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Thread: Ragbrai Xxxi

  1. #51
    Just Say No to 26" Wheels
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    Originally posted by outashape
    ....Because this ride is so publicized, there are very few cars on the roads. The people of IOWA want the cycylists to come to their town and they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to stay off the route. When you get to larger towns, there is traffic, but there is law enforcement at busy intersections. Something I haven't heard you write about, is your attire. You know, you have to go dressed as something, or have your bike or helmet decorated. OR at the very least, travel with a full sound system blaring your favorite hits. You have to give the townspeople something to look at. Our bike club is trying to come up with something for us to do or wear. Good luck!
    That's good to know that the route may be "less travelled" by non pedal powered vehicles. In terms of gluts and sticking to the right - I doubt if I will be chasing any pace lines since my stoker is going to be an 8 year old. We will just be trying to keep a comfortable tempo that conserves energy to make it through the week.

    You're telling me I've got to get my family decked out in some kind of thematic outfits or attention grabbing gear? My tandem already looks like a John Deere tractor - shouldn't that get some kudos in Iowa?

    BB

  2. #52
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Trust me, you find your cadence, and I bet there will be others right there with you!! The trick to RAGBRAI, is make it your own ride...find a cadence you can live with, spin 'er up, and enjoy yourself! That's the way I do it.

    While I am an International Harvester fan, your JD paint scheme tandem will fit right in! There are many who do indeed don costumes...Lipstick Man, Cheese Heads, and all maner of superheros. I am content to wrap my portly self in spandex...seems to be costume enough!!
    Keep Spinning!!
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  3. #53
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    Originally posted by nebill
    Trust me, you find your cadence, and I bet there will be others right there with you!! The trick to RAGBRAI, is make it your own ride...find a cadence you can live with, spin 'er up, and enjoy yourself! That's the way I do it.

    While I am an International Harvester fan, your JD paint scheme tandem will fit right in! There are many who do indeed don costumes...Lipstick Man, Cheese Heads, and all maner of superheros. I am content to wrap my portly self in spandex...seems to be costume enough!!
    I'm sure the standard "costume" is a sea of spandex. Probably a lot of comfy shoes like the Shimano SPD Sandals as well. We will no doubt be wearing what bike attire we already own. Besides, for the past 17 years I have been wearing costumes on the stage due to my profession - so I have no need or desire to wear one away from work.

    BB

  4. #54
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    It finally happened!!! I got notification today that we have been moved off the waiting list and have an official tag number for RAGBRAI XXXI. Now I can continue on with all plans and arrangements.

    I have contacted a couple of teams and it seems like a small team that has host family camping sights already arranged in each overnight community will be the way to go. This particular team already has a 9 and 11 year old going, so my 8 and 10 year old would fit in quite well with them.

    BB

  5. #55
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Wonderful news Bruce!! Sounds like you have things well under control, and sounds like the team you are hooked up with will be perfect!
    Looking forward to chatting with you on the road at RAGBRAI!!
    Keep Spinning!!
    "It is right that a bike is both Appreciated, and Ridden" David Blessing
    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  6. #56
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  7. #57
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    That's confusing news reporting as the title of the article says:

    LeMond will ride on RAGBRAI XXXI

    Let's see what the article says....

    It says he is appearing the day before the ride begins at the Expo on behalf of a sock company. The article doesn't actually say he is going to ride in the event.

    So which is it? Is he riding the event on behalf of the sock company, or just appearing the day before at the expo before he hops a plane to go hang out at the Tour de France with other legends?

    BB

  8. #58
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Don't know for sure...you are right Bruce, you can't tell for sure from the article.
    I don't know if he will be riding or not (Greg, you lose my email addy?? LOL, riiiiight!) but, I have it on good authority that he has in fact taken part in group rides like the Tour de Tucson before, even riding a tandem!
    It would be a honor to share the road with him, however, I am looking forward to the honor of sharing the road with many other friends, and soon-to-be friends!!
    Keep Spinning!!
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  9. #59
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    Well, if he rides and is there for all of us to see - what a nice bonus to have one of the top cycling legends amongst us. Considering the amount of riders that are involved in RAGBRAI - it certainly cannot hurt to help promote the sport of cycling.

    BB

  10. #60
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    There has been talk of all posters over on the RAGBRAI.com site meeting at one of the pass through towns called Emerson for lunch so that we can put electronic names with faces and visit for a little bit. I thought some of you might be interested in such a meeting. If not, I'm sure other arrangements could be made to meet during the week.

