Preparing for RAGBRAI - The Bike Ride of a Lifetime

The week of RAGBRAI is quickly approaching. I'm sure so many questions are going through your head about how to even begin to prepare for this week-long adventure. Read about the 5 important steps to take in order to help get yourself or your family/friends ready for RAGBRAI.

Follow these 5 steps to lead yourself to the finish:

Step 1: First off, if you haven't already, make up your mind about participating in RAGBRAI before it is too late.

  • Up to 8,500 people can be registered, but even those who are not registered can participate.
  • Anyone can ride in RAGBRAI for as many of the 7 days as they want.
Step 2:  Mentally prepare yourself
  • It is approximately a 468 mile adventure- traveling about 67 miles each day to the next camping location.
  • You never know how the Iowa weather will be, so, prepare yourself for hot, humid, or rainy days.
Step 3: PRACTICE!!!
  • Get your legs and butt in shape for a more comfortable trip.
  • Here are some exercises to help get you in shape before RAGBRAI.
Step 4: Figure out how to prevent injury or lessen pain before and during your adventure
  • Check out BraceAbility for different types of braces to help minimize pain or prevent injury before and throughout the big week.
  • Many people experience knee pains during RAGBRAI, find a brace to help you succeed.
Step 5: Pack correctly and responsibly
  • You don't want to carry around extra weight- only bring things you absolutely need.
  • Check out the blog for different bike gadgets you can purchase for a successful trip.

The preparation process for RAGBRAI takes a lot of time and commitment, but the big day arrives very quickly and all the hard work you put into it will pay off in the end. Make sure to be ready for an exciting and eventful week. One tradition to never forget happens on the first day and the last. It involves dipping your front tire in the Missouri River at the start of RAGBRAI and then the Mississippi River once arriving at the eastern border. When you first sit on your bike to start your seven-day journey, just think of all the memories you will be making and fun that will be had. Once you start your 460+ mile trek, it is important to pace yourself; most people like to go 11-15 miles before they even take a break! It is not a race though, so don't feel frustrated if you feel like you are falling behind or need to take breaks sooner than others.

There is so much to look forward to while riding to each Iowa town. Food is a big part of RAGBRAI that everyone enjoys and will want to check out at every stop. Each town has their own popular foods that they are known for in their community. From homemade ice cream and hamburgers or turkey burgers to pie and sweet corn, the Iowa cooking will not disappoint you.  There is fun at every stop. The people of each Iowa town will welcome you with open arms and be proud to share their small town with you.

Remember, the people of Iowa are some of the kindest, most honest, caring, and hard-working people in the world. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. No matter where you come from for RAGBRAI you may leave a little sore from the bike ride, but you will not head home dissatisfied with how good of a time you had. This year, RAGBRAI is staying over in 7 cities during their seven-day cycling adventure across Iowa. Each city will provide a beer garden and a camping area to sleep (which is where most people choose to stay).  There will be concerts, food, t-shirt vendors, showers, and alcohol at every stop to add to the fun of RAGBRAI. This event will give you a hands-on tour of Iowa's cities and small towns. Even though the stereotype of Iowa being miles and miles of corn fields everywhere will be true, it will sure be pretty for all those participating in RAGBRAI.

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