Essential Tips For Packing For Ragbrai: What Every Cyclist Needs

what to pack for ragbrai

Are you getting ready for RAGBRAI, the world's largest and longest recreational bicycle tour? If so, packing for this epic event can be quite a challenge. But fear not, we're here to help! In this guide, we'll share essential tips and tricks to ensure you have everything you need for a successful and enjoyable journey. From cycling gear to camping essentials, we've got you covered. So let's dive in and discover what every cyclist needs for RAGBRAI!

Characteristics Values
Clothing - Shorts
- Jerseys
- Socks
- Underwear
- Rain gear
- Helmet
- Cycling shoes
Toiletries - Toothbrush
- Toothpaste
- Shampoo
- Soap
- Deodorant
- Razor
- Sunscreen
Bedding - Sleeping bag
- Pillow
- Air mattress
- Tent
- Sleeping pad
Tools - Bike repair kit
- Spare tubes
- Tire pump
- Multi-tool
- Bike lock
Food and water - Water bottles
- Snacks
- Electrolyte drinks
- Energy gels/bars
- Reusable utensils
Electronics - Phone
- Charger
- Portable battery
- Headphones
- Bike computer
- Camera
Miscellaneous - Cash
- ID
- Maps
- Bike lights
- First aid kit
- Bike rack
- Bike rack straps


What essential items should I pack for RAGBRAI?

Source: Rokform

RAGBRAI, the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is a week-long cycling event that attracts thousands of participants from across the country. With seven days of riding through Iowa's rural landscape, it's important to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and successful journey. In this article, we will discuss the essential items you should pack for RAGBRAI to make your experience enjoyable and worry-free.

Bike and gear:

The most important item for RAGBRAI is, of course, your bike. Make sure it is in good working condition, with properly inflated tires and functioning brakes. Additionally, pack spare tubes, a patch kit, tire levers, a multi-tool, and a pump in case of any mechanical issues along the way.

Comfortable clothing:

Pack cycling shorts with padding to reduce chafing and discomfort during long hours of riding. Choose moisture-wicking shirts and socks to keep you cool and dry. Don't forget a lightweight jacket or vest for unpredictable weather conditions, and a helmet for safety.

Hydration and nutrition:

Staying hydrated is crucial during RAGBRAI, especially in the summer heat. Carry at least two water bottles and refill them at every opportunity. Pack energy bars, gels, and snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout the ride. It's also a good idea to bring a small cooler to keep perishable snacks and drinks cold.

Camping gear:

RAGBRAI participants camp at designated areas along the route, so packing appropriate camping gear is essential. Bring a tent, sleeping bag, and camping mat for a comfortable night's sleep. A headlamp and extra batteries will come in handy for navigating your campsite after dark.

Personal care items:

Don't forget the basics such as sunscreen, lip balm, and insect repellent to protect your skin from the sun and bugs. Pack a small first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries or discomfort. It's also a good idea to bring a small towel and toiletries for freshening up at campsites.

Money and identification:

Bring some cash for purchasing food, drinks, and souvenirs along the way. Carry your ID, insurance card, and emergency contact information in a waterproof pouch or ziplock bag for safety.

Entertainment and technology:

While RAGBRAI is about cycling and exploring Iowa's countryside, it's also a social event. Bring a book, playing cards, or other forms of entertainment for downtime at the campsites. Also, consider bringing a portable phone charger to ensure your phone stays powered up for navigation and communication.

In conclusion, packing the right essentials for RAGBRAI will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. From proper biking gear to camping equipment, personal care items, and entertainment, these items will help you navigate the long days of cycling and make the most of your RAGBRAI adventure. So, take some time to carefully pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable week of biking across Iowa.


Are there any specific clothing items or gear that I should pack for RAGBRAI?

Source: Joe Whitsitt

RAGBRAI, or The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is an annual week-long bicycle ride across the state of Iowa. For first-time participants, it can be challenging to know what clothing items and gear to pack for this long and demanding ride. In this article, we will provide a list of essential items to help you prepare for RAGBRAI.

