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Alternatives to the RAGBRAI

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Alternatives to the RAGBRAI

Old 05-07-18, 04:16 PM
  #26  
RobbieTunes 
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Day Trippers can try the Wisconsin Gran Fondo Series. Not for those who do not want to climb, as it's in the hilly part of the state ("driftless" area).

I go to the Dairyland Dare in Dodgeville each year; this year will my 5th, I think. The nearby town of Mineral Point (7-mile bike path between there and Dodgeville) is a great place to stay, and there are tons of things for people to do if they are waiting while you ride.

One of the series is in Baraboo, home of the Circus World Museum, at the place where both large circus companies summered each year. The end of B&B/Ringling has brought a lot of what they had to Baraboo, for year-round circus experience. One great ride, from what I understand.

I know little about the other Fondo leg, other than that it's a tough one.

All of these have short routes to long routes, 50K to 300K, I think. I'll be doing the 200K at the Dare this year. I believe the average time for the 100K is just under six hours. Definitely not a race.
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Old 05-08-18, 04:31 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
After many years trying to find the time, I finally register to do the Ragbrai. I'll be turning 40 on the second day of the rude and it will be my big four 0 birthday present. I'll be doing it with my 15 year old son which ads to the fun.

However we still have to wait for the lottery results since more people sign up than there are spots. I'm starting to plan for contingency plans for this year or doing something else in the future. I know there are countless small week long events all over the country but what attracts me to the RAGBRAI is the sheer size of it.

Any suggestions for (big) multi-day events?


Any experiences and stories you can tell?
I've heard good stories, and personally looked into the Great Ohio Bicycling Adventure in June, easily googled. My preference is for hotel / motel accomodations, and up til last year they conveniently made such arrangements (at a premium) in conjunction with the Ride. This year they only made suggestions; otherwise it's outdoor (or indoor) camping.

Maybe you should post to the Touring Forum too.
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Old 05-08-18, 03:45 PM
  #28  
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Most of the riders on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure camp in tents. One advantage is that it does a big circle ending where you started so there is no need for sagging at either end. 5 to 7 days of riding. On two of the days the tour remains in the same town for two nights saving you some tent operations, affords a chance to sleep in two mornings and there is a usually challenging loop ride planned on each day for people who love to ride every day. It's a well organized ride. Limited to 1500 riders.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:24 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I've heard good stories, and personally looked into the Great Ohio Bicycling Adventure in June, easily googled. My preference is for hotel / motel accomodations, and up til last year they conveniently made such arrangements (at a premium) in conjunction with the Ride. This year they only made suggestions; otherwise it's outdoor (or indoor) camping.

Maybe you should post to the Touring Forum too.
I'll definitely look into it. Maybe next year!
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Old 05-09-18, 06:25 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
Most of the riders on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure camp in tents. One advantage is that it does a big circle ending where you started so there is no need for sagging at either end. 5 to 7 days of riding. On two of the days the tour remains in the same town for two nights saving you some tent operations, affords a chance to sleep in two mornings and there is a usually challenging loop ride planned on each day for people who love to ride every day. It's a well organized ride. Limited to 1500 riders.
The idea of finishing in the same place really appeals to me as my wife is not very keen on the idea of driving us.
How's the social aspect of this ride? Older riders? Mixed? Any entertainment at campsites? Vendors?
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Old 05-09-18, 07:33 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
The idea of finishing in the same place really appeals to me as my wife is not very keen on the idea of driving us.
How's the social aspect of this ride? Older riders? Mixed? Any entertainment at campsites? Vendors?
The website looked pretty explanatory; it seems to be a well established ride. I considered driving all the way from Boston, and I too liked a loop ride rather than one end to another with a bus connection..
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Old 05-09-18, 10:12 AM
  #32  
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Mixed crowd, lots of older riders and younger adult riders with families. Campsites at schools and fairgrounds in or on the edge of medium size towns means walking downtown, taking a bus, or riding your bike if you have lights. Some towns have festivals or bands playing and all towns have places to eat and drink. As it is a family oriented ride there is no alcohol on the campsite and it gets pretty quiet by 10:00 each night. But you can carouse around in town all you want; you'll just need a really good bread crumb trail back to your tent.

Each town's local vendors on the campground with food, coffee. One or two bike shops accompany the tour with repairs each night as well as on the road support. The least advertised but most important support element is a group of doctors, nurses and emt's that are on the tour and they hold a medical clinic each morning and evening. My mother saved herself the cost of the tour vs going to an urgent care for stiches.
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Old 05-09-18, 01:42 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
Mixed crowd, lots of older riders and younger adult riders with families. Campsites at schools and fairgrounds in or on the edge of medium size towns means walking downtown, taking a bus, or riding your bike if you have lights. Some towns have festivals or bands playing and all towns have places to eat and drink. As it is a family oriented ride there is no alcohol on the campsite and it gets pretty quiet by 10:00 each night. But you can carouse around in town all you want; you'll just need a really good bread crumb trail back to your tent.

Each town's local vendors on the campground with food, coffee. One or two bike shops accompany the tour with repairs each night as well as on the road support. The least advertised but most important support element is a group of doctors, nurses and emt's that are on the tour and they hold a medical clinic each morning and evening. My mother saved herself the cost of the tour vs going to an urgent care for stiches.
Thank you for the info!
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