Registrar’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. RAGBRAI. This year it is July 20th – 26th and starts outside of Sioux City. The route is detailed here.

I have decided to participate in at least part of it this year. I have some friends who are planning on going and I decided, “Why not?”. It’s a good challenge for me and a good goal to shoot for. The first three days combined equal 188 miles if I don’t add the extra 25 or so miles to make a century ride on the 3rd day.

Right now those numbers sound daunting. Really daunting. However, I know that if I keep at it over the next few months it won’t be bad. It will be challenging and I’m expecting to have to grit my teeth and really dig in for parts of it, but I will make it.

I have been enjoying the riding so far this year. We’ve had a few good days for riding and quite a few more that weren’t the most ideal. The last few have fallen into that category. I was whining last week because I really wanted to go on a ride, but it was “too windy”. Now there is a limit on windy days for sure, but I’m talking like 10 mph. I should know by now that 10mph wind is a normal day. A buddy goes, it’s not bad out, maybe not a Top 10 day, but not bad. I asked what a “Top 10” day was. He explained there are only about 10 days each year that are perfect for riding. Warm sun, no wind, 70ish degrees.

I thought on that for a few days. Then I realized if I keep waiting for the “perfect day” to ride then I would miss what spring we have and probably most of the riding season. So Monday, it was 40ish degrees, a wee bit windy (15mph), and definitely NOT a Top 10 day.  I grabbed Ryan and a friend and we went out for a short ride. It was only 11.3 miles, but it was good to get out. Especially if I am aiming to ride 2-3 times a week to get the seat time started for the year.

Wool socks make cold days a smidge better.
Wool socks make cold days a smidge better.

I’ve read, and heard, from many, that a lot of times it isn’t the miles you put in that is the most important, but really just getting your bum used to riding often. Right now that’s my focus. Get out there. Deal with the crummy weather winter/spring/whatever season this is throws at me. Try not to complain too much about it ; – )

I’m sure I’ll be posting about this off an on throughout the coming months, so any advice, links, etc. you think would be useful, put it in the comments or email me. I appreciate it.

Until next time…




2 thoughts on “RAGBRAI 2014

  1. It will be the perfect first RAGBRAI year. The route is short and flat. Good luck with your training. Remember that each of those non perfect days gets you prepared for each and every non perfect day on RAGBRAI. There’s nothing particularly nice about riding in 108F, when the handlebar temps from the heat of the pavement are 132F. When it comes to RAGBRAI, you have to ride the day that you GET, not the day that you want.

    • Very true. I am a weenie when it comes to subpar weather. Hoping this will pass with getting out there more.

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