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Riding with a backpack on RAGBRAI?

First RAGBRAI. While there is plenty of information on everything, I couldn’t find suggestions of carrying a backpack. My thought was to put sneakers inside (in case need to stop by to explore towns, but do have cleat covers as well) and also to carry any bought food or souvenirs between cities. Of course, the downside is getting hot and having a sweaty back. Curious what are people’s thoughts on backpacks. I do have a saddle sac, but it’s not big enough to carry more than my tubes and tire levels. Jersey pockets can also work, up to a limit.

Any other advice for beginners are welcome. I have read a lot of it already, but probably have information overload at this point. I am going with Brancel Charter, so that should help.

This topic was modified 11 months, 4 weeks ago by Sibelius.

26 Replies

Alan_50501, July 7, 2021 at 10:25 am

I thought of getting a back pack that can have a hydration bag inside of it..After seeing this thread I don’t think I will be getting 1…I have a new domane sl4 can’t put a rack or bag on back I’ve to look into doing something different


scottydog, July 7, 2021 at 10:44 am

Have you thought of a beam rack?


Rob Fuller, July 7, 2021 at 10:57 am

Bike lock may just be dead weight – with so may bikes around it will be nearly impossible to find a thing to attached the lock. I’m thinking about packing a cable and lock in the overnight bag to lock bikes to each other (only at night, and just for peace of mind).


Chris, July 7, 2021 at 11:03 am

I second the beam! As long as you have enough seatpost showing (2″, give or take. Depends on the rack), they’re a great alternative for carrying a light load.

This is an example of we’re taking about: (this isn’t endorsement of this particular rack, though I have used MTX products and been satisfied with them)


Sibelius, July 7, 2021 at 11:48 am

Will look into beam bags.

Alan, hows the IsoSpeed vibration damping on your Domaine? I will eventually update by 10 year old CAAD10 and the vibration damping might be a pretty good reason to do it, assuming it works well.


ppayne1959, July 7, 2021 at 12:06 pm

Chris is right. I brought my lock on day one of my first year to protect my investment. I learned it was a complete waste of energy. That is one of the things we love about RAGBRAI. On one hand you just do whatever you want, on the other hand people are very respectful of you and your stuff.


jelly0317, July 7, 2021 at 6:40 pm

Regarding bike locks, keep in mind that the number of thefts tends to rise somewhat when we overnight in larger towns, e.g. Fort Dodge and Waterloo this year. I throw a small cable/lock in my duffel every year, but that’s just me.


Alan_50501, July 8, 2021 at 11:30 pm

I haven’t really riding bike far since I got it in June most I have rode it was 30 miles I do really like it


garywilk, July 16, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Yes, no backpack . Everything you need is along the way. Only need for a bike lock is at overnight town if you ride uptown later to prevent you bike from just being an easy ride for someone. A simple bike lock with a small cable. My brother and I just lock ours together to prevent the easy ride off. If by yourself, just lock the wheel to the bike again, just to prevent the easy ride off.


WIIANC, July 19, 2021 at 9:21 am

+1 for ditching ridiculous plastic cleats! Bike touring sandals don’t mold so much when wet for three days straight (swim/sprinkler/rain/slipNslide), but my particular feet find the unbreathable rock insole and blistering straps VERY uncomfortable compared to MTB shoes, plus it is annoying to sunscreen the holes. If space allows, I’m planning to alternate two pair of MTB shoes in hope of full drying.


hoffbird, July 19, 2021 at 2:24 pm

The bikes I’ve heard being taken the most are those left unlocked outside a bar in an overnight town. Never heard of one being taken intentionally during a day’s ride route.


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