RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

safety issues while riding

Many newbies posting lately asking advice on things, so I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents (sense?) worth. One of the biggest dangers I saw last year while actually riding was what happens at every stop sign along the route that had rumble strips before it. About 1/10th mile before most stop signs out on the route there were 3 sets of rumble strips to notify cars of the coming stop sign. Without fail, some bicycle rider would scream “RUMBLE” and the crowd of riders would slam on brakes, scatter to the left and right of the strips immediately without looking where they were going. This was a real safety issue IMHO. Solution…don’t inflate your tires so hard that you bang along on top of the strips but at a pressure where you can ride over them comfortably, ride wider tires, don’t bring a bike that can’t handle rumble strips, don’t have so much stuff attached to your bike that you’re worried it will all fall off  if you ride over the strips,  yell “SLOWING” but continue on in a straight line w/o weaving. Obviously more safety hazards exist while riding…solutions, ride right, yell your intentions, no sudden moves/stops (last year I got a bee down the front of my jersey and had to make a very quick exit from the road to get it out, but fortunately didn’t cause any accidents, whew), point out hazards (potholes, etc). Yes RAGBRAI is a big rolling party, but remember that the rolling part still needs to be done safely (if for no other reason than for the safety of those riders near you).

36 Replies

Ragbrai Nation, February 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Let’s get ready to RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!

#14305

Zinger, February 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Papa T said: Mitch, I can testify that Zinger, a wonderful woman and very HOT, does enjoy a libation or two along the way!

 In fact, should you be fortunate enough to meet her on the route,  Papa T would consider it a serious  error NOT to buy her a libation of her choice!  Like the Papa will!

DIMICNW?

Aw, you are the sweetest Papa T!! Any libation is good, but one bought for you by a friend is even better!! That goes for you too Michrider!!

#14306

Gypsy Rose, February 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Zinger said: Exactly why I leave the over night town mid morning and take my time enjoying all the pass through towns – the crowds are considerably thinned.

I wonder if anyone has put together the data to illustrate rider departures (time of day on the x axes vs.  # riders on the Y). I definitely plan on avoiding the “rush hour” times.That probably leaves me with either the wee hours or mid-morning. Hmmm. I guess I’ll be leaving town with Zinger and the rest of the mid-morning gang.

What’s the best time of morning for breakfast on the ride? And, more importantly, is coffee readily available in camp? (If not, I’ll have a stove along just for that first cup (pot) of java each day :) )

~ Kevin

#14307

ts, February 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Gypsy Rose said: What’s the best time of morning for breakfast on the ride? And, more importantly, is coffee readily available in camp? (If not, I’ll have a stove along just for that first cup (pot) of java each day :) )

Personally, I like to get up and on the road so I usually have breakfast in the first or second pass-through town.  Often, second breakfast happens in the next town.   Coffee is plentiful along the route, though quality varies.  Usually there are breakfast vendors on the way out of town so if you’re desperate you can stop early.

#14308

Michrider !!!, February 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

The best coffee on RAGBRAI has always been “Fair Trade Coffee” people but they were not there last year.  I hope they show up this year!  Other than their coffee you take your chances with quality!

#14309

ts, February 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Michrider said: The best coffee on RAGBRAI has always been “Fair Trade Coffee” people but they were not there last year.  I hope they show up this year!

I agree – they were head and shoulders above everyone else.

#14310

kicks9, February 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

I think the be predictable comment is the best.  Unfortunately the people who need this will never see it or they would know.  When changing your line, point to the line you are taking or point left or right depending on how far you are going (BEFORE YOU GO THERE).  It doesnt help to start changing your line then point, people are already swerving because you cut them off.  Passing on the left is fine, but dont come up behind people when they are passing already and expect them to have some place to go.  And dont try to pass if there is 6inches or less.  You are going to make the person you are passing nervous, and they will either push you off the road or you will push them into the people on their right when they swerve.  Slow down your paceline if there is no room to pass.  Feel free to yell at the slow people who are chatting and riding slow on the left.  They suck!!!

Kicks9

#14311

jwsknk, February 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

Ottumwa we found a coffee shop a couple blocks off the route out. It was almost 9:00 by the time we got there, at least a mile or more from camp, whew what a long trip> :-) not too busy by that time,the rush was over. bet it was 10:30 by the time we left town.
Someplace the Register has the stats from the post-ride survey they send out, one question is what time do you leave.

#14312

Zinger, February 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

Gypsy Rose said:

I wonder if anyone has put together the data to illustrate rider departures (time of day on the x axes vs.  # riders on the Y). I definitely plan on avoiding the “rush hour” times.That probably leaves me with either the wee hours or mid-morning. Hmmm. I guess I’ll be leaving town with Zinger and the rest of the mid-morning gang.

What’s the best time of morning for breakfast on the ride? And, more importantly, is coffee readily available in camp? (If not, I’ll have a stove along just for that first cup (pot) of java each day :) )

~ Kevin

I always find the Casey’s convenience store in the overnight towns. Then in the morning I’m assured of a nice bathroom, an average cup of coffee, and a great donut! That’s my pre-breakfast breakfast. We did find some good diners in a couple of the towns last year and lingered over eggs and hash browns. Bonus was no lines!

#14313

Gypsy Rose, February 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Zinger said: We did find some good diners in a couple of the towns last year and lingered over eggs and hash browns. Bonus was no lines!

Sounds terrific, but it’s hard to imagine a lack of lines anywhere along the route with thousands of hungry riders looking for food.

My usual bike touring routine is to get 10 or 15 miles behind me before stopping for the day’s first meal, but I just assumed that would be impossible on RAGBRAI. Good to know that the possibility exists!

~ Kevin

#14314

ts, February 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Gypsy Rose saidMy usual bike touring routine is to get 10 or 15 miles behind me before stopping for the day’s first meal, but I just assumed that would be impossible on RAGBRAI. Good to know that the possibility exists!

~ Kevin

I think this will serve you well. Everyone seems to want to stop at the first few breakfast places along the way.  Waiting until the first town or even further (depending on how far the first town is) seems to yield shorter lines.  Also, there are many, many, “mom & pop” stands selling muffins or danish, and coffee.  If that meets your breakfast needs, you can often avoid the lines altogether.

#14315

Dave Wells, February 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I am always wary of riders who are getting on or off the route.  Make sure that when you get on the route that you have enough room to merge and be ready to quickly get up to the same speed as the the other riders. Don’t make sudden decisions to pull off the route. You’re riding all the way across Iowa – it won’t hurt (you or anyone else) to ride past the farm or the vendor and then backtrack a few hundred feet.  I think people tend to ride the way they drive and Iowa drivers have a tendancy to merge slowly into fast traffic and cut across traffic rather than take the next exit.  Expect it.

#14316

Papa T, February 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

I ride fairly slow and my pet peeve is folks who stop (sometimes big groups of them) on the pavement.

I always say”please move off the pavement” when i want to say “GET YOUR SORRY A.S.S. OFF THE EFFEN ROAD!”.

Just sayin.

#14317

verylastrider, February 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Speaking of Pet-Peeves, mine is the 50 bike paceline, going mach one that thinks everyone, at their behest, needs to move out of their way, when they have to move right.   

#14318

Michrider !!!, February 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I figure pacelines are just something I gotta deal with on RAGBRAI!  The only thing that bothers me about pacelines is when I see a bunch of them laying on the pavement in front of me!  Be careful out there!!!!

#14319

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