Sorry, I was being a little cranky–and I apologize Yeah, I remember talking about this turn because it did look like we were making a turn into a long driveway. There were a few like that this year. I have a tendency to get out early from the overnight towns, around 5:30, so I am riding with fewer people and thus there is a greater chance for…[Read more]
After the first day’s ride, the bike mechanics at the Pork Belly camp discovered that I had cracked my carbon fiber frame (on the chain stay) and that my bike was unsafe to use. Nevertheless I rode the second day, easing down the hills and avoiding potholes. This seems an unsustainable approach, so I talked to the folks at Bike World Iowa about…[Read more]
I loved Sigourney. Why is there so much complaining on the forum this year? Is this just the culture of complaint of the Internet in general shifting over to the Ragbrai forum? Nothing is perfect. You just look for the good in each town. At least, that’s my approach in Ragbrai and, with luck, in my life.
I remember this–and that some people missed the turn. It was marked in a subtle way. Why would someone complain about this? Ragbrai does so many things right, from the thousands of cracks filled on the road, the great towns and beautiful route. Who expects everything to be perfect–one might as well stay home if one expects perfection. The…[Read more]
I have used Pork Belly for the last seven years and I love their service and professionalism. Yes, they sometimes are mile or so away from the overnight festivities, but that seems like a small price to pay for a good campsite–and doable for folks that have ridden around 70 miles each day. I’m impressed with their organization, the help they…[Read more]
I screwed up my knee (playing Frisbee) about six weeks ago and it hurt enough to make it hard to walk–and I was a little fearful that I would have to skip Ragbrai this year. But I’ve found that the knee doesn’t hurt on the bike at all (in fact it feels better when I finish riding). I cut back on my training a bit, but this weekend I managed to…[Read more]
I chickened out of the gravel loop last year and later regretted it. I’ve done some Iowa gravel in my standard 700×25 road bike tires (including a visit to the Buddy Holly monument a few years back) and it was fine if I took it slow. I think I’ll see how it goes for the first few miles this year and then turn back if it seems unsafe. I may ask…[Read more]
Just to think about a Missouri loop further: one might come out of Mt Ayr on Route P46 and then head south (it would be a literal run for the border). Once one is officially in Missouri, one might sing the official state song, “The Missouri Waltz,” (sample lyrics below). Then maybe return north on P46 to J55, head east on J55 to either P64 or P68…[Read more]
Our San Francisco team always loves to stop at the place that sells great fair trade coffee as well as granola and fresh fruit (we are from the Bay Area, after all). The stand is usually five to ten miles from the start and we tend to use it as a place to gather up the team.
Thanks for the advice “Bicycle Bill,” KenH, and jwsknk–this gives me a lot to go on. I think I’ll do it–although the folks I ride with might not go with me this time. I took two other cyclists with me when we visited Minnesota–and we were lucky that there was a road running east-west just across the border that allowed us to make a loop out o…[Read more]
I can’t wait–the thought of being on the ride is keeping me calm as I finish up the rest of my teaching this semester. Out here in San Francisco, we’ve been able to get a lot of miles in so I feel like I will be ready physically.
But most of all I just can’t wait to be out on the Iowa landscape, finding old friends, meeting new ones, only…[Read more]
If we are near the border of another state, my group will take one day (usually a shorter day) and ride to just cross into another state. We did this in 2014 with a little trip to Minnesota and we plan to do it this year into Missouri. I have to say that is very weird to go off-route–suddenly you don’t have all the support you usually have on…[Read more]
I’m going to do the gravel loop this year on my standard road bike. I didn’t do it last year, but other riders on my team who did ride it i 2015 had no problem. I’m excited to give it a try–it seems like Ragbrai is a good time to try new things. Plus I rode a lot of gravel on my road bike a few years ago to see the Buddy Holly memorial and…[Read more]
Thanks, ergopowr, for the tip. That will be a big help. I look up each of the towns along the way before July just to develop a list of historical events or important architecture to visit during the ride. For example, last year I learned about how the five ton block of gypsum for the Cardiff Giant hoax came from Fort Dodge.
Thanks jwsknk for the advice and for the tips. I always put together a list of historical highlights for the route (for example, the trip in Boone to see the birthplace of Mamie Eisenhower), so I’ll look for these too.
As a rider coming in from Northern California (and this will be the sixth Ragbrai for me), I’m excited about seeing these southern towns for the first time. I wish the ride was a little longer, but the gravel route and the Karras will help with that. I’m also thinking of extending the ride by crossing the border into Missouri one day (we did this…[Read more]