Monday, January 07, 2013


Yesterday, I listed what I kept on me or the bike during the ride.  Today I'm going to list the things that aren't on the bike, but instead packed to be loaded on the truck between towns.  I may update the lists as I think of things.  I know for certain I forgot sunglasses on yesterday's list.  A definite necessity.

  • A large bag to hold everything - I have a hockey bag.  I like having wheels.  You might think, "What the hell for?"  But after a day of bicycling, not all the places you pitch your tent are close to the truck.  And the first year when my father and I got to the end of the ride, we picked up our luggage and then had to get about a mile or so out of town to meet up with my wife.  Being able to drag the luggage behind the bike was incredibly useful.
  • A pretty piece of fabric.  To attach to the large bag so you can find it in the giant pile dumped out of the semi at the end of each day.  I won't tell you what my piece of fabric looks like.  I don't want you to copy it.  Use the same fabric for your whole team.  Doesn't hurt to find a friend's luggage for them.  One less piece to dig through for yours.
  • Tent - strapped to the outside of the bag with bungee cords.  I like my little one man dome tent.  Just make sure it's waterproof and test it before you go (I say this from experience).  My Pa wanted to take a two person tent on the first ride, which allows you to strap a cot or two to the other person's bag if you're going with friends.  But I nixed that.  It's bad enough that you have to get up to the clacking of poles at 5:00-5:30 a.m.  But if all the assorted snoring included snoring in your own tent, that would be unbearable.
  • Plastic bags for everything.  They dump your luggage on the ground each day.  Make sure every single item is wrapped in a plastic bag so it stays dry.  Bring an extra one in case one breaks.  And another extra one for dirty clothes.  You don't want those near anything else you own after a day of baking and sweating.
  • Sleeping bag - doesn't have to be heavy.  It's hot.  Really hot.
  • Pillow - I have a little porta-pillow.  If you can bring something bigger, you should.  The little one pisses you off by the end of the week.
  • Air Mattress or pad - get something wide enough that you don't fall off one side.
  • Floor pump - strap it to the outside of a bag and make sure it's not your favorite in case it breaks.  Comes in real handy in the morning.  You can get by without one and use your hand pump, CO2, and the pumps available at the rest stops.  But I found the wait to be annoying.
  • Deodorant
  • Band aid (one or two)
  • Baby powder (small container, in case you want to shift it to your bike)
  • Socks - at least three pair.  More if you like things to stay fluffy.  No guarantees you'll be able to wash and dry your clothes outside soap and water.
  • Detergent/Soap - you can use soap to wash your clothes.  If you get lucky enough to find a machine, you'll want detergent as whoever was there first may have purchased it all.  The first RAGBRAI, when we didn't have an RV, I just took my bar of soap to my clothes when I went in the shower stall each day.  Two bars of soap works better as one may go lost or just wear out by end of week.
  • Quarters - few bucks for a machine if you find one.
  • Underwear - depends on whether you bring shorts or bike shorts that double as shorts.  I bring a mix.
  • Shorts - I wear bike shorts during the ride, but I don't like to walk around in black bike shorts, so after I showered, I had a pair of shorts to change into (two).  Two other days I used my bike shorts that have a more traditional shorts cut.  Then you can forgo the underpants.  They're built in.  Good thing about those is you get into camp, put on the bike shorts which are real shorts, and then the next day your wear them on the ride.  Eliminates a change of clothes and carrying extra dirty clothes to manage.
  • Something to wear to bed if you're not a freeballer.  It's hot.  You sweat.  There are thousands of people.  You might want to reconsider the freeballing.
  • Flashlight of somesort.  Little lantern if you like to read.
  • Batteries for the flashlight.
  • Book to read with the flashlight.  You can use your phone, but I prefer a real book.  Don't need much - just one - unless you're really anti-social.
  • T-shirts.  One a day, plus one should do it.  I did less.  You can wash them and if you bring cash, there are lots of places to buy a few extra shirts.
  • Cap - it gets HOT.  Not a big deal on the bike when you have a helmet.  Big deal in town when you don't.  Particularly if you're
  • Shoes/Sandals - I don't wear specialty shoes on the bike.  I gots me some baskets.  I packed sandals so in case I wanted to wear them in town I could.  I wore them a lot.  They cool you off.
  • Bike lock - up to you.  I put it here because I took one and then never put it on the bicycle the first year.  Second year I did the same thing.  If you do take one, I recommend something simple like a wire lock you can use to lock up a few bikes if you have friends.
  • Brush/comb.  Another item that might belong ON the bike.
  • Toothpaste/Brush - collapsing kind works fine.  I kept this on my bicycle most of the time so I could use it after the pancake breakfasts I frequently at the ten mile mark each morning.
  • Shaving cream/razor. After shave if you want it.  I've kicked the habit since my accident.  But it doubles as a way to cover up a bit of smelliness if you're trying to wait out the shower line.
  • Charger for your phone/camera/whatever - there are places to plug in at some of the stops. If you can find a portable recharger, all the better.  They have solar versions since I last went on RAGBRAI.  If Adam has an iPhone, I can justify the purchase.
  • Mosquito repellent.  Not absolutely necessary - but it can definitely come in handy.

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