Brancel is a class act with a staff that goes out of their way to provide top of the line service. Not surprisingly, every year you see most of the same staff and riders which gives a bit of a family feeling. Unfortunately, some of my friends have had significant family events occur during the ride and Bob Brancel has always responded as necessary…[Read more]
The forecast temperatures and humidity levels could make the first several days interesting. As previously noted: keep hydrated, ride slowly, and stop frequently. To be on the safe side, consider carrying a third water bottle in a jersey pocket. Estimates vary, but some articles state perspiration rates of 1.5 to 2.5 liters per hour are typical.…[Read more]
You’re correct, there are shuttles available from Keokuk to Council Bluffs. Keokuk also has long term parking available for $70. From my experience, using a RAGBRAI charter service is the least painful way to get from the finishing town to the starting town on Saturday. Several of the charters offer a transportation only option but you may want to…[Read more]
I’ll admit that I frequently elect not to ride the Karras Loop anymore. I’ve done enough of them in prior years that getting an early shower takes precedence over earning a patch. However, I wonder how the planned 2019 Karras stacks up challenge wise to some of the more memorable earlier loops? If memory serves me, 2012 was supposedly the most…[Read more]
Bag wise, there are myriad brands and price ranges available. Some bags will last nearly forever and others…not so much. However, I’m a firm believer in wheeled duffel bags. Rolling a bag, even over rough terrain, is significantly less challenging than carrying it.
Can you imagine the mental and physical anguish involved in ensuring an event of the magnitude of RAGBRAI succeeds? If any one Iowa town hosted a day long event with 10-20000 participants, it would be a huge deal. Now lengthen the activity to seven days, add multiple pass through towns to the mix, and finally balance rider enjoyment with safety…[Read more]
I’m not associated with Brancel but I have used their services for six RAGBRAIs with no complaints. In fact, I chartered with Brancel for my first RAGBRAI and every other. I like the size of their charter, not too big and not too small. Most of their crew is family or friends of family so you see the same staff faces nearly every year. You also…[Read more]
Praying for the residents near Mashalltown, Pella, and Bondurant that there aren’t any fatalities or injuries. These threatening events help you realize that getting together with 10,000 of your closest friends for a week is a gift.
Just show up at the Brancel canopies, grab a cold beverage, and look for riders your age. This year, four of us are chartering with Brancel again but met several years ago under the canopies. There are a lot of fun people that are easy to join in with.
I’m very lucky. After lengthy discussions, my wife now firmly believes that I have to follow the RAGBRAI training plan to the letter, unless I feel the need for even more miles. So, I have a bike kitchen pass for all the miles I want.
But I feel obligated to paraphrase Michrider: You can probably walk up any hill on RAGBRAI without any training.
If you really love your bike, you’ll let it stay in the tent while you sleep outside under a tarp!
Your 2013 Spec is an alu frame that, if memory serves me, has a Tiagra drive train. If the chain and drive train is well lubed, dew will have minimal impact. Besides, you’ll probably have to lube things numerous times on the ride anyway.…[Read more]
The feedback from the pre-ride is usually spot on and their comments on “hot spots to see” are frequently some of the high points of my trips. Still, some of the most memorable moments are serendipitous. For example, last year I pulled off at a farmer’s GatorAde stand for a break. We started chatting and discovered that he was a cousin of a man my…[Read more]
Joe: You can drive to Davenport and leave your vehicle there. Long term parking for the week will probably be less than $70 but the Davenport folks haven’t gotten that far yet. At Davenport you can take a bus from one of the charters to Onawa Saturday morning. Brancel Charters offers the bus option; others may as well. In any case, sign up for a bus early.