So you wanna know about RAGBRAI? I will try; to the best of my ability to tell the whole truth and nothin but the truth... RAGBRAI is the single greatest thing you can do with your life!
Imagine this; you wake up and all you have to do is ride your bike till you find a pork chop! RAGBRAI is the equivelent using your bike to eat your way across Iowa. Sounds perfect right? Now add in 23,000 other people doing the same thing and it gets better. Most people don't realize that the people in the Iowa are the warmest most giving you will find anywhere and RAGBRAI introduces you to all of them.
Many people don't realize there are many different kinds of RAGBRAI to do, each one is a totally different experience.
And you can mix and match. No matter what you are looking for, RAGBRAI is; if nothing else, an excellent safety net to create your own cross Iowa adventure. You can register with RAGBRAI and they will make sure you have a ride on the sag wagon if the heat gets to be to much and registration even covers health insurance for the week.
Whether or not you are sleeping in tent city, getting pick-up rides from townies or rolling off route after dark; Iowa during RAGBRAI is a safe environment to make mistakes and push your limits. The first night we camped right in the middle off town square and a few nights later we stopped before the last town on the route to camp in a state park. Both times RAGBRAI was there to catch us up and make sure there was food and water to keep us going when we returned to the flock.
After 9 RAGBRAI's the food doesn't offer to much surprise anymore. Great pork chops are all over Iowa. The legends like Mr Porkchop (the pink bus) and Beekmans Ice Cream are a must have. And sometimes you might get a seat in a bar or restaurant that actually has a vegetable to offer. One way to really feel the RAGBRAI vibe is to get in town early enough to get a "church dinner", these are usually Spaghetti and meatballs and raise enough money for the church to get a new roof.
Whatever you hear just keep in mind that RAGBRAI is an idea, Iowa is a canvas and you are the artist; it sounds cheesey but I have done RAGBRAI many different ways and have had fun each time. It is the only time I get to see all my RAGBRAI friends together and it is the only time I truly relax.
RAGBRAI is always the last full week of July so it is easy to plan for. Its a great oppertunity to see what life is like on the bike for a whole week. Even the most seasoned rider will find chinks of their butts armour. And everyone starts out thinking Iowa is flat; its not but it is hot, humid and windy.