RAGBRAI LI Registration is Now Open!

Solo Rider – Can’t Wait!

I’ve done other weeklong tours, some organized and some on my own. None of them could prepare me for the fun that awaits at my first RAGBRAI.

Looking forward to meeting fellow riders, the people along the way, and the people in the overnight towns. Fueling up on Pie, Ice Cream, and the odd beer to sustain me. Hired a charter for tent service because this is the one week I really don’t want to haul all of that.

Since I’m not with a team, I think I’ll put a sign on the rear of my bike saying “Solo Rider”. For those who have ridden RAGBRAI before, is this a common thing? I’ll meet, talk to, or hang out with anyone but us solo riders may need someone in the same situation to bond with! :/)

Any others out there?


16 Replies

Gypsy Rose, February 8, 2019 at 11:13 am


The most common sign you’ll see on the bikes is the one that comes with your registration packet. It has a place to put your name and where you’re from, which is often a conversation starter.

I don’t remember seeing “Solo Rider” before, but I do see variations of “Single and Available”.

The other “signage” you’ll see is the word “Virgin” written on the backs of the calves on many of the first-year riders. (Still not sure what the expected/desired response is to that one.)

Sign or no sign, there won’t be any shortage of folks to chat with along the way! Be careful, though, because RAGBRAI can become habit-forming!

~ Kevin


RDaryl Daryl, February 8, 2019 at 11:24 am

Although licence plates are no longer included with rider packets, they can be picked up at the RAGBRAI merchandise trailers during the Saturday RAGBRAI Expo. Rider surveys indicate that many are not used by riders. In an effort to save the planet, they are available but not sent to every registered rider.


Uncle Kraig, February 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Put Virgin on one calf and Solo on the other. You will have more people talking to you than you have time to respond :) My first 3 RAGBRAI rides were solo and I had a blast on all three. Welcome and enjoy! You’ll meet plenty of people with your charter too. See you in July.


Jerry Stein, February 8, 2019 at 1:18 pm

What Charter are you using , I used Padre’s 2 years an this year using Bubba’s. It’s a blast you will not regret it.


John Wright, February 8, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Thanks everyone.

I’m using Bubba’s also. I’m looking forward to saying hi to all of the fellow campers.

I can’t wait to become addicted to RAGBRAI! I’m totally willing to let it become habit forming.

I’ll figure something out sign wise based on your suggestions. Not sure about the virgin one but definitely will use the Solo Rider angle.


bmyoungberg, February 8, 2019 at 10:22 pm

I ride solo, but use the free truck. Takes only 10 minutes to put up the tent and I save the $$.


prince page, February 9, 2019 at 12:27 pm

hey solo rider john wright, you need to tend to your own buisness. stay outta mine . you act like you know ragbrai. you aint even ridden the ride yet. so dont make rude comments to other posters about things you no nothing about. there’s an ole saying.
your spitting into the wind. it’s coming back on ya ha ha!!!!!!!! boy!!!!


Dizzy, February 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Hello John & Welcome,

Don’t be shy about getting that license plate at the merchandise truck and labeling it.
Also, don’t be shy about putting “Virgin” on your left calf. You’ll be in good company and you’ll spend the days chatting away. You’ll be amazed at how many of your “friends” are on the ride!

See you in July! D


John Wright, February 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Looking forward to the week! Thanks everyone.


Michrider !!!, February 9, 2019 at 5:22 pm

[quote quote=1299538]hey solo rider john wright, you need to tend to your own buisness. stay outta mine . you act like you know ragbrai. you aint even ridden the ride yet. so dont make rude comments to other posters about things you no nothing about. there’s an ole saying.
your spitting into the wind. it’s coming back on ya ha ha!!!!!!!! boy!!!![/quote]

P.P. the only poster being rude is you!


BarryTantlinger, February 9, 2019 at 6:22 pm

For some reason, I don’t think Prince’s number is going to come up in the lottery.


dozierpb1, February 20, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Hello Solo….. My wife and I found that wearing Jersey with something Interesting always got people talking. We wear Jerseys from Charity Rides and local bicycle rides. Have fun


Amanda, February 21, 2019 at 9:56 am

Virgin on the calf has a couple of good uses. Definitely a conversation starter and it also tells people behind you that you are new to RAGBRAI and they might want to pass with caution in case riding in big groups is also new to the Virgin rider. On really hot days, the letters “melt” and get quite smudged. Love that look! :)

My sign is a small Iowa license plate with Princess on it. And I usually wear my crown on my helmet. It’s all in fun so see you on the road!


Chris, February 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

Virgin on the calf: Amanda said it. Conversation starter is the biggest one, but it does also serve as a warning. There are a *lot* of unconventional bikes on RAGBRAI as compared to any “regular” ride, so while a new rider may be used to having lots of standard bikes around them/passing them, they’re not used to having a tandem next door, or a recumbent, or a recumbent tandem, or……you get the idea. For those of us riding said non-standard bikes, we (well, I can’t speak for everyone, but….) know to give them a little extra room. I’ve startled a few poor riders when we were all packed in close and I was passing on our tandem; the virgin on the calf lets me know that I might need to hang back a little bit so I don’t make them jump. I don’t want to accidentally be the cause of someone’s week getting ruined.

We’ve had a licence plate on our bike for years that says our names and what state we’re from. That has been a huge conversation starter, as we’re from New Jersey, so we’ll get things like “How do you like living there? Does it all look like Newark Airport?” to ” Holy cow! Where in Jersey? I’m from there too!”.

RAGBRAI: Food, Friends, one strange Family.

See you in July


LawnchairMan, February 21, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Hi John,

Welcome to Ragbrai. I never did the Virgin “tatoo”, but then it’s hard to see my calves while ridimg my recumbent. I started with the official Ragbrai license plate, but now use a mini Nevada plate that has my name, Scott, on it. It is probably similar to Amanda’s. I forget its there, and am surprised when riders or motorists call me by name. I was playing “In the Mood” when a young lady passed me and called out “Good song, Scott”.

Of five Ragbrais I rode ten miles with a friend I grew up with, and half a day with a friend from Vegas. I usually meet people in my charter camp site and at lunch or supper. Since I stay with the same charter each year I see several of the same people. With your tent service you should have the same neighbors all week. Plus, if you ride each day at the same time of day you will probably see many of the same riders on the road. You may be a solo rider, but you won’t be alone!

If you go early, say hi to the recumbent with Scott on his license! That will be me, and I will gladly welcome you to the adventure we call Ragbrai.


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