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Check out my profile pick, it’s a running & cycling tattoo :)
I think it was either my first or second full ragbrai (2015 maybe), we were riding along and a group of fully nude cyclists come cruising past, men & women. Fully Nude!! That’s a lot of sunscreen. Not too shortly after they passed us, we caught up to them pulled off to the side donning their clothes before heading into town.
Yes, as everyone has mentioned it may/will rain. Don’t knock the sandals until you try them. I was the last holdout on my team w/o sandals. This was my first year with them and I’m never going back. There is a lot of walking in pass-through towns on ragbrai, so a recessed spd cleat vs. speedplay, etc. is easier to walk with.
I remember the rain in Waverly, one teammate packed up and rode in the downpour, the rest of us waited it out in the tents. He wished he would have stayed put. Then in 2017 we knew it was coming in Clear Lake, so we packed up early and hit the road, got about 40 miles into the day before it caught up to us. We camped out at the beer garden under the tent and watched the soggy riders go by. Last year, starting in Council Bluffs, there was no other choice than to ride in it. It wasn’t bad and eventually it cleared up. Not having soggy shoes was the best ever though ;)
I will reiterate, keep an eye on the radar, check the night before and make a contingency plan…if it’s not raining when we wake up we go, if it is we wait it out, etc. If you’re using the Ragbrai trailer, you’re at their mercy, but at least you can plan on finding a place for breakfast in town and wait it out. Ziploc bags to keep things in your pockets dry. A light rain jacket, water-resistant will do fine to keep you warm and is easy to tie around your waist.
As for camping, just make sure your rain fly doesn’t touch your netting and you should stay dry. We’ve only had one squall bad enough to soak the tent (Perry, IA), but with a shamwow towel we mopped out the tent and camped it out.
Ooohhh I remember that last day into Lansing, what a quad burner. I still made it up every single hill in my granny gear.
As for mileage, they advertised the route as 428 miles, but if you add up their route maps it came in at 447. We finished with 484 without loops and not staying too far off route. I also pause my computer when going through the pass-through towns and I’m off bike, so my mileage is only butt in seat distance. The last day especially was frustrating in that it was advertised as a 63 mile day and we came in at almost 75 miles.
I hope everyone commenting on the distance and elevation discrepancies plans to include this info into the survey. I wish they would be more honest about distance/elevation. It won’t change my plans to ride RAGBRAI, but riders need to be properly informed.
If you have seen the Team Butt Ice bus you would know they’ve got it locked up through 2020 :D
I honestly thought this was the most beautiful route I’ve been on (7 full weeks completed). There were some rough roads (aren’t there always?) and some pass through towns felt less prepared than others, but overall welcoming. I felt like Geode State Park was a bust. One rider in our group thought there would be more and skipped the stop in the park.
I really appreciated the spray paint marking the bad roads and seeing crews out there warning riders and/or putting out cones. We were riding mostly later in the day behind the big crowd and didn’t see many down riders due to the timing of the day.
I also appreciated that on the last day there were signs along the entire route announcing that the road was going to be inundated by 15,000 cyclists and to pick other routes. Wish this was true for the entire route. Hats off to the community who prepared for us!
We also had very welcoming hosts throughout the week who were excited and inspired by us.
My biggest disappointment is that it was advertised as a 427 mile, 14,000′ climb week, but in all reality was 484 miles (no loops) and 18,000′ climb. The last day was 75 miles for us (from campground to dip site). Plus the mileage cards/stickers were off and varied greatly. It would be nice if they were honest in their advertising of the route distance. It would not deter us from riding, but help us to prepare and refocus our training.
Welcome to the Ragbrai. You should have 2 bands, one silver for you (rider) and one yellow for the bike (bike band). Both will be marked. There should have also been the order form which tells you which set goes to which rider (rider #). Make sure rider, bike, and luggage tag #s all match. The rider band you’ll wear on the wrist, the bike band goes on the bike, and the luggage tag goes on your bag for the luggage truck.
Camping will be available in Council Bluffs. Check here: https://www.ragbraicb.com/
Our team has Clif bars (and a variety of other snacks) to get the morning started. There’s no way I can ride 10+ miles to the first breakfast town without some fuel. That said, you can also find food in the overnight town before you leave. But sounds like you have a limited amount of time before you feel ill, so I would recommend packing some sort of bar to get your day off on the right foot.
That is the time the IA State Patrol rolls through town and shuts down the services (food, bike repair, etc.) in town. It is to keep the cyclists moving along the route.
If all goes as planned we will be bringing our 13 yo son for Day 1. The mileage will help him finish his Cycling merit badge.
For the camping, the ride includes space in the official campground. There is a 50 lb limit (per person) on the luggage this includes your tent. You may want to consider sharing a tent with your brother, giving you a bit more “weight” in the other bag for other necessities. Pack light and plan to do a load of laundry mid-week at a laundromat to keep your weight down.
As for food, there is an abundance of food along the route, in the pass-through towns, and at the evening town. I liken RAGBRAI to a rolling county fair with all of the food vendors. I would plan on spending ~$50/day on food and beverages (it is not included with the ride). There will be water fill stations in each pass through town, generally they are along the route out of town/by the fire station. I gain 5lbs every year on the ride. No joke!
You mean there’s other jerseys besides RAGBRAI jerseys?
I always wear mine anytime I’m riding. In the women’s cycling jersey world it is difficult to find the tank cut jersey with good pockets for a decent price like the Primal ones.
If you like them wear them. They’re not just for RAGBRAI.
As Chris already mentioned, there is a separate route for the support drivers with a Meeting town midway through the day where drivers and riders can meet. Our son has driven our support vehicle for the past 2 years. As far as I understand it, the support driver wristband & tag would get her access to camp in the official campground and the RAGBRAI discount. As we do not camp in the main campground we have not gotten the tag/wristband in the past. If you’re using a camper, it would gain her access to the RV campground for the RV. When meeting up, our driver texts us the location and we find him (vs the other way around).
Bring along some extra bikes to make the ride even better. I’d love to bring my mountain bike to enjoy the gravel route. I’d love to buy a tandem to enjoy for a day or 2. RV, shower, chef, and places pre-arranged to stay. That would be my dream RAGBRAI.
I’m going to guess way south. Hamburg, Clarinda, Creston, Osceola, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk. I don’t see that they’ve ever started that far south. I’d really like to see a route close to the Missouri this year, we haven’t done the start dip for a couple of years due to how far in the start town has been. I loved going through Knoxville and Oskaloosa in 41.