Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 1,205 total)
One year when I was a RAGBRAI Ambassador for a day I stopped to see if a young woman who was pushing her bike on level ground needed some help. She did but I did not have the means to fix her stripped pedal. She was cheerfully resigned to walking to the next town anyway. A few miles later I stopped to help a young man doing the same. He had neglected to have his dodgy rear derailleur fixed before the ride and now it was beyond hope.
They both could testify to the wisdom of having your bike in good repair for the ride. On the other hand, they could have bumped into each other in line at the repair tent and who knows…???
Even though it is rare no one can guarantee that your bike will not be stolen. If you worry about that you should use one of the locks recommended above. The most common theft at RAGBRAI is a town kid taking a joyride and then abandoning it somewhere. Many of those are found so you might get yours back — eventually. If you are worried, lock it. If you make your bike more difficult to steal than the ones around it you have done all you need to do.
I’m not sure that the quality of your bike matters much to the typical RAGBRAI thief. The people who are most likely to recognize your bike as “a decent high end road bike” are your fellow riders and they are unlikely to steal your bike. As you will note above at least some of them left theirs home because they feel another type of bike is better suited to the task at hand….
I perfectly understand Niles’ point of view and I share elements of it. But RV owners are a welcome part of RAGBRAI and RVs make an excellent team vehicle. To those nearby sleeping in tents the noise may be unwelcome and that is why I say that when “we” find ourselves in one of “their” campgrounds we should be polite and turn the generators off during sleeping hours. When “they” are in one of “our” campgrounds I presume they are ok with the noise and I don’t think hnschipper is alone in his tolerance of or even preference for the noise. If you are sleeping nearby in a tent it is true that you do not get the benefit of the AC but trust me the noise is MUCH WORSE inside a class C motorhome! And if the genny is running, and there’s nothing plugged into the outside electrical outlet, feel free to plug your phone charger in and “borrow” a few joules. If we’re around and you are feeling a touch of the heat stroke coming on by all means come inside and cool off. Enjoy a cold one from the fridge. We aren’t bad folks, not at all and most of us don’t a million dollar anything!
We’ve done the class C MH thing every year save one starting in 2012 and that is the plan again this year. You will hear generators running all night in the RV campgrounds and that is why they tend to segregate us. If you want to use another campground or if the RV campground is cheek by jowl with the rest as it sometimes is then you need to be more circumspect. Full or electric hookups are rare, we’ve had a grand total of one, and when they are available they will be booked up FAST if they are advertised. The one time we got one was totally by accident, our driver was just told to park “over there” and over there happened to be a full hookup site! We dry camp for the week, only emergency use of water is allowed, to avoid whatever lines there are at the dump sites. I imagine they are long but since I’ve never been at a RAGBRAI dump site I could be completely wrong. A team MH makes a great way to do RAGBRAI!
I actually would prefer to tent camp however!! The weather can be a huge issue and the “bed” can be very hard and I have never, ever been able to get the AC in my tent to work. But I like the minimalist approach to the week. It gives you a very different experience of life, it is a much more cleansing, spiritual way to do the ride.
I don’t know yet what my plans are for the last Saturday of RAGBRAI this year. I may be driving home alone in a small motorhome, or I may already have left the ride on Thursday evening if my team jointly decides to do part of IR too. I won’t know more until registration closes most likely. But I can say that in one previous year we carried a couple of riders home to the train station in Crystal Lake where I live. They were able to catch a Metra UPNW line train to a CTA Blue Line train to O’Hare for their trip back home. They had shipped their bikes but if I were able to help you this year carrying a bike would be no problem. So there are at least two options to meet up with your friend if anyone can get you to the Chicago area: have your friend meet you somewhere convenient to all parties or have your ride drop you off at a train station where you can take the train to someplace convenient for your friend to pick you up.
I have a class C with a large cargo bay under the bed that opens to the outside. It will hold 4-5 bikes and you can put a rack on the trailer hitch too, mine is a two bike rack. The MH does not have room to sleep all those riders and it would be tight to transport them across Iowa. It has plenty of room for their rides however. We generally leave them out at night. Two can be locked to the rack the rest can be locked in the bay. We rarely do that because you do have to take the front wheels off to get them in there.
Here’s a collection of bikes I was looking at when I was looking in 2018. I thought they were all worth looking at. They are all over your budget because I had a different budget but you should easily find them under your budget either used or as new/old, unsold stock at a dealer if you are so lucky. Some of them (like the Fuji’s) may have sister models at lower price points even today. My budget started at $1500 and it crept up to $2000 but then a late season Trek sale brought my purchase in at $1700….
Brand Model Price (2018)
Marin Four Corners $1039
Salsa Journeyman $1099
Fuji Jari 1.7 $1099
KHS TR101 $1099
REI CO-OP ADV 3.1 $1199
Jamis Renegade Expat $1199
Specialized AWOL $1200
Surly Bridge Club $1200
Giant Toughroad SLR 1 $1275
Fuji Jari 1.5 $1299
Masi Giramondo $1299
Fuji Touring Disc $1299
REI CO-OP ADV 1.1 $1299
Jose I do not know what rumors you have heard. But I do know the logo this year has nothing to do with DD. It was accidentally posted and then pulled down again some weeks before he came on board, almost immediately after TJ announced his departure. So DD’s plans for this year were not used to guide the design of the logo but I suppose it is possible that the reverse has happened. DD may have taken some cues from the logo as he put his plan together!
