WHY DO PEOPLE DO IT? For a variety of reasons--love to ride, love the friendly Iowans,
love the teams
( Bar Dogs , Team Splat!, Team Angry, and many others).
Personally, I love all that and the atmosphere--meeting and having fun with thousands of people and getting a little crazy! Check out the
WHAT'S IT LIKE? Well, if I could suggest the way to ride RAGBRAI, it would be this:
- Wake up when the sun makes it too hot to sleep in your tent (around 7am).
- Stop for breakfast in Campsite Town, and/or at Bagel Man along the route.
- Ride to first town as a warm-up to the day and to recover from yesterday's fun.
- Relax in first town for a while, talking to others about last night's fun and meeting new people. Each town along the way can and should be an adventure.
- Ride and stop at another couple of towns along the way. Most towns set up booths and attractions, as well as
open the bars early. Stop for a nice lunch and begin/continue drinking, if you choose.
- By 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you will probably be at the last town before the campsite town. This is normally the "party" town. So, hang out and enjoy the fun--DJs, music, beer tents, food vendors, beer slides, wet T-shirt contests, sand volleyball, etc. Not all are always present, but it's always a good time.
- I normally get into the campsite town before dark, but it is by no means required. Stay in second-to-last town, until things start to die down.
In the Campsite town, shower, set up tent, walk-through downtown to see what's going on.
- Go to bed when eyes just won't stay open anymore. Sleeping comes easy after riding all day.
- Wake up and do it all again for another six days!
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO RIDE? No biggie--many people drive the team bus or 'sag' on their support vehicle for a day (or more). There is no shame in not riding EVERY mile (although, of course, I do very little sagging).
DO I HAVE TO TRAIN? Only if you don't want the bike riding portion of the trip to wear you out before the party portion of the trip. It really doesn't take much since you're able to stop in a town every 8-15 miles. Try to ride 2-3 times a week, for 6-8 weeks prior. Go between 10-30 miles, and that's sufficient. The more you do, the easier it will be.