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RAGBRAI 2012: Carrying 60 extra pounds? No, it's nothing.

  • 22 July, 2012
  • Regina Zilbermints

Biking 471 miles across Iowa during one of the hottest summers on record – sure, said thousands of bicyclists from across the nation.

Doing the same thing while carrying all their supplies for the week – no problem, said a much smaller group.

“The key is to pack light,” said Stephanie Spearman, 44, Pleasant Dale, Neb.

Spearman, who is on her fourth RAGBRAI, is dragging all her gear on a small cart behind her bike. Usually her husband “is the Sherpa, that’s what we call him,” but he couldn’t make it this year. So for the first time, she’s carrying her tent, sleeping bag, tools, toiletries, clothes and emergency kit with her.

So is Rolando Negron, 41, Bedford, Texas, who knows Spearman through his wife. He is carrying supplies for himself, his wife and his son.

Altogether, each cart weights about 60 pounds, both said.

Not too bad, they agreed.

“The sleeping bags and the mats, they’re bulky,” Negron said, motioning to his bike. “But they’re light.”

Most RAGBRAIs feature a small but dedicated group of riders who carry their equipment, whether in bags on either side of the bike frame or on carts behind them. But it’s much less common than joining a team or having some kind of support crew driving along.

This is Negron’s first RAGBRAI, and he said he’s enjoying himself so far.

As far as whether they would carry their own things again next year – that’s a maybe.

It depends on whether someone is available to drive.

“It’s day one, and so far yes,” Spearman said. “But ask us on day seven.”



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