Preparing for the Ride

RAGBRAI is not a race – all ability levels and speeds are welcomed and encouraged to participate. All riders should train for this event and have a quality bicycle in good working condition.

The route for RAGBRAI changes each year and can be challenging no matter what the path. It can be hilly in the south part of the state, and the flatter northern section of Iowa can allow for head winds to be challenging.  It is recommended that riders train as much as possible – both short training rides during the week and longer rides on the weekends.

While Team Simpson travels with support vehicles, reaching a cyclist on the route is nearly impossible because of the 10,000 cyclist on the road. If you encounter a problem on the route, your official RAGBRAI rider wrist band entitles you to use the official SAG support vehicle.  Repair services will be available in pass through towns. Riders should make sure their bicycles are in good working condition , their bodies are capable of traveling the required distances, and their gear is ready for inclement weather (RAGBRAI goes on regardless of rainy weather). Having the right tools, supplies and the knowledge to repair a flat tire on your own is recommended.

Below is a suggested packing list of items you may want to include:

Highly Recommended

  • credit card
  • identification
  • medical insurance card
  • money ($25-$40 per day)

For Your Bike

  • 2 large water bottles
  • bike lock and cable
  • first-aid kit
  • frame-mounted bicycle pump/air canister set
  • handlebar or seat bag
  • plastic bag or shower cap (to cover your bike seat for overnights)
  • rear view mirror
  • spare tubes, tire tools, patch kit
  • toilet paper

Cycling Clothing

  • bandannas/buff/ hat
  • cycling gloves
  • cycling shirts
  • cycling shorts
  • helmet
  • rain gear / jacket
  • riding shoes
  • sunglasses

Evening Clothing

  • off-bike shirts
  • off-bike shoes or sandals
  • socks
  • underwear
  • walking shorts

Other Gear

  • air mattress or sleeping pad
  • camera and batteries
  • clothespins
  • collapsible camping chair
  • duffel bag, distinctively labeled or painted
  • flashlight with fresh batteries
  • foam ear plugs for sleeping
  • insect, gnat, and tick repellent
  • Kleenex packs
  • lightweight sleeping bag and sheet
  • medication / Advil
  • pillow
  • sunscreen & lip balm
  • swimwear
  • tent and ground cloth
  • toiletries/soap
  • towels and wash cloth
  • zip-lock bags to keep clothes dry