Ultra-Distance 2012 RAGBRAI

I am considering putting together a team of riders who would complete the entire course in four days rather than seven.  We would start in the same start town and ride the same route, but start on Wednesday and ride double routes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, catching up with the pack for the Friday night festivities, and “just” riding a single-distance route on the final day. 

The benefit of such an endeavor would be no competition for hotel rooms in overnight town for the first two days, or we could rent an RV and find a driver who could help us out in case of problems on the road. 

If anybody is interested, give me a shout and we can start discussing the feasibility/logistics of the challenge.

28 Replies

KittySlayer, December 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I would suggest planning to be very self sufficient, with a well planned SAG support on the road. It would seem like those towns you are passing through on Wednesday and Thursday have probably seen about all the cyclist they want to for a season. So don’t expect a warm welcome and dont be shocked by indifference or the old grumpy guy in town. As a result, plan to buy all your water and food. Don’t look for free camping and even then paid camping may not have recovered from the masses. Obey traffic laws as appropriate, especially in towns.


BackInTheSaddleAgain, December 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Thanks, KS.  Probably pretty accurate observations.  We may just pretend that we are lost/slow and WAY behind the main pack. 

Loved the ride last year, but part of this crazy idea is to eliminate most if not all of the camping.  That part royally sucked due to the heat IMO.


Tony, December 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

4 days? That a long time for ultra-cyclist. The RAGBRAI route has been rode in one day by an Ultra-Cyclist.


BackInTheSaddleAgain, December 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Sorry, Tony… I knew that somebody would bust me for using that terminology.  Just trying to get people’s attention.  RAAM riders would laugh at the ease of the challenge.  Not pretending that it’s an epic endeavor.


“Bicycle Bill”, December 15, 2011 at 12:36 am

Dr. Bob used to do that every year…..
the one-day thing, that is.



jwsknk, December 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

120-180 miles a day would take a lot more out of me that a little heat. And after days like that, I bet I could sleep just about anywhere.


Sandaltan ., December 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

120 miles in one day would put me up on the porch in a rocking chair if not into the rest home.  Tell us all about this adventure when you finish.  Good luck.



indianafrank, December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Depending on the route and how small the towns are, it might be worth checking ahead to see if there are even motels in some of the towns, or enough room to accommodate several riders, but I’m sure restaurants would be happy to feed you.
Curious how old you guys are. I could see doing that in my 20s, but now, I think you guys are crazy.


tripld, December 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing.  Loved the ride last year, and would definitely do it again this year.  But, the ride wasnt much of a challenge and sleeping in the heat, in a tent flat out s u c k e d !   Dont get me wrong, I will be at RAGBRAI one way or another this year, but your idea is something I would consider if we could make it happen.  interested in more details.


Tony, December 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

BackInTheSaddleAgain said: Sorry, Tony… I knew that somebody would bust me for using that terminology.  Just trying to get people’s attention.  RAAM riders would laugh at the ease of the challenge.  Not pretending that it’s an epic endeavor.

Its all good. I have one official 200k brevet logged. With that I have a profound
respect for the ultra-cyclist. Some I’m fortunate enough to ride with on occasion. I’m far from capable now. But would like to get back into distance riding once again. At lot of training needs to happen first.

Riding it in 4 days does sound interesting way to do it.  I like the ride fast to the next town so I have more time to find curb dwellers method.


tripld, December 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

Curious how old you guys are. I could see doing that in my 20s, but now, I think you guys are crazy.
    Indianafrank is curious how old we are.  4 days into the new year and I will be 45.  Just for the record, I am no Cadell Evans either.  I ride at a 16-18 mph pace on anything longer than 20-30 miles.  2 weeks prior to RAGBRAI last year I did a solo unsupported 150 mile ride.  I stopped every 25-30 miles to smell the roses and avg. just over 16.3 mph.  I have no intentions of making this a race.  It is the challenge of mulitple days of 120+ miles that interests me.  I think it would be cool if we could get 4-5 guys to come onboard with this idea.  Will be able to comment on logistics and accomodations after the route announcement.  If you think you might be interested watch this space for updates after the first of the year.  Happy Holidays to all


Sandaltan ., December 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

Go for it guys!!!  I fully encourage this and would like to read all about the venture after RAGBRAI.



cyduke, December 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Problem is what would you do Sunday, Monday, Tuesday of RAGBRAI?  I mean it’s RAGBRAI! 

To add my 2cents, I’ve always said the Register should go back and have a full century day like the way it was back in the day.  I once mentioned this to John Karras when he was riding with us a couple years ago, and his reasoning is that they were trying to make it enjoyable for the masses. thus the optional loop.  Fair enough.  

So as they did with RAGBRAI in 1996, and gave us an optional 150 loop, I wonder if we’ll have the optional 200 mile loop in 2046? I think if they do that I’ll retire from RAGBRAI afterwards with 64.


runtster57, January 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

We’ve done the reverse of this trip by riding to the start for the last several years. It can be a real challenge due to weather (dreaded 3 h’s). I don’t think I would undertake this follow-up ride due to some of the previously mentioned concerns. At least travelling west, people are usaually pleasant and happy to see the bikers.


Davy Sprocket, January 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

What the heck is the point? Why not just find a good 1-day ride since that is the only amount of time you would be with the main group.  Ragbrai is not mean’t to be a race or endurance challenge.  It is a social event.  The whole point is to soak up the people riding and residing in the towns.  Go race somewhere else and save the money of traveling to Iowa.  If heat was your only issue last year then just do the RV part and enjoy each and every day riding with 15,000 of your closest friends and sleeping in AC at night.



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