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Solo Riders Meet for Dinner?

Hello, I’m riding solo this year. If you are, too, and want a dinner companion some nights on the ride, let me know! We can trade contact info. I’ll be staying in the main campgrounds. ~Andrew

19 Replies

Uncle Kraig, July 3, 2023 at 3:49 pm

You won’t really be solo. Trust me, I ride solo too. You will be with 25,000 + of your closest friends……you just haven’t met them yet :) See you in a couple weeks!


Andrew Berman, July 3, 2023 at 7:23 pm

Yes, I know I will have many people around me, but when I rode in 2018, I ended up eating dinner alone every night.


LawnchairMan, July 3, 2023 at 9:36 pm

Sorry to hear you were alone with so many people around you. I can’t offer to join you this year, but I have a suggestion or two.
An advantage of going with a charter is that I have met several people under the canopies after the daily ride. It’s a great place to talk about happenings of the day. I have met several people that way who later shared a meal. Being at the main campground would be harder to meet people, but could you reach out to campers near you? Especially if you get in Friday night where you might invite your neighbors to a local restaurant. I did that in Clinton, and in Davenport the Friday before I camped with my charter. The ice breakers are always, “Where are you from?” and “How many Ragbrai’s have you done?”
Next time you come, try joining a charter. Good luck.


direwolf, July 4, 2023 at 12:38 am

My advice: ride self-contained. You’ll have instant, unspoken (!), community. It’ll be easy to line up dinner companions whilst on the day’s ride. In addition to Lawnchairman’s time-tested ice breakers, you can ask: know of any kind campsites in [overnight town]? We, presumably like Lawnchairman, ride recumbents. One of our favorite ice breakers is, when grinding in granny gear on a climb, sneak up on a fellow recumbent rider and ask: How are those things on hills? The recipient of that query’s visage goes from abject contempt and disgust to Oh! where’re you camping tonight?

– Bobby


Rob Fuller, July 4, 2023 at 10:32 am

One of the best pieces of RAGBRAI advice: Talk to everyone. Especially on the way into town – ask for dining recommendations and you may get an invitation to join.


NoOrdinaryLife, July 4, 2023 at 3:39 pm

Hi Andrew!
This is my first RAGBRAI and I’m riding by myself also so I’ll join in for dinner. I’m also staying in the main campground. Let’s trade contact info and connect at the expo or before, I’ll be arriving to Sioux City Wednesday or Thursday.


Roxanne Brown, July 4, 2023 at 8:27 pm

Andrew: I am also riding solo. I also did 2018 and would love to join you for dinner. Roxanne


tcoffman, July 5, 2023 at 8:00 am

I was training yesterday in MPLS and met 3 people from camp already! Super random as I only stopped because it was raining so hard I couldn’t see anymore. Rob has some great advice, you never know where a conversation may go. I am starting solo as well but know with so many nice people you’ll never be alone.


dsdouin, July 5, 2023 at 8:04 am

Andrew you just made 7 friends on the forum. Be sure to put your name on your bike and you will become a real time RAGBRAI celebrity before Jul 29. It will be fun!!


Andrew Berman, July 5, 2023 at 10:01 am

I like the idea of putting my name on my bike. Perhaps I’ll make a little “hello my name is” license plate!


Phil Stearney, July 5, 2023 at 10:37 am

Andrew, No Ordinary Life, and Roxanne: I would definitely join you for dinner. My cell is (630) 363-4955 so set up a group text on this if you would. I also agree with everything else said here. I ride solo also, and I like it. I meet a A LOT of people along the way and have never felt ‘solo’. But I have often thought of ways to meet other riders like having a table or bar sign in the bars & restaurants that just says ‘solo rider’…as example. Or starting a new team called ‘Team Solo’. No kidding! The groups & teams tend to hang together, and they are great too, but some of my favorite conversations have been with people just sitting next to me at the restaurant or bar who are riding solo or just not with their group at the time. Great idea! See you all (like all 25,000 of you) in a few weeks.


LawnchairMan, July 5, 2023 at 11:55 am

A license plate comes in your packet, but the lettering has to be a bit small.
By the time you are close enough to read one you’d better introduce yourself.
So, your homemade tag may be better.

I found bike “license plates” on the internet. Mine looks like a small Nevada auto plate that has my name instead of numbers. I think it cost about $15.

Looking at the Ragbrai plate again, it might work by putting your name across both fields in big letters.
You could put white tape on it to give you more letter space, and not worry about writing your home town.

The other side of the Ragbrai license plate is for emergency info, so that is good too. I will know where to look if I find someone who needs help.


dcasal2, July 5, 2023 at 1:03 pm

I’m down to get dinner- instagram: dcasal2


AMaliar, July 7, 2023 at 7:41 pm

Andrew – I’ll be riding with a friend from Sioux City to Des Moines and then solo the rest of the way. If you still want company let me know.


Isaac Linn, July 8, 2023 at 8:13 am

My first Ragbrai I rode solo too.. 19 years old, loved having adventures but was pretty shy. Two nights in I meet this group of software engineers that immediately take me in and let me join their group. Five years later I still ride with them. I can’t promise everyone will be as lucky as I was, but people on Ragbrai are so overwhelmingly friendly that it’s addictive. I look forward to it all year long.


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