Water Stops on Route or Begging Locals for Garden Hose?

First time rider. Are there aid stations or water stops on route? I see snacks and food will have to be bought or carried but I don’t see any info on water. I’ve done a similar week long ride in Colorado (Ride the Rockies) and they had aid stations with water, skratch, snacks, and porta potties. Just trying to get a feel for what to expect in comparison. Thank you!

17 Replies

Jonathan Jones, June 27, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Every pass-through town should have free water – usually a PVC pipe with holes drilled in it outside the firehouse with people two or three deep waiting to get to it. You can also buy bottles of water from the Boy Scouts, the High School wrestling team, the Pool Board…

#1289389

Mike Howe, June 28, 2018 at 8:16 am

I was a first time rider last year and was able to get free water in the pass through towns from the pvc pipe thing. I had two water bottles and I dont think I ever really ran out of water. Just kept refilling it in the pass through town if needed.

Youll find places selling bottled water in the pass through towns too. Its colder than the free water. Most of the time it was a dollar or two for a bottle. Some places had “free” water, bananas, pickle juie, etc and accepted donations (please donate if you take something). Between pass through towns theres usually people selling water, gatorade, snacks, and food on their farm or closed road intersections. Youre usually not too far from water of some sort no matter where youre at on the route.

#1289408

cyduke, June 28, 2018 at 8:24 am

The Iowa Air National Guard for many years would stage a water truck out on the daily routes. That was always convenient. It would be nice to see them back.

#1289409

T. Gap Woo, June 28, 2018 at 8:52 am

I heartily concur with the previous posts!

This is how I handle the water situation. Every night, I refill my camelback and two water bottles in my motel room and put them in the refrigerator overnight. By morning, they are cold and ready to go.

As the day goes on and the supply dwindles, I stop at a local library or church social hall and refill from their water bubbler. Not only do I avoid the lines at the pvc/fire hydrant station, but also get good-tasting water! An added bonus is the air conditioning and the clean non-kybo facilities. (Please be neat and do not abuse the privilege).

I avoid drinking water from the garden hose at all costs for several reasons. First, most hoses are rated only for gardening/lawn watering, not for drinking. Chemicals leach from the hose into the water and that’s not healthy! Second, after heating up in the sun, the water becomes a breeding ground for who-knows-what type of bacteria that cannot be flushed out of the hose. Finally, the hose nozzle has probably been sitting on the ground in dirt, chemicals, fertilizer etc. Drinking from a garden hose is an open invitation for a dance doing the Tijuana Two-step. Who needs that?

If you need to cool down, spray your jersey with the hose, but DON’T drink the water!!

See you along the I-O-Way in a few short weeks.

#1289410

Michael Henney, June 28, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Thanks everyone for the water info! Sounds like there’s a reasonable expectation to find free water (the PVC pipe/hydrant) in each town. I did’t actually plan to drink from a garden hose, but with only 2-24 oz. bottles I didn’t think I could stretch 48 oz. across a single day without a few refills (especially when swimming 70 miles in 9000% humidity).

#1289471

KenH, June 28, 2018 at 6:19 pm

If you carry two water bottles on your bike and top them off before leaving town you should be fine. In years past roadside vendors were common on the route between towns and it was nearly impossible to run out of water or food. This year three counties talked about curtailing such vendors and two have put restrictions in place. Don’t know how that will work in practice so I’m suggesting filling your bottles in every town just to be safe.

#1289474

Cory Rood, June 29, 2018 at 5:49 am

I heartily concur with the previous posts!

This is how I handle the water situation. Every night, I refill my camelback and two water bottles in my motel room and put them in the refrigerator overnight. By morning, they are cold and ready to go.

As the day goes on and the supply dwindles, I stop at a local library or church social hall and refill from their water bubbler. Not only do I avoid the lines at the pvc/fire hydrant station, but also get good-tasting water! An added bonus is the air conditioning and the clean non-kybo facilities. (Please be neat and do not abuse the privilege).

I avoid drinking water from the garden hose at all costs for several reasons. First, most hoses are rated only for gardening/lawn watering, not for drinking. Chemicals leach from the hose into the water and that’s not healthy! Second, after heating up in the sun, the water becomes a breeding ground for who-knows-what type of bacteria that cannot be flushed out of the hose. Finally, the hose nozzle has probably been sitting on the ground in dirt, chemicals, fertilizer etc. Drinking from a garden hose is an open invitation for a dance doing the Tijuana Two-step. Who needs that?

If you need to cool down, spray your jersey with the hose, but DON’T drink the water!!

See you along the I-O-Way in a few short weeks.

Meh, I grew up drinking from the garden hose(on a farm even!) and never suffered any ill effects. Sure it’s possible but very unlikely. Most don’t have a nice comfy hotel room with running water for their water needs.

#1289497

Michrider !!!, June 29, 2018 at 7:13 am

In 2010, my fiend drank from and filled a bottle from a garden hose. He ended up sick for the next few days. That was the end of his riding for the week! DO NOT DRINK HOSE WATER!!!!

BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!

This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Michrider !!!.

#1289501

T. Gap Woo, June 29, 2018 at 7:35 am

In 2010, my fiend drank from and filled a bottle from a garden hose. He ended up sick for the next few days. That was the end of his riding for the week! DO NOT DRINK HOSE WATER!!!!

BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!

Michrider,

Thanks for the confirmation! I can’t imagine anything worse than suffering a case of Montezuma’s Revenge in the middle of rural Iowa and being forced to use the emergency kornfield kybo.

To those who choose to ignore the advice and drink from a garden hose, I say “Do so at your own peril! And pack a supply of TP for use in the kornfield kybo, as well as Imodium. You’ll need it.”

I shall not wrestle with anyone about this issue further.

See you along the I-O-Way in a few more weeks.

#1289504

RDaryl Daryl, June 29, 2018 at 7:54 am

I look forward to visiting Montezuma this year.
Great little town right after the century loop.

Probably the only exception the the “rural water hose” rule is one of the official Iowa Rural Water Tents that offers postcards along with water (and bananas for the early riders).

In small towns, always taste the town’s public supply before dumping your old water. Refill if taste is acceptable. Although a great town, I only want to visit Montezuma once this year.

#1289505

bugs11, June 29, 2018 at 9:28 am

I’m going to make it a point to drink from every water/garden hose I can on my ride as a public service experiment for future RAGBRAI’ers. 🙂

#1289517

rmh336, June 29, 2018 at 11:24 am

RAGBRAI is very careful about making sure there’s never more than ten miles between some sort of stop that has food and water available. You can bring your own food, but there’s more than enough for sale along the way.

#1289531

KenH, June 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I just counted 16 segments this year that are more than 10 miles between towns. A few just barely so but also a few near 20. When you leave a town fill your bottles. There’s bottled water if you don’t like town water. There’s a lot of things I did as a boy and do no longer. Drinking from a hose is one of them. There shouldn’t be a need for that and removing the hose to drink from the spigot is safer if you’ve no other options.

#1289548

Michrider !!!, June 29, 2018 at 2:14 pm

bugs11, June 29, 2018 at 9:28 am
I’m going to make it a point to drink from every water/garden hose I can on my ride as a public service experiment for future RAGBRAI’ers. 🙂

Bugs, thanks for taking one for the team!!!

BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!

This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Michrider !!!.

#1289552

trek2300, June 29, 2018 at 2:32 pm

You can drink water from a hose if you add a healthy dribble of reposado. Lamentably, it is a horrendous waste of reposado.

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