  • Cycling Shorts: One of the most important clothing items for any cyclist is a good pair of cycling shorts. Look for shorts with padding in the seat area to provide comfort during long hours in the saddle.
  • Cycling Jerseys: Cycling jerseys are lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for long rides. They often have pockets in the back to store snacks, maps, and other essentials.
  • Cycling Gloves: Gloves provide cushioning for your hands and help absorb shock while riding. They also protect your hands from blisters and road debris.
  • Cycling Shoes: Invest in a pair of cycling shoes that are compatible with clip-in pedals. These shoes provide better power transfer and efficiency while pedaling.
  • Helmet: Safety should be your top priority. Always wear a properly fitted helmet to protect your head in case of accidents.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and debris with a good pair of cycling sunglasses. Look for sunglasses with UV protection and anti-fog features.
  • Rain Gear: Iowa weather can be unpredictable, so it's crucial to pack rain gear. A lightweight, waterproof jacket and pants will keep you dry during unexpected showers.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. Apply a high SPF sunscreen before and during your rides.
  • Hydration Pack or Water Bottles: Staying hydrated is essential during long rides. Invest in a hydration pack or carry water bottles on your bike to have easy access to water.
  • Bike Lights: If you plan on riding early in the morning or late in the evening, make sure your bike has front and rear lights for visibility.

In addition to these clothing items and gear, don't forget to pack a repair kit with spare tubes, tire levers, a mini pump, and a multitool. It's also a good idea to bring a first aid kit for any minor injuries that may occur during the ride.

When packing for RAGBRAI, consider the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Layer your clothing, so you can adjust as needed throughout the day. Bring lightweight and breathable materials that wick away moisture to keep you dry and comfortable during the ride.

Lastly, don't forget to train for the ride and get comfortable with your gear before the event. Practice long-distance rides to ensure that you are physically prepared for the challenge. Remember, RAGBRAI is a unique experience, and being well-prepared will enhance your enjoyment of this amazing event.


What food and drink should I bring for RAGBRAI?

Source: Rokform

RAGBRAI, which stands for Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is a week-long bicycle ride across the state of Iowa. As riders bike through various towns and landscapes, proper nutrition and hydration become imperative to maintain energy levels and endurance. When planning for RAGBRAI, it is important to consider the foods and drinks that will sustain you throughout the ride. Here is a guide to help you choose the right options to bring with you.

  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for endurance activities like cycling. They provide energy and help replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. Pack foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, pasta, rice, and oatmeal. These will provide sustained energy throughout the day.
  • Protein: Protein plays a crucial role in muscle repair and recovery. Include sources of lean protein such as grilled chicken, turkey, tofu, or low-fat dairy products in your meal plans. Protein bars or shakes can also be convenient options during the ride.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help support your immune system and overall health. Opt for portable options like bananas, apples, berries, baby carrots, or cherry tomatoes. These can be easily carried in your backpack or jersey pockets.
  • Healthy Fats: Incorporating healthy fats in your diet can provide a slow-burning energy source. Nuts, seeds, avocados, and nut butter are all excellent choices. They are also compact and easy to carry.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is vital during RAGBRAI. Aim to drink at least 20 ounces of water every hour, depending on the temperature and your sweat rate. Electrolyte-rich drinks such as sports drinks or coconut water can help replenish essential minerals lost through sweat. Consider packing a reusable water bottle and a hydration pack to ensure you have enough fluids throughout the ride.
  • Snacks: In addition to your main meals, having small, easily accessible snacks can help provide quick energy boosts during the ride. Granola bars, energy gels, trail mix, or homemade energy balls are all convenient options. Make sure to choose snacks that are easy to eat while riding and won't weigh you down.

It is also important to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies when planning your food and drink choices. If you have specific dietary needs, make sure to pack appropriate options or research the towns along the route to find suitable food options. RAGBRAI often offers a variety of food vendors and rest stops where you can refuel with local specialties.

In conclusion, proper nutrition and hydration are key for a successful RAGBRAI experience. By packing a variety of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and staying well-hydrated, you can ensure that your body has the fuel it needs to complete the ride. Don't forget to have fun and enjoy the unique culinary experiences the ride has to offer along the way!


Are there any safety items or first aid supplies that I should include in my packing list for RAGBRAI?

