I know RAGBRI is a long ways away but you can't start getting ready too early. My family and I have decided that we are going to bike it this year b/c we have been talking about so long, finally we live near Iowa again and are able to do it. First however, we must buy bicycles and other gear. So:
- What type of bicycle is best (mountain, crossbreed, street)?
- Best brands and models at a good price?
- What other gear would people recommend?
- Other than actual biking, what type of exercise is recommended to make it during the entire week?
Any other info to pass on to a rookie at this is appreciated, thanks.
Not to be a stickler... but it's Register's Annual Great Bike Ride ACROSS Iowa (RAGBRAI) :-)
First off, it is RAGBRAI and not RAGBRI
Originally Posted by Tank
I would not get a mountain bike...you can but they are relatively heavier and it'd be good to get road tires for it. That's what I did atleast.
You want to get something that isn't too cheap like a Huffy, or not too expensive like a Cannondale but something in between. I'm sure Trek and Schwinn make a good middle of price bike.
Bring a thing of baby powder, quite a few rolls of toilet paper, and lots of sun-screen
3-things are certain...your *** is going to get sore and rashey from ******** in the cornfields and then riding on a bike the rest of the day...you are going to need toilet paper because you are going to take ***** in the corn fields because porta potties are full...and it's going to be hot as **** out there and you'll have nothing to block the sun.
Bring a long sleeve shirt or something to wear in the morning because when you leave at 6 am or when you decide to leave it will be chilly!
Take a camera because there are so many things you are going to see (some you want to, and some you don't want to)...lots of boobs, beer, and craziness
Take your time on the ride...stop at a lot of little stops on the way and take naps, talk with people, and have a great time! You'll be amazed at how many different people you will meet that week and where they are from! They come from everywhere!
Make sure to attend the festivities that every town has...we usually left at 6am and still arrive to the overnight town til later in the night because we stopped and enjoyed the festivities at all the towns which were generally free! When I went, we travelled through Le Mars and got all the free ice cream you wanted.
Make sure to stop at 3 places for sure to eat:
1) THE PORK CHOP guy...they are amazing
2) The pancake guy, he has a pancake grill that cooks like 100 some pancakes at once and he just starts flipping them over his shoulder and you have to catch them on your plate
3) homemade ice cream, I believe they tow a few trailers around and is a good afternoon snack!
--All 3 of these follow the route and will be there everyday, unless the porkchop guy rolls his truck like he did our year
Depending on who you go with...take lots of beads
-Get gloves as your hands on your handlebars will get rubbed down pretty good
-extra tubes for tires, flats can happen and will happen
-Bicycle shorts with lots of cushioning...you'll need it!
Another thing we did was take a passport book and at everytown we stopped at we got a stamp at their post office and that was kind of fun to collect all towns stamp
Training wise...all we really did, was go on 10-20 mile bike rides on the weekends and shorter ones during the weekdays. There isn't really a need to take 30-40 mile bike rides because you'll stop TONS along the way and take naps, get fruits, get drinks, and what not. I think when we went we tried to average between 10-12 mph as this was not too fast, but not too slow pace.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me!
Get a good or great road bike. Now is a good time to buy. You want Shimano Ultegra for gears at the minimum. Maybe Shimano 105's at the very least. They hold up to the abuse the best. Cheaper in the long run. I like LeMond bikes, but Trek and Specialized make some nice ones too. Also Giant does well too. Now is the time to buy, there should be some great deals to be found on year old or two year old inventory.
Originally Posted by Tank
Get biking shorts! They are a must, and really save your butt. Seriously. Also get biking gloves, pretty good ones. You will be surprised how much of a difference they make.
Get registered. Pay the money and get the wristbands. It is worth it, especially with a family. They will transport your bags for you, if you don't have a driver. Also, you can ride the lag-wagon if you need to, and heaven forbid, some medical care cost stuff is covered.
For more info, click here:http://www.ragbrai.org/ragbrai-basics.html
I will think about other things that may help. I have done the ride 3 times already, and there is a chance I may do it again this summer if things work out.
If weather cooperates, you will have an amazing week to remember.
Last edited by joefrog; 01-03-2009 at 03:04 AM.
