This is my first RagBrai, looking for advice.

Its been on my bucket list for years. I am from Cache Ok and looking for some pointers from RagBrai veteran riders.

68 Replies

Nico ZZZ, January 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

Since a lot of newbies may check out this forum topic, I would also suggest that you use the “License Plate” that RAGBRAI sends to you in your kit. Gives other riders the chance to start a conversation with you based upon the info you have on the plate: name, home state or town.
You’ll have plenty of great conversations along the way, as you will stand in those KYBO and food and beverage lines, and the Plates are another way to connect.
Ride On!


Tom Judge, January 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

First of all, it’s “RAGBRAI”! (Joking…you’ll LOVE the experience [Note, I didn’t say “ride”. It is truly an experience.]) I’m a veteran of 15 rides and currently preparing to drive a bus for the 11th year for a GREAT team. (25 years on RAGBRAI) I think I may be help you. Contact me at if you’d like.Perhaps we can coordinate something. Our team is always looking for new, experienced, fun-loving riders.


Ragbrai Nation, January 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Your sleeping bag should be fine, Rudy, if you have a tent. Iowa daytime highs in July average 85 deg F., nighttime lows 60 deg F. About every 4 or 5 years we may get a few chilly days, especially if it is combined with rain. For the most part, tho, the weather will hardly differ much from TX or OK for the 3rd week of July. Pretty doggone warm & dry… Cheers!


Craig Parson, January 26, 2017 at 11:55 am

Most years this event will be hot and humid. I have not used more than a summer bag ever, I find a sheet a pad and a fan is the usual order of business. The way back to your car is always the hardest part. There is already someone who has a system in place and your job is find a team that works for you. Joining a team allows you to have pooled resources so you can share the expenses of a bus back to the beginning. Ask around find a team and dive right in. Find a team close to the end or the beginning town and see if they have room.


#1204507, January 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I supported a friend of mine three times so that he could ride. The last time I invited my wife along. Big mistake!!!! After that experience she insisted that we ride it.

Yup, rode it in 2015. Well rewarded for the effort. We were able to get our son who was living China to bring his girlfriend and ride with us. We were supposed to ride again last year but our support people had health problems so I had to support our son for his ride.

We WILL be riding this year. Our support couple now have a clean bill of health and will join us. Hoping to get our son here to do it as well.

You need to remember a couple things:

It is not a race. Run at your own pace.

Get some good training done before you get to the start town. Very important that you know yourself, your bike, your friends and ALL of their limitations.

Most important……. be ready to enjoy and appreciate the welcome and the hospitality of all of the great Iowa residents that welcome you to their communities. That is the best part for me. Fantastic people living in fantastic communities. Really a unique experience for all participants.

Do not be intimidated. You can do it. You will not be the fastest. But, like I said, it is not a race. It just fantastic.


Nico ZZZ, January 28, 2017 at 6:20 am

I am always correcting friends on the race/ride terminology. They ask: “When is that race you do across Idaho is it?” hahaha.
I correct. “…ride…Iowa….”
“How many people ride that thing? How many thousands?”
I correct. “No, no. More than that. I’ve seen big crowds, believe me. I would say it is a million, perhaps a million and a half. I mean, when I rode in to Leon last year it was a mil-five easy. I know crowds. It was Hjuge! Fantastic.” RAGBRAI is the biggest, greatest, most fantastic ride the world has ever seen. And it will be even better next year…trust me.

Ride On!


trek15rider, January 28, 2017 at 10:41 am


You’ve already got a ton of great advice so mine is repetitive and pretty simple. Put in the time to do the training miles before RAGBRAI; there’s no substitute for being prepared and you’ll enjoy it so much more if you’re physically ready. Make sure your bike is mechanically ready too. There’s plenty of mechanics along the way but problems with your bike detract from your enjoyment. However you decide to do it; RAGBRAI truck, charter, team, etc., plan the things you’ll need well in advance and get them ready so you’re not running around at the last minute. This just relieves the preparation angst, and remember it’s Iowa, not the dark side of the moon. If you find you forget or need something, most likely you can get it along the way.

And I can’t stress this enough………don’t worry! if you enjoy cycling and do these few relatively simple things, you’re going to have a BLAST!!! RAGBRAI is really something you have to experience because words don’t do it justice. Enjoy your first, and plan on many more 🙂


Csprint, January 29, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Hey Rudy, I’m from Yukon, and multi-Ragbrai vet. I take it you’re an experienced rider? If not, Ragbrai is a daily series of 15 mile rides, a nap, lunch, an afternoon beer and a brat to a 60 mile total one day, the next day 50 or 70 miles. If you’ve done Freewheel* then it’s just like that, except for the daily 18,000 plus riders, and food almost everywhere.
Corey Cohen

*Didja know Oklahoma Freewheel is going almost past your house? Starts in Wichita Falls to Comanche, then the official first day is Comanche to Duncan.


mootsman, January 31, 2017 at 7:46 am


Tom mentioned a great option for logistics, that of the RAGBRAI “Team”. Iowa based teams are good in that they load up and return to the same town. Meaning no issues for bike and luggage transport to the start or from the end. And usually they have parking.

In addition to Tom’s team, Team Sop-N-Wet is looking for riders on this forum currently. More teams will be looking as RAGBRAI approaches and riders change plans and have to drop out.


cyduke, January 31, 2017 at 3:55 pm

For about a week before RAGBRAI, wake up about 4:30-:5:30 AM every morning stand in front of your bathroom door, and wait for about 15-20 minutes before you go in and do your business. (preferably wearing a head flashlight, that way it won’t fall in).

If you don’t use chamois cream now, you will by the end of the ride.

Ditch the cotton T shirts for synthetic, moisture wicking t shirts.

If wearing sandals, don’t forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet.


Michrider !!!, February 1, 2017 at 7:16 am

RAGBRAI training!!!



Ken Reed, February 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

cyduke: You forgot about going outside to your garden to go #1 to simulate the point when you give up waiting in line at one of the beer stops and you go in the corn.


cyduke, February 1, 2017 at 11:29 am

Ha, correct!
Also, know the difference between a cornfield, and a soybean field. Might save a lot of embarrassment.


Michrider !!!, February 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

cyduke: Ha, correct!
Also, know the difference between a cornfield, and a soybean field. Might save a lot of embarrassment.

Corn is tall enough, soybeans ain’t!!!!


Ken Reed, February 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm

True, and make sure you go at least three or four feet into the corn.


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