting list. They typically say there are more sellers than buyers so even though they are primarily interested in helping people who want to use their charter, if they have wristbands going wanting I am sure they will hook you up with a seller because the sellers are all their customers who just could not make it this year and they will be grateful to PBV for getting them a buyer.

Ok Steve, I see your problem. A speed of 8mph does not leave you as much time to wait in line as us 12mph jackrabbits have!!


steve zink, May 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

12 mph?..whats your hurry Ken?..yes, its humbling now when blue haired ladies and little kids pass me ..the only thing I can hang my hat on now is Ive never sagged in..


Paige Palombo, May 9, 2018 at 11:26 pm

This will be my 4th year riding solo (registered all 4 years ). I always use the included luggage truck. As others stated, there is great freedom solo. No worrying about others pace and finding people. I have also made new friends and then met them again the following year(s). As I say – just me and 15,000 of my closest friends!


Keith Misegades, May 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Try to get to town earlier than the masses. Unfortunately, most all good camping spots are taken early by the big teams and groups. Be ready to camp further out to get a decent tent spot. You’ll find LOTS and LOTS of tape in the campgrounds roping off the good areas. Seems like RAGBRAI makes all sort of accommodations to teams to the expense of the individual riders, but it’s still a blast!


jelly0317, May 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm

I’ve been riding RAGBRAI for 35 years, have never gotten to the overnight before 6:00 (long after “the masses”), and have always found a good camping spot.


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