From where I sit in rural Vermont, physical distancing is the norm. During the winter months, through mud season, I regularly get out for daily walks along the dirt roads that encircle my homestead (after which I’m able to get back on the bike). Rarely do I see an automobile or another human. Today, however, I noted three humans in the course of…[Read more]
That reminds me of an experience I had on one of my X-C trips while overnighting in Salida, Colorado. I was aware of the sprinklers in the park, which prompted my wife and I to set up our tent on a bandstand along the edge, hoping that it would be out of the way of the spray. On warm summer nights when there is no rain in the forecast, I…[Read more]
I am a veteran of the infamous “Soggy Monday” (1981’s RAGBRAI IX). Most of the riders did not complete that day’s ride (pouring rain, hills, headwinds, and highs in the upper 40’s). Somewhere past the first pass-through town, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, and I were picked up by a local with a pickup and taken to the gym in Lake City, which…[Read more]
I don’t like riding in the rain, especially when surrounded by thousands of fenderless bikes!
What works for me is to keep a close eye on weather forecasts and plan accordingly. With today’s easy access to forecasting tools, I can plan my day to avoid riding in the rain most of the time. (On my two cross-country bike trips, I vowed not to ride in…[Read more]
We (Team Roadshow) did our darnedest to win this year (by being the last ones into Keokuk), but the last day was so long that, even after waiting near the end for our unicyclist to catch up, there were still hundreds behind us.
I’ve often told people that bad weather makes for the best stories. Slogging through the rain and cold on “Soggy Monday” with my 2-year-old daughter on the back of my bike (1981) is a tale I’ve often told, but for the majority of days, blue skies and sunshine prevail. I carry a lightweight rain jacket and pay close attention to forecasts,…[Read more]
It’s unfortunate that the last day of RAGBRAI is so different from the first six days of the ride. After looking forward to the ride so much every year, I’ve never been able to understand the desire to rush to the end. I like to savor the last day as much as the first day.
It’s been a similar weather story here in Vermont (although not as severe as what the mid-western states have been experiencing). After finally emerging from the winter that wouldn’t end, April and May have been very wet and cold. Many fields are still covered with standing water in the river valleys. It’s going to be a challenging year for…[Read more]
One of my very favorite things about RAGBRAI is that the ride is UNLIKE most other organized tours. Whereas many rides are fully supported in a way that includes everything set up and handed to the riders along the route in such a way that riders hardly need to think for themselves, RAGBRAI, on the other hand, is a ride that allows for full…[Read more]
While Amtrak has limited space for bikes that are carried on (racks in the coach cars), you can always check your bike as baggage. Compared with flying with a bike, the cost is minimal ($15 the last time I did it). They’ll even provide a box which requires only that your handlebar is turned 90 degrees and the pedals are removed (along with a 50…[Read more]
I spent some time this morning plotting out each day’s route on Strava. The data that I came up with show considerable variation from that published on the Register’s route maps (both mileage and elevation). Overall, I came up with 495.5 miles. That total includes the Karras Loop (without the leg down to the Honey Creek resort and back).
For much of my life (on the water and on land), I have been a fan of the Bill’s Bag (which I also use for RAGBRAI). They’re simple, durable, waterproof (in case your baggage gets left out in the rain), and can be carried on your back (but not meant for long-distance hiking). I have a large one (110L) that I use for RAGBRAI, but I also have a 65L…[Read more]