Prepping to Bike Across Iowa


2016-09-08 – Next year, the last week of July, I’m hoping to bike across Iowa in an event called RAGBRAI (The [Des Moines] Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). It will be the 45th time this event is held. It will my first.

I say I’m hoping to do it because there are two contingencies. I will have to be selected in a random drawing to participate (they are annually oversubscribed). More importantly, I will have to be ready. The exact route varies every year, but it goes from the Missouri River in the west to the Mississippi River in the east, an average of 469 miles.

I’ve been riding a fair amount this summer, but I didn’t decide to try this until last week. I didn’t even think about it until last week when my wife’s nephew, who lives in Iowa, asked my wife if I would be interested in doing it. I said I would.

But I have a long way to go. I did 98 miles last week and my longest single ride was 34 miles. The longest one-day ride in RAGBRAI tends to be well over twice that. The average daily ride is 67 miles. And it is seven days in a row. My current riding regimen has two rest days a week and the weekday rides are intentionally short. I also ride in Chicago. Chicago doesn’t have many hills. Iowa does.

Still, 98 miles isn’t bad with almost 11 months to go.

2 responses to “Prepping to Bike Across Iowa

  1. You can ride even if you are not chosen in the drawing and you don’t have to ride everyday all day. They have a “sag” bus (I think it is called that.) I would try to find someone for you to talk to about the difference between an officially chosen rider and just a rider if you want.

  2. I’ve heard about that. I’m wondering if you can ride in the sag bus if you didn’t pay (because you weren’t selected). There is a lot I have to learn, which I expect to do before they start taking applications on Nov. 15. That will be the easy part. The hard part will be getting my body in shape, which is why I have already started that. Thanks. I should have also said that I am enjoying my “training” rides.

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