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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I just got back from a full week at RAGBRAI. And I would have to say that the hardest part about RAGBRAI is trying to describe it to someone who has yet to experience it.

Before I get started, the basic question I always get is why Iowa? And the answers is, because that's where the ride is.
<a href="https://brianbutko.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/ia_bike08.gif" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://brianbutko.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/ia_bike08.gif" width="400" height="294" alt="2008_map" /></a>
One of the things that I have learned about Iowa is that if anyone tells you its flat they are lying through their teeth. Yeah there will not be any major climbs but there will be a lot of rolling ones, and anyone who has seen that nature show about the group of ants taking on a huge beetle will know what I am talking about.

RAGBRAI is big
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430388/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430388_88ad8ab3d1.jpg" width="500" height="302" alt="100_4106" /></a>

no its huge
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really huge
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and there are tons of riders
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430348/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430348_106f4810c9.jpg" width="500" height="297" alt="100_4027" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430386/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430386_d97e564c29.jpg" width="500" height="341" alt="100_4105" /></a>

And these rides come from all over.
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Lots of good food (I meant to take a photo before I bit in to it but it was just too good)
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Early morning drinking is kinda the norm
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and so is hanging out in a bar in your Lycra.
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But hey, when was the last time you saw old used look cleats thrown away in a used Bloody Mary cup?
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There is old fashion ice cream.
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430371/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430371_2b572425b3.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="100_4076" /></a>

and root beer
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Also there is a motorized toilet race
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430368/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430368_93e2fa0c0a.jpg" width="500" height="358" alt="100_4073" /></a>

And during the whole ride the police are not out to get you
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They are out to keep the 20,000 bikes safe
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430344/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430344_6fd74ed1d8.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4006" /></a>

And if your bike breaks down on the route, they got mechanics every 5 miles.
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430424/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430424_c2ca83827c.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4116" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430423/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430423_740d3c9775.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4115" /></a>

And to help fight the heat, they got slip-n-slides

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430443/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430443_1192bdf9f6.jpg" width="500" height="419" alt="100_4168" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430439/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430439_3a3ad8c816.jpg" width="500" height="270" alt="100_4164" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430438/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430438_5e780a7189.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4163" /></a>

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But most of RAGBRAI has to offer is a lot biking across a really nice state.
<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430436/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430436_85c0b73dde.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4154" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430313/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430313_b16e72dc3c.jpg" width="500" height="272" alt="100_4003" /></a>

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<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430308/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430308_d7178cb26d.jpg" width="500" height="371" alt="100_3994" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430356/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430356_cf4e35a686.jpg" width="391" height="500" alt="100_4047" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430353/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430353_f181ca29af.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="100_4039" /></a>

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<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430364/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430364_e4e890d116.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4062" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430366/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430366_a92241d50e.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4063" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430360/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430360_f6d897a8ba.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="100_4060" /></a>

<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430367/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430367_3b864517a3.jpg" width="500" height="356" alt="100_4064" /></a>

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<a href="https://www.zooomr.com/photos/kona/5430429/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.zooomr.com/images/5430429_c7c90615f9.jpg" width="500" height="246" alt="100_4125" /></a>

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And once you reach the end of Iowa, tradition states that you must dip your front tire in the Mississippi river.
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Excellent! I only did the first 5 days this year as I really just wanted to ride into Ames and go to the Nadas show, but it was a lot of fun. Pulling my BOB on the Harlan to Jefferson day was good times too. Of the 4 I've ridden, this was by far the best. Viva Iowa!
 

· Rollin' Stones
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I rode too. It was a blast, again. I met another RBR'er while talking about his Independant frame, turned out he frequents the site, wild man, wild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't even want to think of pull a BOB on Harlan to Jefferson day. The group that I went with use one of the charters so we did not have to pull any gear from camp to camp.

With the sheer number of riders that do RAGBRAI its crazy how small the world seem when you talk to some random rider on the route.
 

· Non non normal
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That looks like a rolling party. How many people do that ride? It seems that whole ride has taken on a life of its own and now is this big festival/celebration where you ride a bike.
 

· Bacon!
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Totally awesome! 20,000 riders? Now that's a party on wheels.
 

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longshot here but did anyone get a pic of the giant orange highway sign put up by the county warning of the risks of bicycling on roads not designed for bike traffic? it was obviously an attempt to avoid being sued like crawford county, but it was an entertaining sign in its size and language IIRC.
 

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Excellent!! As a vet of 16 Ragbrais I say your photos nearly captures it all except for short cuts, bagging and the infamous back of the pack (although you must have been screwing around if you saw Team Spin. As for pulling a BOB try pulling a Burley trailer up the Loess Hills on tandem. Did that in 2006 on the way out to Sgt Bluff with two sons and my wife on the other tandem bagged out.
 

· Le Misérable
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Ridgetop said:
Totally awesome! 20,000 riders? Now that's a party on wheels.
According to their website, they limit entrance to 8000 full-week riders and 1500 day-licenses, but it seems like a lot of people ride sections of the course without registering. They do a lottery to decide who gets in, and they rejected 800 or so last year...completely random, which is a bit hard on those of us coming from overseas, but I dig that they work to keep it manageable.

Next year I'm there.
 
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