BBIKE Rides RAGBRAI: Training for an Epic Journey!
RAGBRAI is less than a week away— that means it’s open season for me to throw any last-minute training hacks at my routine, hoping to revolutionize my fitness overnight. We all know that it won’t make a difference, but at least I can say I tried everything, right? As I make the final preparations for my week-long bicycle across Iowa, let me walk you through how I got (mostly) ready for the unique ride.
BBIKE Rides RAGBRAI
This is the second post in our new blog series on RAGBRAI, an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state of Iowa which is taking place this year from July 22-29. This summer is the event’s 50th anniversary and I am joining the fun by completing the ride with my father, who rode the second edition back in 1974! BBIKE is getting in on the action as I’ll be reporting live from the cornfields and rural roads, sharing images and stories along the way. I’ll also be riding a BBIKE gravel bike to ensure my speed and comfort out on the route. Stay tuned here for more updates from RAGBRAI L and follow my progress throughout the week!
How Much Training?
While RAGBRAI is a recreational event and not a race, it’s still a strenuous route that requires a bit of preparation. It’s seven days of riding between 50 to 80 miles per day and your training routine will on your experience and fitness level. Riders have almost all day to make it to the day’s destination town (and most do it in much less time) while pedaling at their preferred pace. The most difficult aspect of the ride, however, is the long days in the saddle back-to-back for an entire week, something many riders may be unaccustomed to.
The biggest training tip before the ride is that the week of RAGBRAI shouldn’t be the first time you are riding that 50- to 80-mile distance in a single day. It’s a smart idea to get several of those long rides under your belt beforehand to know how your body performs and if there is any gear you need— things like gloves and padded shorts are lifesavers on high-mileage days. Even better, is completing a couple of training rides on back-to-back days to get a more exact feel of how RAGBRAI will be. Remember that it’s going to be hot and humid, too!
My Training and Its Many Hurdles
Now planning out all these training ideals is well and good, but putting them into practice is another story. Months ago, I upped my general training and riding routine to take advantage of the increasing daylight hours in spring and summer, as well as prepare for my upcoming bike trips. Several weeks in, I proceeded to get sick with a strong, lingering cold that kept me far from full fitness levels. Recently, though, I sprung back and completed a weekend bike trip along the southern coast of Spain with one of the days clocking in at whopping 10 hours in the saddle! I felt great throughout the ride and had a relaxed recovery free of any serious muscle fatigue, so I’d take it as a good sign.
But as my bad luck reared its head for a second time, I suffered from a horrible case of the flu just last week that wiped me out completely. I was hoping to get more rides in and some cross-training in open sea waters as I was in Malaga, Spain, but was essentially bedridden instead with almost no food intake for several days. I’ve recovered by now so we’ll just have to see if it has significantly decreased my stamina, but I’m confident in the cycling base I’ve built up with so much past riding and daily commuting. I’ve completed a bike fit on the brand new BBIKE gravel bike I’ll be using during the ride and am motivated to race along the route. As cycling is as much mental as it is physical, my growing anticipation of the ride has given me even more strength in my legs. As we're now less than a week away, I can revel in the excuse that it’s now best to taper and reduce my exercise load leading up to RAGBRAI. Taking it easy never felt so productive.
Rolling into RAGBRAI
Follow BBIKE’s journey during the week on social media and discover RAGBRAI, one of the cycling community’s not-so-hidden gems that happens each year. I’ll be sharing out images and videos throughout the week so you can see the most fun moments from the week on two wheels. Check out our website at benelli.bike to see our latest complete bikes and accessories or reach out to us here to answer any questions! And until the next blog post…
Ride safe, Rémy Rossi