You might want to look at local bike shops to see what they may have or know of as “trade-ins”. Some of the bikes people are going to mention here will be well above your $1k budget (because they won’t notice that you said that) but some of them would be under your limit if you can find a used one.
The roads of RAGBRAI are in generally good condition but there will cracks, potholes, super aggressive rumble strips, what have you along the route. I’m strongly in favor of wide tires because they deal gracefully with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Gravel bikes, touring bikes, “adventure touring” (or whatever they call them these days) bikes will all have the capability to accept generously wide tires. Set up properly they will be comfortable for the long haul. Some of them are quite fast, all of them are fast enough. I bought a new bike for RAGBRAI and all my other riding a year and a half ago. It’s a Trek 920 and it is nearly twice your budget, new, but you might find one used and if you can it is worth a look over. It is an adventure touring bike. I love mine!
Success with a cell phone depends on both who your carrier is and where you are. In one town one carrier’s service will be overwhelmed while another’s is working, mostly. In the next town the situation could be just the opposite. Overall texting does seem to work the best however there are no guarantees at RAGBRAI! My team relies on texting and it works well enough, often enough, that we don’t have much trouble meeting up.
The first year we did RAGBRAI we tried using litte FRS walkie talkies. They worked occasionally but for the most part they seemed swamped too. Amateur radios may work better but you have to have enough licensed amateurs on your team so that everyone is in contact with someone with a radio. And to be clear I have never tried to use my amateur radios at RAGBRAI so I do not KNOW that they would get through consistently I am only speculating that they MIGHT. I’m the only “ham” on my team so I would have no one to talk to even if they do work. Unless one of you tells me that you will talk to me and in that case I will bring my HT along this year. Just ask for N9EK! Amateur radios have much more range than FRS radios. They can use more power and they can talk through “repeaters”. Repeaters are a little like cell towers although they are owned by individual hams and clubs and their locations depend on there being enough hams in an area to justify putting one up. The repeater antenna is usually located fairly high so it has a good path to radios for miles around, the repeater receiver is very sensitive so that it can hear low power radios from far away and its transmitter can transmit hundreds of Watts so that hand held radios can hear it from far away. But repeaters would be swamped well before cell towers if everyone tried to use them!
There are cell phone apps that allow a collection of cell phones to self assemble a network. I presume the network operates over either the bluetooth or wifi radios that most cell phones have. People have tried to promote the use of these apps here in the hopes of reaching a critical mass of users that would allow good communications links between any two users any time of the day and in any location. I have never participated in these attempts and I have never heard anyone comment on how well they worked after RAGBRAI, I have only heard the pleas for people to join the effort in advance of RAGBRAI.
All in all texting works fairly well. If you want you can have pre-arranged meeting points as a backup.
I love the route. Of course I say that every year. There is no bad route through Iowa. The presentation last night was a little lacking compared to previous years. I don’t make anything of that other than with a lot of things to do in order to clean up the mess that TJ created and little time to do them in some things had to get all the attention that they needed but not necessarily all the attention they have received in recent years, or will receive in years to come. The RAGBRAI crew did fine last night.
I love that Ann Lawrie was recognized for her role as the woman who stood in the gap and held off the whole Persian army until help arrived. I love that the route is its own thing but close enough to the other route to enable people who want to do both. I look forward to learning to pronounce — and spell — Maquoketa, I can feel the heat of the sun, the wind at my back, I can taste the pie and church dinners and ice cream, I can see all your smiling faces and sweating bodies, I can picture it all already. It will be another grand ride across Iowa.
there is no way in H-E-double toothpick
there is no way in H-E-double toothpick
Oooo, a slight breech of protocol there, I’m afraid. Iowa being Radar’s home state that should be H-E-double hockey sticks!
I’d be happy to eat a pie in Lytton. I do believe the die has been cast however and it is too late to lobby on their behalf. They either are or are not close enough to the route to be a possibility this year. Of course if they are close and the full details of the route are not set in stone yet then lobbying is in order. We shall see next Saturday….
Have I used enough cliches to win Bulwer-Lytton. Had to look that one up even though all English speakers quote him frequently without realizing it!
No thought went into this, just picked a starting town and built a route step by step. It is northish to keep with tradition but the question is, how traditional is Dieter??
I think most years I get zero correct. Last year I got the first two — and then none of the rest!
Good guessing everyone, we’ll know in a week.
I suspect there will be no contest this year, a casualty of the leadership change chaos. Most likely if we want a contest we will have to organize it ourselves by posting our final guesses to this thread. There will be no prizes, just bragging rights.
Unless some official body sees this thread and steps up at the last minute….
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