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RAGBRAI? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Old 07-05-16, 04:54 PM
  #1  
Knet
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RAGBRAI? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

It's almost that time again, anyone going?

Other than me...... hate to be the only one out there.....
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Old 07-05-16, 05:58 PM
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I've always wanted to do this ride, but alas, I'll be working. This seems to happen on a daily basis and gets in the way of riding.
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Old 07-08-16, 08:14 PM
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Yep. I'm going.
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Old 07-12-16, 02:20 PM
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I'm going to be riding it for the first time. I'm going to ride my 1983 Trek 620.
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Old 07-23-16, 04:07 AM
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See you there!!!
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Old 07-23-16, 03:00 PM
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Watch for the Air Force Cycling Team and Larry Gallo and Scot Anthony on the road.
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Old 07-30-16, 10:02 AM
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My condolences

To all the RAGBRAI participants, past and present.

I was so sorry to hear about the fatality during this illustrious event.
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Old 08-01-16, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by turkey9186 View Post
Watch for the Air Force Cycling Team and Larry Gallo and Scot Anthony on the road.
Those guys were EVERYWHERE!!
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Old 08-01-16, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Knet View Post
Those guys were EVERYWHERE!!
Yeah, the team prides themselves on being on course until the last rider is in, and helping where ever it is needed. I think they had 136 riders and another 20-30 support people this year.

If you are on Facebook, go to the "Air Force Cycling Team" page. Lots of pictures and video from the ride, and Larry Gallo did almost daily updates from the road.

Last edited by turkey9186; 08-02-16 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:27 PM
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I got the urge to try this in 2020 now that I've retired so I do a search. And the first result that comes up I posted in 3+ years ago when I don't think I've ever thought about doing it before.

So, anybody in 2020? And is this worth it?
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Old 09-10-19, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I got the urge to try this in 2020 now that I've retired so I do a search. And the first result that comes up I posted in 3+ years ago when I don't think I've ever thought about doing it before.

So, anybody in 2020? And is this worth it?
I've done it every year since 2009 except for 2015. There are 15,000-20,000 of us total when the whole shebang reaches the middle part of the state.

It's a pretty silly event at times, but the people you run into are great, and my first RAGBRAI was transformative. Once I got back from riding 400 miles across the state for the first time, it felt silly to drive a car for everyday trips. It's what got me bike-commuting.
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Old 10-07-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
And is this worth it?
I've never done the event, but having done Cycle Oregon four times I think I can say that you need to have the temperament for such a large event. CO has about 2,200 when it sells out. By the last time I did it (2012) I realized that I was no longer interested in dealing with that many people. And keep in mind that, from what I understand, CO is far more structured than RAGBRAI. E.g., Things like showers, meals are pre-arranged. I am sure it's fun if it's your sort of thing. It's just not my sort of thing. Also, having ridden in IA in July while crossing the country, I am familiar with how hot and humid it can get. We had one of our hottest days of the trip in IA. And corn provides no shade.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I've never done the event, but having done Cycle Oregon four times I think I can say that you need to have the temperament for such a large event. CO has about 2,200 when it sells out. By the last time I did it (2012) I realized that I was no longer interested in dealing with that many people. And keep in mind that, from what I understand, CO is far more structured than RAGBRAI. E.g., Things like showers, meals are pre-arranged. I am sure it's fun if it's your sort of thing. It's just not my sort of thing. Also, having ridden in IA in July while crossing the country, I am familiar with how hot and humid it can get. We had one of our hottest days of the trip in IA. And corn provides no shade.
2200? I saw that many cyclists on my daily commute! I live in NYC and that would be a small ride. In fact today when I went across the Manhattan Bridge on my daily ride (retired, no more commuting which I actually miss), the counter was at 2142.

I'm more likely to want to do it "glamping" style, but given the size of the ride and the small towns that isn't likely. It is the camping aspect that worries me the most, I just don't do that, nor do I have any equipment.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:23 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
2200? I saw that many cyclists on my daily commute! I live in NYC and that would be a small ride.
But how many of those cyclists did you wait in line behind for a shower or a meal or a porta-pottie? How many of them did you have to sleep 4' from because the camping area one night was relatively small? It's not the umber of riders on the road that is the real issue. It's the camp logistics. One important lesson I learned is to do things like eat and shower at off hours to avoid waits. For example, get in line for breakfast 10 min. before they start serving. If you wait another 20 min. you may end up with hundreds more in front of you. Start early and try to get done early and you are more likely to get a prime camping spot and a fast shower.

CO does offer what's called tent and porter service. For extra $$ you are provided with a tent and camp chair for the event. The service has your tent set up each day and retrieves your luggage from the luggage area. It sells out incredibly fast. AKAIK, RAGBRAI offers nothing like that. One of the worst things that can happen is to end up tenting next to a really loud snorer. Tents provide zero sound insulation. When I crossed the country with a group of 12 others we discovered on the first night that we had four loud snorers. From then on they had to segregate themselves from the rest of the group.

Re: the number of riders, a guy I met who did RAGBRAI told me a funny story. His was in the thick of the crowd one day and stopped to relieve himself in a cornfield on the right. He told me it took him several minutes for a large enough gap in riders to open so he could start riding again. That taught him a valuable lesson: Use the cornfields abutting the opposite side of the road.
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Old 10-14-19, 05:51 PM
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I hope you had fun. I did it once, that was enough. It was like spending a week at the state fair, and just happening to have your bike with you. After a few days I found myself wishing I could get away from the encroaching hordes and just ride my bike.
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Old 10-14-19, 08:08 PM
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I've given this some thought and at this point I'd rather do a bike/wine tour of Tuscany. It's a lot more expensive, but it'll be more my style, plus my wife would do that. Brunello di Montalcino is my favorite wine, and there's a lot of Chianti out there too. And a side trip to Umbria for Sagrantino Montefalco... And pasta, and cappuccino, and formaggio and prosciutto and salami and pizza and and and... It's making me hungry already...