    BB

  11. #61
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great idea to me, Bruce...that is a short day, so we should be able to get there in plenty of time, and not be rushed to make it to the overnight town. I'll be the short fat guy riding the awesome dark blue Paramount, with a tattoo of a chainring on the back of my right calf. Even amoung a croud, you might be able to find me!
    Keep Spinning!!
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    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  12. #62
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    Emerson sounds great!!!
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  13. #63
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    Provided we get going early enough and make good time, I'll be there with my wife and 2 children (age 8 and 10) on two tandems (a dark green tandem and a blue & silver tandem). The faces on my kids will look like this - - after they realize what they've gotten their backsides into for the week.

    I believe the meeting spot is to be at the Emerson fire house at 12 Noon if anyone is interested in meeting the faces from the RAGBRAI message forums.

    I just looked up Emerson and it said the population is under 500. I wonder how these little towns feel when an army of 10,000 or so cyclists show up? That must be quite a sight...

    BB

  14. #64
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    I'll be there. Red Lemond and my helmet is always crooked--no matter what I do.

  15. #65
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    The meeting sounds like a really good idea! Meeting at the firehall sounds like a good deal, also.

    Bruce, going with two tandems, huh? Probably not a bad idea at all. Look forward to riding along with you for a ways!

    And wait untill you see how a town of 500 welcomes all the bikers!! Just another one of the things that makes this ride so special!
    Keep Spinning!!
    "It is right that a bike is both Appreciated, and Ridden" David Blessing
    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
    "I thought of that while riding my bike" Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity
    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  16. #66
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    Bill - In our training, we decided that the other child would be safer riding a tandem as he is not Mr. Stamina and I am trying to get everything just right to make this experience a positive one for the family. I would hate to have him start on the complaining trail come day 2 and end up not finishing the ride. So tandem #2 will be joining the family stable.

    You know, I was excited about going with two tandems. Probably the excitement is due to riding a tandem is still brand new to me (only a few weeks old at this time).

    Then that excitement deflated like a popped balloon today when I got my RAGBRAI packet in the mail. There is a section in there on Tandems as well as on Recumbents. After reading what the booklet had to say on tandems, my take on it was that there is some negative energy contained in those few paragraphs on tandems and I guess it left a bad taste in my mouth with regard to my "excitement" about the family riding two tandems. Now I'm sure that riding with two kids and being safe riders, we are not going to be an addition to some of the negative thoughts about tandems which were addressed in those paragraphs, but let me know what your take was after reading the section in the booklet on tandems. I didn't get the same "negative energy" feeling after reading the section on recumbents, but something must have happened in the past with tandems to really sour the mood of other riders.

    Read the sections and let me know if my thoughts are off base.

    BB

  17. #67
    Velolutionary IowaParamedic's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    I haven't gotten my packet. What did the section say?
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  18. #68
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    HI Bruce,
    Do not fear...be happy, and be excited!! Don't fret too much about what is in the booklet. I have not seen mine yet (it gets mailed to my team) but as I recall from the last couple years, it mearly speaks of the relative size (large) speed (slower) and mobility of a tandem. But, this RAGBRAI is YOUR ride, and no one elses. You and your family just get out there and have a good time, that is what it is all about. I am sure that you will all do your best, which is all anyone can ask....shoot, that is what I do, and no one has ever complained! The last two years, we have had a tandem on our team...and come to think of it, some of the roadie-types probably didn't like getting passed by a tandem that they have no chance of catching! HEE HEE
    But, really, I see no problem with them, you will do just fine. And, having the two kids riding with the parents will help insure the kids have a good time. Personally, I look forward to sharing the road with you and your family. Just keep spinning!!
    Keep Spinning!!
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    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  19. #69
    Velolutionary IowaParamedic's Avatar
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    I think a tandem would have an advantage on this years route. On the rolly-polly hills a tandem would take you 3/4 of the way to the top of the hill before you needed to pedal.
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  20. #70
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    You put two powerful riders on a tandem, and they are something to be reconed with!! Team members Buck and Susan actaully led the speedy contingent of our little group a good part of the time two years ago. And last year, Dave, and his 14 year old daughter got a thrill out of pulling the fast pace line. Will be fun to see how Bruce and his family get along! Hope when they go whizzing by me, they at least wave!
    Keep Spinning!!
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    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  21. #71
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    Here's the section called "Tandems on RAGBRAI":

    =====
    Tandems on RAGBRAI

    --This guide is for those of you thinking about or planning to ride a tandem bicycle on RAGBRAI. Please read the following information carefully and be prepared to observe the safety and courtesy guidelines discussed.

    Why do people ride tandems?

