Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 124 total)
Another one bites the dust… LMB, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, just announced the cancelation of their summer tours.
I was signed up to do Cycle Zydeco this week in Louisiana.. it has been postponed until October with an option to roll over to next year’s ride in April. I’m pretty sure I won’t do it this October… just don’t see it being safe and question next spring if we don’t have a vaccine. For the Michigan rides, I suspect LMB (League of Michigan Bicyclists) is evaluating whether their larger group events can be done safely before finalizing a decision. I did their MUP (Michigan Upper Peninsula) ride last year (early July) and I just don’t see how they can reasonably modify things to eliminate the risk. It only takes one asymptomatic carrier….
RAGBRAI, as in the past, could be a “perfect storm” for the virus to take off. For those that think it will go away in the summer, why has it taken off in warm climates? If RAGBRAI is held this summer, I would expect waves of cancellations from riders and vendors and the “embrace” of the communities the ride passes through would be mostly missing. It would take only a handful of asymptomatic positives or some not yet showing symptoms to potentially lead to thousands of susceptible people (not just those involved on the ride but beyond) becoming positives of which many could get very ill. And, sadly, some deaths.
Coronavirus is increasing significantly in countries with a lot warmer weather, including some in equatorial climates. I doubt summer time in Iowa will eliminate the risk if the disease is still present. A current hotspot in the U.S. is New Orleans with Mardi Gras just a few weeks ago plus visitors from all over. RAGBRAI could be a “perfect storm”…
I have done some smaller rides and, though fun and enjoyable, none are what RAGBRAI is. Since my first RAGBRAI over 10 years ago, I make the trip every summer to do it (and it’s over 1,000 miles away for me).
I didn’t do the gravel loop but did do the Karras loop. Including to and from where my group stayed/camped in each overnight, at the end of the week (from my Garmin data) I totaled 515 miles with 19,300’ of climb. The disparity in mileage when counting to and from camp this year seemed a little higher than past years. My impression is distances and climb are sometimes projected short of actual so as not to scare off the masses.
I think the roads in Iowa on RAGBRAI are great. There were instances where you needed to “pay attention” and ride appropriately. Most that complain may not have experienced some roads in other parts of the country. I live in coarse chip seal country and the roads in Iowa are much, much smoother overall. That being said, this year and last I went tubeless with 28mm tires at 80 – 85 psi. I appreciate them more in my home, chip seal area more than in Iowa.
With the 2019 logo and theme of following the wind, my guess is the route will follow areas with significant wind generation which, perhaps, eliminates a southern route, leaving just about anything from the I80 corridor north. My guess is somewhere between north (like 2017) and somewhat central (like 2018). My guess is to start in LeMars/Sioux City/Sergeant Bluff or Council Bluffs/Missouri Valley areas and final in Dubuque/Clinton. Following the trend of recent years, I doubt the route (without loops) has a distance of more than ~425 mi’s +/-.
RAGBRAI 2017 on the Karras Loop, ~2-3 miles short of Plover, somehow another rider crashed on top of me, breaking my helmet on the pavement with my head in it. I was knocked unconscious and hauled to the hospital in Pocahontas. When I woke, a doctor was sitting beside and informed me I had bleeding on top of the brain and if it worsened, they were not capable of taking care of it so I was put on a helicopter and flown to a trauma center at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. Never experienced before vertigo issues persisted for a year. Without the helmet, who knows what condition I would be in today…
I always ride “defensively”, scanning and evaluating to avoid any potential issues. Unfortunately, other riders may have issues such as wheel touches with another rider that creates tremendous, instant disarray that is unavoidable.
I have amnesia from the accident and only know what a friend told me later that was just a bit behind me. He also told me the other rider got up, grabbed his bike and took off, leaving the scene of an injury accident which, in most states, is a felony.
Just sayin.. if you ride RAGBRAI, make sure you register and wear a helmet!
It all depends on what you want done for you and what you are willing to pay for. There are expensive and inexpensive charters. I go with a charter that is inexpensive and it works for me. I pack my own luggage to and from a vehicle and set up my own tent where I want within the group area. It does take a little extra time but I am willing to live with that. Also, another reason for sticking with the group I go with is most people in the group go almost every year and some have become great friends. And the money I saved is justification for some great gear I have gotten.
I think my group has a March 1 deadline as well (at which time the group becomes closed). It may be that’s what the group leaders have decided as it eliminates the last minute entries and avoids the April 1 last minute rush. Looking at the website there doesn’t appear to be anything required March 1.
There are several charter services with varying levels of service provided. Some have, like Pork Belly, extra levels of service provided for a fee. There are plenty of others you might consider, all depending what you are willing to pay for. The closest similarity to camping could be just sleeping in a tent. Or, another option may be to hire a large RV and someone to drive/manage it (and that’s not really camping either).
I did the gravel loop last year on 25mm tires, certainly much better than 23’s. It would be nice if the county didn’t grade the gravel back into the vehicle tracks. The first gravel road on last year’s loop really sucked because it was too deep and too loose. The second gravel road on the loop was much more tolerable. If RAGBRAI management reads this, please ask the county the gravel loop goes through to NOT grade the roads for at least 2-3 weeks or longer prior to the ride. That would allow for better vehicle tracks for cyclists to use while providing for improved safety and reducing other issues (flats). Also, if on their schedule to add gravel to these roads, please wait until after the ride!
Undecided… leaning toward my Lynskey R265, titanium, disc brakes and 28mm tubeless tires… best all around combination for gravel and paved road. But still thinking of my Felt F55, my Ritchey Breakaway steel cyclocross or my Ritchey Breakaway titanium/carbon road.. all three veterans of 2 or 3 RAGBRAI’s each. I keep the Felt at a cousin’s place in Iowa to ride when I’m back in Iowa for work… rode it this past week after a conference I was at in Dubuque… went to Graf (just west of Dubuque) and rode the Heritage Trail to Dyersville and back and up Potter Hill Road (for the first time since RAGBRAI XXXVIII, supposedly the toughest hill ever on the RAGBRAI route). It was certainly different than riding through the hundreds/thousands walking their bikes up the road.
Check out the charter groups from that area. On the website click on the tab for “the ride” and you should see an option for “charter services”. Each charter should have someone listed to contact.