RAGBRAI 2012: Hot, hungry and waiting for a ride

  • 24 July, 2012

LOHRVILLE – At some point, waiting almost two hours for a ride beats biking another foot.

Plenty of RAGBRAI cyclists made that decision along the route Tuesday afternoon.

Dozens waited to load their bikes at the Lohrville emergency services building around 1:30 p.m.

Two sag wagons were loading bikes in the parking lot, and cyclists said it seemed like the vans were fuller this year than in previous ones.

The temperature had hit 95 with a heat index of 101. Riders were facing a headwind, and temperatures were climbing.

“We started out thinking we would [make it all the way] and we’d play it by ear,” said Chad White, 27. “Then it got really hot.”

RAGBRAI officials said there appeared to be fewer heat related ambulance calls from the route Tuesday than earlier in the week, though that may change later in the day, they said.

Riders have been treated for minor heat related issues and ambulances have been out on the route, but no specific numbers for heat related issues were available Tuesday afternoon.

White’s group had waited up the street, by the side of the route for more than an hour in the sun, before hearing they should go to the building to wait for a ride to Webster City.

It was hot waiting.

“But too hot to keep going when there are 50 miles to go,” Troy White, 20, said.

They are from Albuquerque, NM, so the heat didn’t bother them quite as much as the humidity.

“We’re from a hot place,” said Mariah Spencer, 18. “Just not hot and humid.”



  1. Tom

    ““But too hot to keep going when there are 50 miles to go,” Troy White, 20, said.” – – – and out of shape.

  2. B

    If you can’t even get 1/2 way…… Stay home

  3. s

    I rode this day. These were tough conditions to ride. Unless you actually know this individual you can’t tell if they were not in shape. I saw a lot of people having a tough time both Monday and. Tuesday. It is unfair to these riders to make these judgements on their physical condifion without you actually being there and going through what they are going through.

  4. Jeff

    18 and 20 years old and you can’t make it? That is weak! I have ridden on more than 10 RAGBRAI’s starting back in 1977 on RAGBRAI 7. I have ridden in every type of weather on that ride from scorching hot headwinds all day to freezing cold 50’s and rain (Soggy Monday). We considered it a badge of honor to never, ever take a SAG. It kills me these kids are so weak these days. Yeah it’s tough and yeah I am judging these weenies! So What!? At the end of the week you knew you accomplished something if you rode every mile. Over the years I saw more and more perfectly healthy young people take SAGS. Pissed me off!! Excuses like–“I drank too much last night” or “I just came on here to party” Don’t show up if you don’t want to ride. I bet they got in and got their shower and headed off to party the night away. Then SAG it in the next day…

  5. E

    You definitely can’t judge! My husband is 40, 6’1″ and 170lbs. He goes marathoms and triathons. He had terrible heat exhaustion on Monday. At the end of the ride he had a horrible headache, vomiting and cramps. He knows how to hydrate and refuel and didn’t drink alcohol. It didn’t matter. He had to come home and is still not 100%. No matter your age, size, or training the heat effects everyone differently. Be safe riders and don’t hesitate to ask if you need help

  6. JoJo

    Jeff, some people DO just go on Ragbrai to party – and so what? To each his own. It’s weird to get “pissed off” over someone else taking a sag wagon. Your idea of having fun on Ragbrai seems to have been more about getting on your high horse than on your bike.

  7. Sean B

    118 temperature on the pavement yesterday. I averaged 18MPH on Monday and 11MPH on Tuesday with the 14-27MPH headwind. I did not ride today, (Wednesday). I saw the “brave” souls who were carted off in ambulances. Each individual, (regardless of the shape they’re in) needs to listen to their bodies. Macho BS is what sends people to the morgue. Stay safe, ride safe, challenge yourself, but be humble.

  8. Michelle

    I agree that each person should ride their ride and not let the judgement of others affect it. It is supposed to be a fun event and no matter how much you train, you have to be flexible. This year is one of the hottest in Ragbrai history so anyone that states that they have ridden in any type of climate possible, probably hasn’t. I too had to come home on Tuesday evening after suffering from heat exhaustion on Monday and Tuesday’s ride. I was hydrated and the riding wasn’t a problem, it was the heat. It’s hard to train for 102 degree heat and humidity when it isn’t the average temp in your area. Anyone that judges and thinks that the SAG is unnecessary should get off their high horse and skip the ride. To the rest of you…Enjoy YOUR ride :)

  9. Jeff

    JoJo what got me all bent out of shape is that the saggers would beat the riders into the overnight town and take all the hot water and all the best camp sites and all the best food. I guess I got a bit heavy handed with my criticism, but there is no doubt that over the years RAGBRAI is less and less about riding your bike…

  10. Jeff

    Well Sean B if you do end up in the morgue no one will call you a quitter!

  11. Michelle

    Jeff….When I decided to SAG it was to go home. I got back to the campsite early and set up the tent and got all the baggage of my teammates. I thought I would get them all set up since I had not ridden the entire route. I wouldn’t assume that all the SAGgers rush to town for a hot shower and the best dinner.

  12. Jim

    There were lots of people talking lots of poop about how they ran marathons, triathlons and other general stud like stuff. Many big mouths rode the SAG. This is a test of endurance. Some of us rode every mile of every day and some of us should never claim they rode RAGBRAI XL. There is no in between.

  13. JIll Broughton

    Hey, I gotta ask this – and dont know where else I can… Now that I am home, I am still at Ragbrai! In my thoughts, in my dreams, in my semi-conscious waking up hours… I keep thinking I am there. It is kind of like getting off a ship after sailing for a week… you still feel the waves!

    Another thing I dont hear anyone mentioning is how you fared the week after you came home? Me? Well, I teach fitness classes and I did not have my usual energy. I also felt sleepy for the following week. How about you??

  14. Joe

    Thanks to all riders and volunteers. My first. I loved riding with all types of riders. Most days I rode early but really enjoyed the festival attitude that seemed more common with slower riders. Pools saved me!

Submit a Comment

Related Articles
No results found
Friends of RAGBRAI