The advertised climb doesn’t really matter to me that much either. But many people struggle mightily with hills and may decide to do a RAGBRAI advertised as “flat”. Number of feet of climb over a week may not even mean much to them – but “one of the flattest RAGBRAIs evah” might be enough to sucker them in. Those are the people that are being…[Read more]
I think RAGBRAI does a huge disservice to riders by advertising each year’s ride as the “Xth flattest”. Even if they come up with a new “flattest RAGBRAI ever” route there are still going to be lots of hills. Advertising how flat a route is gives a false impression, especially for new riders (you know – the one’s they’re trying to attract with…[Read more]
Just like every year, there were lots of positives and a few negatives. I’ll share my negatives first.
Pass-through towns without (significant) services. I get it. I really do. Providing services for 15,000+ riders takes a large commitment of time and money with no guarantee of even a minimal payback. So I get it when some of these small…[Read more]
The route inspection pre-ride report said that the gravel was in great condition. A bit hillier than last year, but the hills weren’t what made last year challenging – it was the deep and loose gravel. I don’t think they’ve announced the actual roads that the gravel loop takes, but taking some reasonable guesses, you can “ride” the entire route…[Read more]
Since everybody has an opinion – I’ll throw mine out there too. I think that standard tennis shoes are a bit too soft-soled for a week of pedaling and will likely lead to foot pain. If you want to stick with your standard platform pedals, I’d recommend something with a stiffer sole – there are a number of companies that make cycling-specific…[Read more]
The hills on the GL were challenging last year, but I rode it on my road bike with 25mm road tires (Conti GP4000S II). There were times that my rear wheel spun as I was standing and mashing on the pedals and there were times my front wheel got a bit loose. But I never had to walk any part of it. I did stop for a couple pulls on my water bottle…[Read more]
I’ve always been a die-hard SpeedPlay guy, but they are horrible to walk in – even with the coffee cap covers. So I’ve switched my RAGBRAI shoes over to SPD cleats and love the walking convenience. Plus – no more squirting a full bottle of water at my mud-filled cleat to get it unstuck! (I legit had both SP-Zero cleats “welded” to my pedals with…[Read more]
I haven’t seen anybody else mention this yet, but did ya see the video of a Hairball performance in Sioux City last weekend? The lead singer’s REAL hair caught on fire during a Kiss performance and he just kept on playing and singing while a guitarist and then stage crew came up and extinguished…[Read more]
One thing I’ll add. If you decide to ride keto, look into electrolyte supplements because you’ll almost certainly need them. I personally like Hammer Endurolytes for a pill format, and ZipFizz for a Gatorade-style drink mix. You’re not likely to find much in the way of low/no-carb electrolyte drinks on the route.
I’ve ran three half-marathons on Keto and done lots of bike riding on it as well. On keto I’ve increased my cycling FTP by about 25% in the past couple of months and done a number of long rides (both mid- and fast-paced). So I’m confident that you CAN ride RAGBRAI on keto.
But I’m not planning to do it. I like my Iowa Craft Beer Tent…[Read more]
I rode last year’s gravel loop on a road bike and 25mm tires. Yes it was pretty sketchy in places and the hills were tough, but I never had to walk and I didn’t wipe out. There might have been some luck involved in that since I’m certainly not a great bike handler nor do I do much off-road riding. But if I can do it I’m sure that many other…[Read more]
It’s a little late now – but there was another boat ramp just past the RAGBRAI Village (next to the Sky Bridge) that served us and many others well with minimal waiting. End-town dip sites are almost always have long waits. Combine that with making day 7 the longest ride of the week* and all the charters insisting on riders being back by 2 or 3…[Read more]
I’m confused why you would use PBV charter but still use the RAGBRAI baggage truck. PBV weeklong (and daily) support includes two bags per rider. Or are you only using their bus transportation? If that’s the case – PBV is probably a bad choice because they are almost guaranteed to be a long ways from the main RAGBRAI campground.
Kudos to Torrent Brewing for offering a stout as one of the RAGBRAI offerings! I do love me some hoppy beers but I have allergy issues with certain types of hops. So it’s a pleasant surprise when I can find a non-IPA craft beer during the week :)
The only component I really worry about is the rear derailleur since even a minor impact on that can affect your bike’s shifting. New bikes from the manufacturer often have a plastic protector that attaches to the quick release and covers the derailleur. The bike shops typically throw them away, but if you ask them to save you one they may do…[Read more]