RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

Top 10 *last minute* RAGBRAI XLVI FAQs

  • 16 July, 2018
  • Andrea Parrott

We are closing in on the last few days before the ride(!!) So we thought we would put together a list of answers to the top ten most frequently asked questions about RAGBRAI XLVI:

1. Where the heck is my wristband packet?

As of Friday 7/13 all wristband packets have been shipped!! So yours will get to you or your group leader very soon. IF you somehow don’t receive it before the ride, stop by and see us our Registration Tent at the Expo in downtown Onawa. It will be located directly next to our giant white Outlet Tent. Don’t worry, we will get you sorted!

2. How do I drive into Onawa?

Arriving in Onawa: RAGBRAI traffic take I 29 exit 112; go West 1/2 mile on highway 175 to Dogwood Avenue; North on Dogwood approximately 1.5 miles
to County Highway K42; East on K42 approximately 2 miles to Monona County Fairgrounds. Watch for signage. Check on onawaRAGBRAI.com for detailed maps of Onawa.

3. How do I purchase a wristband?

There are some wristbands for sale on our forum, www.RAGBRAI.com/forums – but at this point your best bet is to come see us on the ride. They will be available at the RAGBRAI merchandise trailers in each overnight town. In Onawa they will be located at the Expo downtown, and then after that they will be available at the main merchandise trailers downtown, our meeting town merch trailer, and at our information tent in the main campgrounds. Our baggage trailers also sell day passes in the mornings from 5am – 8am.

My beautiful picture

3. What should I pack??

Great question – we’ve got you covered. Check out this brand new video: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/videos/news/2018/07/12/how-and-what-pack-week-ragbrai/779525002/

4. I’m a first time rider. Where do I go to get some good basic info?

Stop by our RIDE RIGHT Safety Meeting for First Time Riders! It’s presented at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. inside the West Monona High School, located at 1314 15th St, southwest of downtown Onawa. Enter via the front doors of the high school and follow the signs to the Auditorium. The RIDE RIGHT Ambassadors will offer guidance for a safe RAGBRAI. Veteran riders will offer beginners tips and answer questions from the audience for those newbies looking forward to their first RAGBRAI adventure!

5. How do I return or exchange RAGBRAI merchandise?

As long as your item is unwashed, and any jerseys, shorts, and bibs have their original tags attached, we can return or exchange any item. At this point the best way is to return or exchange at our merchandise trailers on the ride, but if you don’t mind waiting there are other options. Please check out this blog post for details: https://ragbrai.com/2017/06/26/how-to-return-or-exchange-merchandise/

6. How do I get a vehicle route map for our support driver?

We have them posted here: https://ragbrai.com/routemaps/2018-vehicle-maps/ If you would prefer a printed version, stop by the Support Vehicle Driver Safety Meeting in Onawa. It will be held at 4pm in the West Monona High School located at 1314 15th St, southwest of downtown Onawa. Once the meeting is over, the maps will also be available in the RAGBRAI Merchandise trailers.

7. Will I be able to charge my cellphone on RAGBRAI?

Please know that cell phone service is unreliable during the week of RAGBRAI due to the overwhelming demand on local cell towers. So be sure to have a backup plan if you are relying on cell phones for communication.

That being said many towns will have charging stations and many churches, libraries, schools, and other public buildings will let you use their outlets if you ask. You may also want to bring an external charging device – but make sure you package it in something watertight since RAGBRAI is a camping event and weather happens.

8. How do I use the sag wagons if I have a breakdown (either with my bicycle or with my legs)?

Safely exit to the left shoulder of the road and turn your bicycle upside down. A sag wagon will come along and pick you up as long as you are a registered rider. Please note that there are service times and sag wagons will not run after those times. They are listed here: https://ragbrai.com/routemaps/2018-route-maps/

9. Where can I find the campgrounds/food/showers in the overnight towns?

Each overnight town has published a map of their community. You can find those and more on their websites which are published here: https://ragbrai.com/routemaps/2018-host-communities/

10. Oh shoot, I forgot my water bottle/shorts/bike tune-up!

Never fear! Stop by the RAGBRAI Expo in Onawa! There will be 80+ vendors and the official RAGBRAI Bike Shops. We will also have a massive RAGBRAI Outlet Tent with past years’ merchandise at 50% (or more) off! Several of the vendors and all of the bike shops will travel with us along the ride.

For more info on the Expo: https://ragbrai.com/expo-2/expo-exhibitors/

For more info on the Bike Shops: https://ragbrai.com/about/bike-shops/

For more information and a $5 off RAGBRAI merchandise coupon, check out the Participant Guide that was included in your wristband packet.

You are also welcome to email us at info(at)RAGBRAI.com though please know that as we get this close to the ride we spend a lot of time away from our desks and it may be best to ask us at the RAGBRAI merchandise trailers or local information booths. We will do our best to answer all messages if possible.

We hope you have a great time on RAGBRAI XLVI!


  1. Pete Dempsey

    You can charge your phone on RAGBRAI without looking for an outlet each night! Backroads Battery will provide you with a fully charged 8,000 mAh battery each day. This is way easier than babysitting your phone while it is plugged in at an outlet or leaving it in an unsecure location. You don’t need to leave it in a charging station and separate from your expensive phone or Garmin.

    Check out:
    for the easiest way to keep things ticking during RAGBRAI 2018.

  2. trisha lenarz-garmoe

    I can only find the b & w printer version of the vehicle route. Is there one for the rider route? Only finding the color version on the pdf download.

  3. Rocky Hennessey

    Today is 7/18/18 and still no email for my Friday ride wristband. anyone else having issues?

  4. Steve Cohen

    Related question to the cellphone issue:

    Ok, I get that cellphone service will be spotty. But suppose a family member needs to reach a rider in an emergency?

    This is not a theoretical question for me. An elderly relation who may or may not be at death’s door was hospitalized today. Should he pass and my cellphone not be available, how may other family members contact me? I am riding with a tour group who told me they should “call RAGBRAI” and that word would be somehow be gotten to me through them. How does one “call RAGBRAI”? Is there a procedure for this?

  5. Bob Card

    The packing video is the best resource on this subject that I’ve seen. Chapeau to Kathy Murphy and the production crew for this gem.

  6. KenH

    People will be able to reach you during the week on your cell phone. Calls will go through deep in the night and early in the morning because most of us are sleeping. Calls may go through any time of day in fact but you cannot depend on that. Text messages have a much higher (but not 100%) probability of going through in a timely fashion. Most likely you will hear within a few hours if something happens. Ultimately you will have to decide which is more important: taking this ride, possibly in honor of your relative, or keeping in instant touch with his condition. I lost my mother a few years ago and my father a few months ago, I will be dedicating this ride to their memory.

    I don’t know of any way to call RAGBRAI and have them contact you. RAGBRAI probably does have service numbers someone could call but they have no reliable way to reach you. However, you are traveling with a charter. Give your relatives the charter’s contact number(s) for the week. Some of them, probably most of them, will get to the next overnight town hours ahead of the rest of us. Cell phone service to them will be fairly reliable for the first half or two thirds of the day. And they will be able to contact you when you show up in camp. This doesn’t cover the whole day but it does give a window of opportunity to reach someone who knows your whereabouts.

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