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A road bike would definitely be the fastest and would require less effort than mountain or hybrid. However, people have all sorts of bikes on Ragbrai. It depends on what bikes you are used to riding. Some people feel more comfortable on the hybrids...I would stay away from mountain bikes for Ragbrai. Most often you are on paved roads, only occasionally the route will have to use a little bit of gravel. Some years there is no gravel at all. I got a road bike for my wife and she likes to go on easy scenic bike rides...it took a little time before she was comfortable on the road bike and would probably still prefer a hybrid, but she is now ok on a road bike. For the money I'd go with Giant if you are looking at buying brand new. Trek and Giant are basically the same in my book, but you pay a little more for the Trek name. Definitely try and look for last years models or go with a barely used bike. My brother got one of the Giant entry level carbon fiber bikes for $1500 (originally $3000), because it was the previous year's model...straight from the store. Not saying this is what you need to get, just an example. If you go looking at this time of the year you will find some good deals.
The road bikes I have are nothing special, but I got them cheap because I got them used. I got a Trek 420 for $100 and then later a Trek 1000 for $400. Both have been good bikes. In a year or so I will probably look into a carbon fiber bike. Other brands that are good road bikes are cannondale, specialized, and Cervello (paying more for the name here as well).
Other items needed...camping gear, water bottles or water back pack, several pairs of good padded cycling shorts (don't cheap out on these), extra tubes for tires, tire changing equipment, tire pump, and butt butter (helps to prevent chaffing). There are always people that appear to be wearing regular athletic clothes (mesh shorts and tshirt)...but I would recommend actually getting the cycling shorts.
Make sure your family goes on some long rides plenty of times before Ragbrai and make sure if you are bringing kids along that they know what they are getting into. Kids can do it just fine if they want to, but I've seen some that weren't ready and quit before the week was over.
Ragbrai is a blast and it's not that difficult to do. If you prepare yourself to ride 10-20 miles stop at a town to take a break/sight see/ eat/ get a drink, and then repeat over and over again, you will be fine. There are also vendors along the road in between each town that provide a nice resting point as well.
Yeah Beakman's Homemade icecream is a must stop. There is also Tender Tom's Turkey, Pastafarri, and Farm Boys Breakfast Burritos!
Originally Posted by scottie33
I have wanted to try RAGBRAI for a while now, but I just know I wouldn't be able to convince any friends/family to do it with me...
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shammey (spelling?) butter is a must!!!
I have also heard a rumor that with the budget cuts from the register that they were dropping their affiliation with Ragbrai...again just a rumor I heard from someone...I haven't seen anything online that would make me believe it were true...just curious if anyone else had heard anything.
We should get a Cyclone Fanatic riding group together!
Would it then be Agbrai?
Originally Posted by Cyano
Don't confuse hope for a plan.
I've got my ISU cycling jersey...so I'm ready...it would be cool if we had our own Cyclone Fanatic jersey though.
Originally Posted by ianoconnor
I would make sure to ride at a minimum of 500 miles between now and RAGBRAI. Your butt will thank you for it. Start off with short trips of 5 or so miles and then mix in some longer trips of 50 miles or so toward the end. If you can ride a ride with a group it will train you for how to ride in a straight line and proper procedures for passing and following when you ride with 10,000+ other cyclists on the road. Train on all types of terrain especially hills. The ride is potentially slated for southern iowa this year (route out at end of January) which has its share of them. Get a helmet, sunscreen, sunglasses, space for two water bottles if possible, a small pack on bike for extra tube and tire wrenches, chamois shorts or other padded shorts.
Work out your camping arrangements. There are 8 overnight towns enenly spaced along the route which have ample camping, showers, food, entertainment and the best people. Many people form teams and arrange for host families to shelter them in their homes in these towns.
RAGBRAI during the week does cost some for food, drink, showers (some places), repairs, etc, but a typical day barring a partier or a big souvinier buyer, or a major breakdown of the bike should cost you no more than $20-30 a day.
I have been out of RAGBRAI for many years but not much has changed since I last rode in 2002. I found this on the internet when I rode my first ride and it gave me all the info I needed to make me an expert before i peddled my first mile. My feeling is that it is a week where you can do whatever you want with no worries of work, life etc, with 10,000 of your best friends.
Here is the link, Virgin's Guide to RAGBRAI.
RAGBRAI - Guide for Virgins (Version 2
Originally Posted by Cyano
I'm getting hungry already. Don't forget all the churches and the various different pies and pasta. Cris Cakes, and the homemade smoothies are to die for. Also look for the broken down looking brown truck with the best homemade root beer. He was a welcome sight as it meant the end of the day was close.
nothing is more fun than sweating your butt off riding all day, showering in cattle barn with water dripping from a pvc pipe, sleeping in a tent on a slope with a giant lump in the middle of your back, and then waking up and doing it again 6 more times!!