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'Walking' through the towns

It looks like there is quite a bit of walking involved while entering and passing through towns. Do you take some collapsible shoes or footwear to change in to for this?

18 Replies

Gypsy Rose, April 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

I’ve found it most comfortable to fit up with SPD pedals and cleats, or some old-school toe clips and stiff-soled shoes. (Sure wish the old Beta Bikers were still around!)

I know there are thousands who use 3-hole cleats, but it just looks uncomfortable to me for all the times we’re walking through town or otherwise off the bikes along the route. For those that do, slip-on cleat covers are a commonly used option.

~ Kevin


Chris Miller, April 6, 2019 at 7:07 pm

lots of options for cycling shoes with recessed cleats. Not a problem.


SFC JKL 2, April 6, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Skip the shoes and get yourself a nice pair of bike sandals. You’ll never go back.


Barry Schnoor, April 7, 2019 at 7:10 am


It’s all in the timing. If you’re stopping at every pass-through town, you’ll walk. But most of these towns are small. You’ll walk 4 blocks. Not horrible.


RDaryl Daryl, April 7, 2019 at 7:35 am

Unless the riders at the front choose to continue walking as they exit a town . . . . . and continue walking their bikes once outside the small town . . . . Register’s Annual Great Bike Walk Across Iowa


RDaryl Daryl, April 7, 2019 at 7:51 am

If you plan on spending all of RAGBRAI in the saddle and none of it on foot, you are missing the point.
Although RAGBRAI is a biking event, it is more of a small town Iowa experience and racing to the overnight town misses the point. Try to extend your riding days to 10 hours or more and you will create more unique memories. . . . yes, it is best to have shoes/sandals that enable you to walk and stand in lines.


Sandaltan ., April 7, 2019 at 8:34 am

Shimano two strap sandals….how else could you acquire that sandal tan?



Herschel, April 7, 2019 at 11:18 am

[quote quote=1302408]Shimano two strap sandals….how else could you acquire that sandal tan?

RIDE RIGHT[/quote]
I always wear sandals on RAGBRAI. Love the sandal tan.


KenH, April 8, 2019 at 7:53 am

When I used clipless pedals I used SPDs and the shoes for them tend to be easy to walk in. I never met any that weren’t but every rule has its exceptions so try before you buy if you can. Now I used pinned platforms and 5-10 cycling shoes which are extremely walkable. For an event like RAGBARI I think that is the best option. You mark yourself as one who marches to the beat of a different drummer however if you go with anything but clipless!


iveaux3, April 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Mountain bike shoes with recessed cleats. Never had a problem walking through a town.


Phil Stearney, May 19, 2019 at 9:48 pm

All good ideas above…just one more suggestion on this: What I ended up doing last year was buying a trunk bag that I put on the rear deck and then carried a pair of flip flops with me (among other things) to walk comfortably in the towns. Every time I stopped for any significant time, I took off my bike shoes and socks, and put on my flip flops. The feet greatly appreciated it. And my socks and shoes had time to air out…


mootsman, May 20, 2019 at 8:08 am

If you are using regular clip-in road shoes and pedals like SPD-L (Look cleats) or some other, they make cleat covers which slip on and off easily. I use the cleat covers which work fine for walking through towns. I wouldn’t go hiking on them but they are fine for pavement. Since you are pedaling much more then walking I’d favor what you find best for pedaling. Mountain Bike (SPD) cleats and pedals can give you hot-spots on your foot but if you don’t get hot-spots with those then no problem.


jwsknk, May 20, 2019 at 2:26 pm

other options are get there way early ahead of the main crowd, or get behind them so most are cleared out when you get there. Another option I use is to turn a block before the walk through part where they have the vendors set up if I can. I do wish the towns could leave a side open to get through without walking. and when no one is walking in front of you, get on and ride or over to the side. I don’t know how many times I get past the vendors and can see the open road out of town, it’s flat and clear, once you can get past the people still walking for 2-3 blocks more.


Anonymous, July 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Since it is pretty much impossible to walk a recumbent trike, and impossible to fall over no matter how slow, I ride — very slowly.

I wear Shimano sandals that are comfortable for riding and walking.


Sarah Prudhomme, July 5, 2019 at 8:46 am

I’ve done it with both speedplay and spd shoes. Recommend the spd shoes for sure. Easier all around.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

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