    --The most common reason people ride tandems is that it allows couples of unequal ability to ride together and stay together. For some it is the thrill of going faster. Bikers of equal ability will go faster on a tandem than on individual bikes. Many enjoy the companionship of a friend or family member.

    What problems can tandems cause in large group rides?

    --The most common problems is excessive speed. Compare the tandem bike to the 18-wheeler on the road. You pass it going up a hill on the interstate, but then can't get out of the way going down the hill. A second problem with tandems is maneuverability. Like the large trucks, tandems need more space to corner and stop.

    How do these concerns relate to RAGBRAI?

    --Tandem bicycles have become more numerous in recent years. Resentment by other riders has risen disproportionately to the actual number of tandems due to the lack of courtesy shown by some tandem riders as they speed down the highway, passing everything in sight and demanding more room on the road. It may be an awe-inspiring sight to see a tandem couple in matching outfits fly down the road, leeading 15 sleek racers in a draft line, but it is not appropriate behavior while sharing the road with bicyclists of all ages and skill levels. It not only is dangerous, but it is also extremely discourteous to other riders.

    How can these problems be eliminated?

    --Tandem bicycle riders need to use the same approach as over-the-road truckers. They must ride safely, be courteous at all times, and give more than enough room to the other bicycles they share the road with. These simple measures would go a long way toward improving the image of tandem riders. Owners of tandems have made a large investment in their equipment, and it's time they become more concerned with their image, as well as with the safety issues involved in group riding.
    =====

    I certainly agree with the issues they bring up regarding safety, courteous riding and excessive speed while riding with a large group of cyclists. Maybe I am reading it wrong, but something must have happened in the past to really sour the mood towards those who ride tandems.

    On the plus side, our tandems are 26" wheeled models, so our speed is not capable of 700c sized wheeled tandems. And we will be riding with kids on the back who cannot contribute much to the inertia of the tandem both in power and in weight. I doubt if you will find us in any pace lines, but I can guarantee that we will be in a few Dove Bar lines. Minus the speed factor, everything that is mentioned in paragraph one above is the reason we have chosen to use tandems on this ride. Staying together, riding with the kids (unequal ability) and the safety of not getting separated or having to worry about the kids bike handling skills at their young ages.

    Anyway, we will do our part to improve the image of tandems and follow all of the RIDE RIGHT rules in the booklet.

    BB (I guess, according to RAGBRAI, an official 18 wheel trucker....)
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 05-30-03 at 11:29 PM.

  22. #72
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    IMO, mirrors should be required equipment along with helmets. I would not be able to drive a car without a rearview mirror, and I definately cannot ride on an organized ride with hundreds or thousands of others without knowing when someone was going to pass me. The cyclists who complain about the fast tandems and pace lines are the riders who ride side-by-side (with a 4 foot gap between the pair) at 12 mph and take up the entire lane, rather than ride closer together and on the right side of the road so the quicker cyclists can pass. I pass many people and many people pass me. After about 50 "On your left's", I only announce my passing if I see the cyclist does not have a mirror, or if the cyclist is not riding a straight line (unpredictable), or I'm coming up behind a lone cyclist on a quiet stretch. Just as a driver of an automobile, gives up the passing lane to a faster motorist, the slower cyclists should stick to the right. And after saying all that, with 10,000 cyclists last year, I only ran into the non-movable slow cyclists about 1 - 2 times a day. Nothing to complain of, and I enjoy being part of the show, part of the whole big crowd. There's something for everyone. We just gotta have fun.

  23. #73
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    The packet I received from RAGBRAI did indeed suggest a rear view mirror attached to the helmet or the bars as standard equipment. In addition, the booklet hammers away at the "RIDE RIGHT" premise so that slower traffic does indeed keep to the right.

    As opposed to calling out "on your left" or "coming through the middle" or what not - does anyone use a bell on RAGBRAI? Bells are standard fare over here in Europe and it is easier to ringle jingle than to call out umpteen times.

    BB

  24. #74
    Velolutionary IowaParamedic's Avatar
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    There are people who use bells. But there are soooo many people on this ride, that they become worthless. You really need to signal your intentions to manuever around the crowd.
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  25. #75
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Bells and other noise makers can be kinda fun, tho! Personally, I just kinda trundle along, and do my best to stay out of other peoples way, and if it is obvious that someone has not seen me, announce my intentions.

    The organizers of RAGBRAI want everyone to have a great, safe experience, which is why they stress the ride right ideals, and try and discourage pace lines. However, personally, I have never felt threatened by the go-fast folks....they are just out there doing thier ride, and I do mine, and we all seem to get along great.
    Keep Spinning!!
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    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
    "I thought of that while riding my bike" Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity
    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

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