I’m a Wuss, No Really, I am

17 04 2008

Date: April 16

Mileage: 6.2

April Mileage: 60

Year to Date Mileage: 158

Temp/Weather: 70F, partly cloudy, winds from the North at 20 MPH

Days Until RAGBRAI Lottery: 15

Days Until RAGBRAI: 94

In my Mug: Raspberry hot chocolate (slurp!)



Ok, yesterday I commuted. I am sorta trying to start upping my daily mileage. I know that I need to get some seriously long rides in before RAGBRAI, but right now I am winded after 4 miles. (Note to self, don’t donate anymore blood until AFTER RAGBRAI.) So right now, biking 6 miles a day seems like a good idea this week. Next week I will try to ride 8 miles each day. When I get up to 15 miles each day, I think then I will start going for longer rides on the weekend. I have never trained for anything before, so this is all pretty new to me. I just want to know that I will be able to bike 70 miles in a day, and be able to finish RAGBRAI. I would cry if I got to the point mid-week where I just couldn’t go any farther. What a major disappointment that would be!


I have been looking over the RAGBRAI forums, mostly lurking to see what other people recommend for camping gear, training, etc. I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of crap that I am going to need to buy and techniques to learn before I feel comfortable doing this ride, such as how to change a flat tire. I don’t have a tent, sleeping bag, no camping gear yet. The worst part is that I plan on carrying all my junk with me. So I picked up a rack for the back half of my bike yesterday. Next payday, I am getting myself a new saddle and some panniers (see wish list for more info).


I chose not to ride today, I pretty much wussed out. It is pouring buckets outside, it is windy and cold, and I didn’t want to have to re-warm myself for the first half of my workday. Call me a weeny. I know it is most likely going to rain at some point during RAGBRAI, but a rainstorm mid-July on a 90F+ day is different that a blowing rain storm mid-April when it is 50F outside.


Has anyone else done the first RAGBRAI solo? How do I not freak out about riding with so many strangers, and not have anyone else to ride with me? I think that part the scares me the most is that I won’t have anyone else with me. I won’t have anyone else to talk to, relate to, cry on when my butt hurts, or laugh at with.




2 responses

17 04 2008

Ahhh, RAGBRAI. Couple of things here …

By carrying all your own stuff, do you mean “with you on the bike the whole way”? And, if so, why? RAGBRAI has a semi truck that does nothing but haul people’s gear from town to town. Dump your bag in the morning, pick it up when you roll in. But if you’re committed to hauling your stuff on your bike, good for you. But don’t think that’s the only way to go.

As for the tire fixing … after a group ride, ask somebody in the group to show you how to do it. Or, if you don’t think anybody will want to help you, visit the bike shop of your choice during a non-busy time (ie, not Saturday afternoon) and ask them to show you how. It’s technically easy, but repetition is the key to proficiency.

And you won’t really be alone on RAGBRAI. There will be at least 12,000 people on the road. If something happens to you or your bike, several hundred people are always within a few seconds of you. You’ll be OK. And by the end of the first 30 miles, you’ll already have had several conversations. No worries.

18 04 2008
Mark Epperson

Don’t sweat it, your doing fine! This will be my third RAGBRAI and I have less than 60 miles in for the year. I’ll ramp up in a couple of weeks when the weather gets nicer.

Make sure to hit bikeiowa.com for all the great rides coming up… BRAMCO, BRISC, Best Dam, Beachen, and all the rest. Great rides with good support and a good opportunity to meet people who will also be riding RAGBRAI.

My first year I rode by myself, but with night support from Shuttleguy. Tym Alison provides all equipment, sets it up and breaks it down each night and will even offer you a ride to the 1/2 point in the morning if you party too hard.

And unlike other week-long tours, you will never be truly alone on RAGBRAI… as a matter of fact, after the third day you’ll be looking forward to seeing people who are NOT dressed in spandex!

Be Well!


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