Are you getting ready for your first RAGBRAI ride? Or maybe you’ve done it before but are looking for ways to improve your experience. Riding with thousands of people can be exhilarating, but also intimidating. That’s why it’s important to not only prepare physically but also mentally.
One of the best ways to get comfortable riding in a group is by joining a local bicycle club for a few rides. Most clubs welcome new riders and non-members to their rides. This will give you the opportunity to practice riding with others, learning how to judge pace and distance, communicate, and operate your bike safely. Practice makes perfect, so make sure to practice as much as you can.
Another important aspect of riding in a group is communication. Don’t use earbuds or any other device that might prevent you from hearing your surroundings. You need to be able to hear and respond to the calls of other riders, such as “On Your Left” when someone is passing you.
Also, make sure you’re riding at your own pace. Just because you’re riding with a group doesn’t mean you have to go their speed. It’s important to ride at a pace that’s comfortable for you. And don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy the scenery. There’s no need to rush through the beautiful Iowa countryside.
Finally, make sure you have the right mindset for safe group bicycling. Be patient, attentive, and respectful of others. And leave your selfie stick at home. Taking selfies while riding is not only dangerous but can also distract you from your surroundings.
In conclusion, preparing for RAGBRAI involves not only physical training but also mental preparation. Join a local bicycle club to practice riding with others, communicate effectively, and ride at your own pace. Leave your distractions at home and focus on the ride. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the experience of riding with thousands of others on this amazing adventure.