And I almost forgot Gelato and dolci and brioche con crema and and

Now I'm totally salivating.
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Old 10-18-19, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
CO does offer what's called tent and porter service. For extra $$ you are provided with a tent and camp chair for the event. The service has your tent set up each day and retrieves your luggage from the luggage area. It sells out incredibly fast. AKAIK, RAGBRAI offers nothing like that.
This is true except for the charter companies that provide setup and breakdown of tents, baggage transport, showers, in camp music, food, etc.
https://pkbelly.com/ for example.
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Old 10-18-19, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I got the urge to try this in 2020 now that I've retired so I do a search. And the first result that comes up I posted in 3+ years ago when I don't think I've ever thought about doing it before.

So, anybody in 2020? And is this worth it?
I have done it once and thoroughly enjoyed it. YES is is worth it. Everyone who rides should try it once. I have talked to a lot of riders who did it. I have yet to meet anyone who didn't say it was worth it. There are those who won't do it again, but don't regret having done it once. I am sure there are those out there who regret it, but they are certainly few.

I love bicycles. From that standpoint it was fantastic. All manner of pedal craft flowed through the streets. The riding is great as well. You can go as fast or leisurely as you wish. I enjoyed the social aspect of it more than anything else. I loved chatting with the locals in the pass through and stopover towns. I made up a point to strike up conversations during the ride too. I met some truly interesting people. I have a soft spot for festival food, so to that end it delivered. The spectacle of it all was something to behold as well.

I went with a charter in Bubba's Pampered Pedalers. That was unquestionably the right thing for me. Having someone handle the logistics allowed me to focus on the ride and the people.
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Old 10-18-19, 06:38 PM
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Indy, if you want amenities, the charter companies offer a wide range of services. Bubba's (which has announced it won't be at RAGBRAI next year in favor of doing Iowa's Ride,) offers put-up and take-down service like you describe. Other charters may offer baggage, chairs, drinks, etc. Generally the ones with more services will cost more. RAGBRAI organizes the routes and stopping places, and that's about it. There are RAGBRAI baggage trucks, but I've never talked to someone who said they resorted to using them.

I agree that it's not for me either. The year I did it, I described riding the crowded roads as being like "a fly in amber." Getting to camp was no help, as the crowds pressed in opressively, even in the slightly-roomier charter camps.

Zacster, the difference between your commute and RAGBRAI is that nobody deliberately goes to New York to ride their bike. Natives just don't realize what a wasteland it is because it's what they're used to.
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Old 10-18-19, 09:24 PM
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Zacster, the difference between your commute and RAGBRAI is that nobody deliberately goes to New York to ride their bike.
Not true. The Five Boro Bike Tour attracts a lot of out-of-town riders from all over. I don't think it's worth it myself. And I wasn't comparing my commute to Ragbrai anyway, I was comparing it to the 2200 quoted in the prior post, and was being facetious at that.

Anyway, what defines the amenities? Will it be rooms in a B&B or just a bigger space in a tent? I'm just not looking to sleep in a tent for a week, even a comfy tent. It was that particular thing that is making me not want to do this. The food, the party, the riding, even the crowd, was all going to be part of the experience. Even the farmland and small towns, which is so unlike my daily living here in the big city. But sleeping in tents with how many other people nearby? Nah, no thanks.
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Old 10-20-19, 06:27 PM
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Yeah, it's all tents, unless you can find a 'host' family in every town. I'd be a poor candidate for that. I was really grouchy by the end of each day. Which is why I'm not going back. Cycling is supposed to be fun. People who like RAGBRAI don't talk about the ride, they talk about the crowds. I function best in small groups. Standing in line for an hour for dinner isn't my idea of fun.
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Old 10-22-19, 07:42 AM
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What's up with RAGBRAI? I saw this a few days ago:

https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/RA...563155231.html

but don't see any discussion here along these lines. I ask mostly because one of my riding buddies invited me along for next year.
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Old 10-22-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
What's up with RAGBRAI? I saw this a few days ago:

https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/RA...563155231.html

but don't see any discussion here along these lines. I ask mostly because one of my riding buddies invited me along for next year.
The former organizers of Ragbrai were offended by a news article that the Register published and decided that the solution was to seek to damage Ragbrai by running a competing event the same week.

I'm not defending the article that made them mad but I know I wouldn't give one plugged nickel to the former organizers of Ragbrai or their ride. They are seeking to damage a fine state institution that has been in existence since 1973 because they disagreed with a newspaper article published by the Register.

Last edited by bikemig; 10-22-19 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 10-23-19, 05:47 AM
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Thanks. Just the same, will their departure have a serious negative effect on RAGBRAI? That's more my concern. Despite the rightness or wrongness of the opposing perspectives, it seems like the event might suffer with the loss off several key people.
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Old 10-23-19, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Thanks. Just the same, will their departure have a serious negative effect on RAGBRAI? That's more my concern. Despite the rightness or wrongness of the opposing perspectives, it seems like the event might suffer with the loss off several key people.
I think it will; others here disagree. I think it will because part of what made RAGBRAI RAGBRAI was its size. Maybe competition will help. We will find out.

By the way, I wasn't expressing an expression on who had it right. I do think that the organizers were disloyal to an organization that is an institution in the state. It bugs me that they did this because they disagreed with a news article published by the Register. The paper may well have been wrong in what it did but offending people and sometimes making mistakes is the job of the press.

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