yesterday, i shared a bunch of photos & a few questions from our bike ride & today, im going to do it again ;)
1) how long did you train?
blake & i have been biking [mostly short-ish distances ; less than 30 miles] almost every day for a couple of years now. we started 'official' RAGBRAI training in april-ish. the emails went out the 1st of may from RAGBRAI telling us we were accepted, so i created a training plan once we got the email.
2) anything you wish you WOULD HAVE brought along? left at home?
i brought along my 'super-fancy' camera lens & never used it. it was big & bulky and did add some weight. i also brought along a book that i never read because i was exhausted by 8pm each night. at the last minute, we brought ear plugs & a small fan ; both of which were amazing!!
i think we packed pretty well ; we had enough socks, underwear & toiletries. we washed our bike shorts in the [$5] showers & hung them to dry on a makeshift clothesline we created using a bungee cord & our bikes.
because of the heat & sun, we could have used moisture-wicking arm sleeves & another bottle of sunscreen [we went through THREE bottles!!]
3) what happens if your brain or bike breakdown?
if you breakdown mentally or physically, there are SAG wagons [which is a huge van + a trailer] that patrol the route & pick up bikers. because it was SO hot this year, tons and tons of folks used the wagons. if you needed the wagon, you flipped your bike upside down on the side of the road & waited for them to drive by.
4) how hard was it to eat vegan? did you do it?
oh man, it was hard. we brought about 15+ pounds of food [protein powder, nuts, fruit leather, ect], but didnt have much left after 4 days. we had cinnamon rolls in the mornings, noodle bowls & smoothies from local vendors, corn & lots of fruit [one day, we bought a whole watermelon for $3 & ate the whole thing!!] because you are in small town iowa, there are endless amounts of turkey legs and pork chops on a stick.
one day, we had to ride 17 miles between towns, and then another 17 miles between towns after that. it was 104* & i was just so hungry. in the first tiny town, there wasnt ONE vegan option. i mean it. we walked the town twice. no gas station. no grocery store. nothing. my options were 1) a turkey leg 2) pulled pork 3) pork on a stick 4) pass out on my bike or 5) a hamburger.
so, i ate a hamburger [and i cried the whole time!] seriously, bawling while eating. i felt terrible, but also knew that if i didnt take care of my body, i could have gotten seriously ill & i did NOT want a ride in the ambulance.
so, i would say that we were 95% vegetarian and 75% vegan for the week. not great, but we did the best we could. and that was my ultimate goal.
5) how many people did the ride?
this is tricky. RAGBRAI officially accepts 10,000 people to ride for the week. but, you can also purchase a 'day rider' pass [i think they do a few thousand of those, as well]. or, you can just ride your bike & not be registered [but then you cant sleep at our campground or use the SAG wagon]. reports say that at any given time during RAGBRAI, there are 10,000-20,000 people biking!
[seriously, you could sit in one spot for 10 hours and ALWAYS see a bike on the road ; it was unbelievable.]