Source: University of Iowa Health Care

When preparing for RAGBRAI, it's important to pack a few safety items and first aid supplies to ensure your well-being throughout the cycling event. While RAGBRAI is a fun and exciting adventure, accidents can happen, and being prepared can make a significant difference in your overall experience. Here are some safety items and first aid supplies that you should consider including in your packing list for RAGBRAI:

  • Helmet: Wearing a helmet is essential for your safety while cycling. Make sure to invest in a quality helmet that fits properly and provides adequate protection to your head.
  • Reflective Gear: Since RAGBRAI attracts a large number of participants, it's crucial to make yourself visible to other cyclists, especially during low-light conditions. Pack reflective gear such as vests, arm/leg bands, and stickers to enhance your visibility and minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Sunscreen: Cycling under the sun for an extended period can lead to sunburns and long-term skin damage. Apply a high SPF sunscreen before the ride and carry a small tube in your bag to reapply throughout the day.
  • First Aid Kit: It's always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit handy. Your kit should include adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, medical tape, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Additionally, include any personal medications you may need, such as allergy medication or an inhaler.
  • Hydration Pack and Snacks: Staying hydrated and properly fueled is crucial during RAGBRAI. Consider investing in a hydration pack that can hold a significant amount of water. Pack lightweight, energy-rich snacks such as energy bars, dried fruits, and nuts to keep your energy levels up during the long rides.
  • Spare Bike Parts and Tools: It's always a good idea to carry spare bike parts and tools in case of mechanical issues. Pack spare tubes, tire patches, a pump or CO2 cartridge inflator, a multi-tool, and a chain tool. These items can help you fix common bike problems and prevent any delays or inconveniences during your ride.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Ensure you have your emergency contact information written down and easily accessible. Additionally, consider wearing an ID bracelet or RoadID bracelet that provides important medical information in case of an accident.
  • Portable Charger and Cellphone: Having a fully charged cellphone is crucial for emergencies. Pack a portable charger to keep your phone powered throughout the day. Make sure to have important contacts, including local emergency services and your fellow riders, saved in your phone.

Remember, accidents can happen even to experienced cyclists, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Being prepared with the right safety items and first aid supplies can make a significant difference in case of an emergency during RAGBRAI. With these precautions in place, you can fully enjoy the event while ensuring your safety and well-being.


Are there any optional items or creature comforts that I should consider bringing for RAGBRAI?

Source: Jordan Marie Powers

When preparing for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), it's important to consider all the potential creature comforts and optional items that can enhance your experience. While the basics such as a helmet and water bottle are essential, there are a few extra items you may want to consider bringing along.

First and foremost, a comfortable seat or cushion is highly recommended. RAGBRAI involves biking long distances each day, and having a comfortable seat can make a significant difference in your overall comfort level. Look for a seat that is padded and designed specifically for long rides.

Another optional item to consider is a portable phone charger. With the use of GPS navigation, photo-taking, and staying connected with friends and family, your phone battery can quickly drain during the day. Having a portable phone charger can ensure that your phone stays powered up throughout the ride.

A Bluetooth speaker or headphones can also be a great addition to your RAGBRAI gear. Listening to music or podcasts while riding can help pass the time and keep you motivated. However, be cautious and keep the volume low enough to remain aware of traffic and other riders.

To stay comfortable in various weather conditions, packing a lightweight rain jacket and sunscreen is a wise choice. The weather can be unpredictable during RAGBRAI, so it's best to be prepared for all possibilities. A rain jacket will keep you dry if it starts to rain, and sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

Additionally, consider bringing a small first aid kit with basic supplies such as band-aids, ibuprofen, and antiseptic wipes. While RAGBRAI provides medical support along the route, having a few essentials on hand can be helpful for minor injuries or ailments.

Lastly, don't forget about snacks and hydration. Pack some energy bars or gels to keep you fueled during the ride, and bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. It's crucial to replenish your energy levels and stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

In conclusion, while the essential gear for RAGBRAI includes a helmet and water bottle, there are several optional items and creature comforts that can enhance your experience. Consider bringing a comfortable seat, portable phone charger, Bluetooth speaker or headphones, lightweight rain jacket, sunscreen, first aid kit, and snacks for the journey. These items can make your ride more enjoyable and ensure your comfort and safety throughout the event.

Frequently asked questions

When packing for RAGBRAI, it is important to pack efficiently and pack light. Some essential items to include in your packing list are:

Clothing: Pack lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that can be easily layered. Bring a mix of short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts, as well as a windbreaker or rain jacket for unpredictable weather. Don't forget to pack enough underwear and socks to last you the whole trip.

Remember to pack toiletries, a towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, and basic first aid supplies. It's also a good idea to bring a bike repair kit and some spare parts in case of any mechanical issues along the way.

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