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I'm comfortable on it, and all, but I'm not exactly Lance Armstrong, and will I just be so far behind everyone it won't be fun? How much speed difference in MPH would a $1200 road bike make for a fat middle-aged man in decent cardio condition?
 

· Shirtcocker
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RagbraiNewB said:
I'm comfortable on it, and all, but I'm not exactly Lance Armstrong, and will I just be so far behind everyone it won't be fun? How much speed difference in MPH would a $1200 road bike make for a fat middle-aged man in decent cardio condition?
I did RAGBRAI on a beat up Panasonic rigid steel MTB with slicks. No problem as long as you aren't planning on going really fast. Lay off the pork chops and pie and save the beer for when you get into the host town and you'll be fine.
 

· Shirtcocker
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RagbraiNewB said:
speed is of no concern. What about Light beer?
that'll be OK. do a beer slide for me. :D
 

· Squirrel Hunter
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Nurse Ratchet

RagbraiNewB said:
I'm comfortable on it...
Comfort is really all that matters. The insanity of RAGBRAI has nothing to do with the bike you are riding. Spending more money on a bike is not going to make you significantly faster. There are one of every kind of bike on RAGBRAI and they all manage to make it from border to border. As far as being fat and middle aged, when you are all standing naked in the livestock showers you will hardly be able to believe all those folks rode 75 miles that day.

If you are concerned about the ride then simply ride smart. By that I mean, leave a bit on the earlier side in the morning. Pace yourself going along at a pace you can maintain for the day, not too fast, not too slow. Drink and eat smart while on the road, there will be plenty of temptations along side the road but all those same decadent treats will be available when you arrive in the overnight town each day. Keep your stops along the route on the shorter side.

After a couple of days in Iowa you will have a pretty good idea if the daily rides for the rest of the week will be a challenge or if you worried too much about nothing. Should you find the daily rides are easy then you can drink and eat your way across the rest of the state. If the first couple of days have pushed your limits just ride smart, eat smart, stay hydrated and recover each afternoon/evening.
 

· Shirtcocker
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I remember seeing a 400+ pound farmer riding a cruiser bike while wearing overalls and work boots. :confused:
 

· banned from the museum
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RAGBRAI, I wasn't trying to punk on you, just point out that what bike you have isn't a big deal. A pro cyclist could do that ride on a Huffy, and my 400 pound neighbor couldn't do it on a Colnago. You have good enough equipment that what you are riding isn't the determining factor.

Like was stated above, try to ride 40 miles every day, and ride 60-80 on weekends, with one day off per week. If you can do that, you will be fine on the bike you have.
 

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My first RAGBRAI back in 1983 I used an old 10 spd my grandpa got at a police auction, even though the rear der cable broke on the century day and a few spokes broke it made it and so did I. RAGBRAI is all about the experience and enjoy the ride. It could take you 12 hours to get from town to town or 2 hours, having fun is the main thing.
 

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new bikes are a lot of fun, this is hard to contest, and new fast road bikes are a whole lot of fun... that being said, however, the difference in speed might not be as huge as you think. i regularly pass other roadies on bikes costing many times over what mine does, and also regularly get passed by guys on mountain bikes and hybrids. at a certain point you might feel like your bike is slowing you down, or not allowing you to go as fast as you want, but until you're sure i wouldn't go and plunk down the cash on a new bike if the hybrid is fun to ride and treating you well.
 

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If the $$ is an issue at all, stick with the hybrid. A 20 lb roadbike will be faster than your current steed however, the big difference will be the percieved effort put into moving the bike down the road. On a section where you feel like you are working on your hybrid, you will just feel like you are cruising if riding a 20 lb sport bike. And that adds up at the end of the day. But only get a new bike if you have the biking bug.
At the very least, I would get some clipless pedals(spd type) and bar ends. The pedals will increase efficiency and the bar ends will give you multiple hand positions for comfort.
I'm not sure about the exact western Iowa hills for this year, but the hills just south on 80,6 and 92 are relentless. So get used to riding hills. Post about your ragbrai experience when done.

twinkles
 

· Rollin' Stones
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You will be fine on the bike. Make sure to train for some hills. The first 2 days are going to be rough. The second day is being promoted as the toughest Ragbrai day in history. Now, Iowa isn't Colorado for mountains and such. but, the Loess hills in western Iowa with the heat and humidity in late July could be a real factor in the fun you'll have.
 
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