RAGBRAI XLIX registration is now open!

Support wife needs?

My husband plans on riding for a few days — while I will not be an official support vehicle, I will be ‘wife in the neighbourhood’.
What are some common first aid — or just aid — supplies that I should have on hand, should he need them?
Or extras of supplies that he’ll carry on his bike?

6 Replies

mclousing, May 16, 2018 at 2:10 pm

OH this is the thread that could go in SOOOO many different ways.


Wendy Park, May 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Oh, geez…


Dueywife, May 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm

I am our team ‘mom.’ I carry a camelbak with band-aids, neosporin, wet wipes, kleenex, sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, sharpies, and ibuprofen. I’ve cleaned up a crashed 12 yo with wet wipes, band-aids, and TLC. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are key late in the day as the kybos are less than fresh. A couple of years ago my hubby got a spider bite and a sharpie line around the sore let us monitor it’s spreading. I always start with new travel sizes of everything and never use up all of it in a week. Lots of sunscreen is a must.


Anne Merrow, May 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

My Mom is skipping this year, but in the past she’s pampered us with:
-“spa towels” (dampened washcloths in the freezer)
-Beer at the end of the day
-Ice in the freezer
-Chips & salsa after the ride
-Reconnoitering–it’s helpful to have someone give you a quick report on what’s where when you pull into town.


ratscallion, June 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Let him figure out his bike stuff. You worry about the home front… Aloe Vera for sunburn, beer to re-hydrate, and maybe some lingerie for…well…restful sleep. Seriously, give him a couple endurolytes at night and get him to drink a quart of water before bedtime. Hydration is critical for endurance and life safety. RAGBRAI is probably a big deal for him, but most likely a lot of down time for you. Maybe keep a good book handy… and remember to smile! Know you’re taking one for the team… Tell him he owes you one!


T. Gap Woo, June 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

Wendy Park, welcome to the madhouse!

Mrs Woo is my support driver. While I take care of everything “bicycle,” Mrs Woo takes care of just about everything else. She handles the logistics and meals.

Using a combination of maps, google and Triple A tour books (which I recommend that you bring), she finds nightly motels (usually within 25-30 miles of an overnight town). While this may seem a long distance to go to get a good nights sleep, it’s nothing when you think about the 2600 mile round-trip drive from home to western Iowa and back.

During the day, she stocks the cooler with microwaveable food for dinner and the next day’s breakfast (unless the motel has a continental breakfast — a must for us). Thank goodness for HyVee, Kum ‘n Go and Casey’s.

While I’m riding, Mrs Woo is touring between overnight towns. She avoids even the support route, preferring to explore the back roads and meet the locals. That’s how, in 2013, she first discovered Newton and the Maytag Cheese store. She still laughs about photographing the lady walking her pot-bellied pig down the Main Street.

Tangible things to bring? Bring the travel items already mentioned in this thread. Mrs Woo also brings these items: a camera for that unexpected once-in-a-lifetime picture; a folding chair for when you just can’t find a good place to sit under a shady tree; and a water bottle for yourself, since you need to stay hydrated too.

This year, Mrs Woo is adding something new. Since she like to shop and explore downtown business districts, she is bringing her folding Vybe City bike. She may even explore beyond the city limits!

Intangible things to bring? A sense of adventure and a willingness to get off the beaten path are essential. That’s how we found many wineries over the years, including the Empty Nest Winery in Waukon last year and the Covered Bridge Winery in Madison County in 2013.

An outgoing personality and a willingness to chat with strangers helps you get to know the locals. That’s how we found the Teluwat Cafe in Cresco last year (see Traveliowa’s list of the top 99 restaurants in Iowa). In Clear Lake last year, a total stranger invited her to set up her chair under a tree on the front lawn. As they chatted, they learned that they grew up about 30 miles apart from each other in rural northeast Ohio!

At the end of the day, be sure to share your experiences with your spouse. You’ll both enjoy reliving the events of the day.

Again, welcome to the rolling Mardi Gras known as Ragbrai. See you (or more likely, your spouse) along the I-O-Way in July.


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