I first reconnected with the Pieper cousins in June in California, and when I shared that I was a cyclist and going to the Tour de France, they told me about the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). I was intrigued. Then on my Trek Tour, Sandy from Ohio told me more about it and several other people in our group had done it too. They all recommended I give it a go.
I went to Iowa with the resolution of learning as much as I could about RAGBRAI so I could ride it July 2015. If you are not familiar with RAGBRAI (rag- bri), it is the oldest multi-day ride in America. About 10,000 riders cycle from the Missouri River on one side of Iowa, clear across the state to the Mississippi River in 7 days. Everyone describes it as a moving party.
The route changes every year and it is announced on January 24. The registration is only $160 for the week, and competitive to get a slot. I will increase my chances of getting in if I ride with a team.
When I was in Decorah, Darrel and Betty shared their stories from 13 years of riding RAGBRAI. They have learned over the years to take a motor home. They ride with the Decorah Trolls. They encouraged me to form a team and rent a motor home and ride. I want my kids to come with me and I have a couple of friends who might be interested so that is a possibility.
Then I met my cousin John and he invited me to join Team Larry. They rent a trailer for their gear and bikes and stay at people’s houses and in tents along the way. This is very appealing to get the full experience. (Although my kids are probably snickering at the idea of me sleeping in a tent.) An air mattress will be a must.
Apparently there are also trucks that you can rent for showers and others with bunks. It sounds like the entrepreneurial spirit is inspired during RAGBRAI.
I am already training for my 4 day December ride in New Zealand. I will just keep pedaling so I can ride across Iowa in July.
Have any of you gone on RAGBRAI? Any advice?