Monday, May 7, 2007

Greetings from Kentucky

Sorry I can't train with y'all

I am really looking forward to the ride this year. I was in the class of '77 and now have a nephew attending Coe. Jordon Gunn. A great deal has changed at Coe and the surrounding area (I hear the Maid Rite is gone) but there is a great deal that ties me back. One of the folks I ride with attended Coe a number of years before I did but we found that we had actually had the same dorm room. It really is a small world.

While I am out riding around Kentucky and Indiana but I regret not being able to train with the rest of the team. I grew up in Newton an did do some rides around there last year but probably won't get up to Iowa again until RAGBRAI. I will need lots of advice about what to bring (and not to bring) as I don't want to look like a Coe Freshman again with a U-haul backing up to the dorm.

I plan to ride the route this year on a bike that my father rode on RAGBRAI about 30 years ago. (Of course he was smarter than I am because he had all the gears on it and I have since turned it into a fixie.) I've only done 4 centuries this year and feel very out of shape (mostly because yesterday's ride had 8,000 feet of climbing) but think that I can be ready to go by July.

Is anyone else planning to do the Century loop on Tuesday? Count me in!

Please don't hold back on any advice on what to expect and how to prepare as I'm sure preparation is the key to a positive RAGBRAI experience. ie. Is $30 a day about right for food and extras?



Gary Van Rooyan said...

Steve, I envy you the ability to train in the hills. Around Houston I would have to ride about 30,000 miles to get 8,000 feet of climbing in. Just for your reference, I went on the RAGBRAI site and there are links to daily maps that give elevation changes. According to that site, the TOTAL, CUMULATIVE climb for the ride this year is 13,000 feet. When you talk about centurys, do you mean miles or kilometers? In either case I have no doubt you will be in better shape than many riders, including me. I can see that I am going to have to step up my training. I am only doing about 150 miles a week right now. As to your other questions, maybe Lonnie can publish a list of "necessities" if he has time. I too am curious about what to bring, how we get fed, hydration, etc. By the way, I am Class of '68.

Steve said...


I do know that Houston has a great bike club and as I remember a great tandem club as well. I do get in a lot of miles and while miles with the club were my goal last year, RAGBRAI is my goal this year. I didn't get anywhere near 30,000 miles but was able to get in just a little more than 6,000 including about 40 Centuries (in miles).

Touring is something altogether new for me and just as when I started out on club rides I found that the supported rides are the best way to learn.

I can't think of a better group with which to learn.


Gary Van Rooyan said...

There are a lot of great cycling clubs in Houston. And a lot of great organized rides as well. I used to participate in most of the organized rides, but the cost got to be too much and I have found a lot of routes on my own that are good for training, although I have to drive a ways to get to the hills. I didn't mean to imply that I have actually ridden 30,000 miles - I probably havn't done that much in my entire cycling career - just that I would have to do that much to get in that kind of climbing, becasue it is so flat here.