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

Jan DeWitt, May 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

So many great thoughts it’s easy to understand the community spirit within a Ragbrai. It also seems everyone’s trip means something different to them and is experienced in a unique way. I’ll be hanging at the Pork Belly campground and feel much more comfortable going “solo” after reading so many thoughtful comments. Thanks all.

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steve zink, May 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Many on team Shenanigans dont even leave the overnight until noon..so they can cycle in just as the sun goes down or even dark..their reasons are..1. Any leftover food is usually free…2. Wind dies down late in the day..3. No crowded road…4. Party Down in next to last town..5. They get to use their (generator) lights.

This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by steve zink.

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steve zink, May 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm

Many on team Shenanigans dont even leave the overnight until noon..so they can cycle in just as the sun goes down or even dark..their reasons are..1. Any leftover food is usually free…2. Wind dies down late in the day..3. No crowded road…4. Party Down in next to last town..5. They get to use their (generator) lights. Who am I to argue with that logic?

This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by steve zink.

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Elizabeth Moreau, May 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

Jan, I rode solo last year (with Pork Belly) and don’t drink… they provided the perfect amount of support. It took me about two days to realize their campsites are a bit out of town, and it’s well worth hopping back on the bike to go into the town center. (Or the shuttle, on those days where I just didn’t want to sit on the bike another minute!) I’m riding solo again this year with PBV and look forward to trying to be a little more social, though that’ll be a stretch for me! Personally, I loved being on my own schedule, with no one waiting for me or vice versa. Perfect vacation!

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Dockat, May 13, 2018 at 4:20 pm

I ride a 2009 Fuji Absolute 1.0. Out of the box it wasn’t that great for a long ride due to the flat handlebar which just doesn’t work for me over about 30 miles. It now has a Jones Loop H Bar on it, 38mm tires, and most recently Catalyst platform pedals in place of SPDs. It’s ready for anything RAGBRAI will throw at it but not a great platform for unsupported touring. I’d need to get a new bike for that and in fact I’d like to ride coast to coast once I retire, perhaps doing RAGBRAI in the middle of that. But I don’t know if that plan would ever pass muster with the wife

I’ve had so many fine meals and fine conversations courtesy of those long food lines that I regard them as a beloved feature of RAGBRAI rather than something to be avoided. It’s RAGBRAI though, any way that you enjoy is a fine way to do it!

Ken check out the Fuji tour disc

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Brandi Bresson, June 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Also a non-drinker. Not quite riding solo….my 10 year old daughter will probably be with me. But that might be even more lonely than solo because even if I make a friend I have to stick by my girl.

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KenH, June 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Brandi: I don’t know how hard they are to come by but a friend who will stick with you and your daughter is a friend you will want to keep! Actually, there are quite a few people on the ride who ride fairly slowly and would make excellent friends for the ride.

Dockat: I’ve looked at the Fuji Touring Disc and it is a nice ride. I’ve been leaning towards something more adventurous however. Maybe a Kona Sutra or a Specialized Sequoia. There are actually a ton of bikes out there that are broadly suitable. Fuji makes others like the Jari and then there are Salsas, Surlys, Giants, Masis, Marins, … enough to make your head spin!

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Brandi Bresson, June 17, 2018 at 9:10 pm

KenH, I would love to find some of those friends. If you know any send them my way!

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Bill Barry, June 18, 2018 at 6:43 am

My 1st two Ragbrais were solo, but that just means you are not tied to a group. You can find all kinds of friends on the ride. Some last just a hill or two others go on for miles and some you see the next year. This year I’m riding with my 14 year old, very social, son. He will either be friends with everybody in the ride, or we will be the two everybody swings wide left of due to the constant chattering. Lol. 🤣

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CharterOak DayOne, June 18, 2018 at 6:59 am

Do riders like to take advantage of swimming pools in pass-thru towns, or just overnight towns?

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Steve Reed, June 18, 2018 at 11:55 am

When I rode my first RAGBRAI 3 other friends were going to go along as well. As time went by, all 3 dropped out. My wife asked me what I was going to do and I told her I was going to ride with 20,000 of my best friends I had never met. I never regretted that decision.

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LawnchairMan, June 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Hey CharterOak,

I can’t speak for others, but I certainly wouldn’t stop to swim mid-ride. I wouldn’t be able to relax knowing I have more miles to go. I would also not want to get all sweaty again and need another shower. I have enjoyed pools at overnight towns. I’ve discovered that the waterfalls or jets can be like a massage.

I’ve been meaning to commend you for your attitude for the vendor ban. Since your county rescinded the restriction I was going to make sure I patronized Charter Oak. Then I thought, that would be spending in the town not country. My solution is to patronize both once I’m in Crawford county. I’d like to meet you in Charter Oak if possible. stage720@cox.net

Scott

This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by LawnchairMan.

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lmgoldberg, June 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

really good suggestion. first-timer and solo rider also. thanks.

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lmgoldberg, June 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

lots of weeklong wrist bands for sale it seems.

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