Thanks for defining where the video may be. I still haven't found it after a short search. But I have found actual RAGBRAI forums where ebikes are discussed. Also many youtube videos of other RAGBRAI years.I think that thread is called “Mom can’t stop riding her ebike”... it references a current YouTube video by adventure cyclist and outdoor guy Ryan Van Duzer, who gave his mom an ebike last year.
If you look at any YouTube vids from the past couple of years you can spot lots of ebikes in the crowds. While I have not been there, it seems that if there was ever an “include everyone” type event, it would be RAGBRAI.
As far as battery life goes, if you’ve got a flat day and the wind blowing with you, with many brands you could ride a good part of the day without any battery. There must be a million places to pick up a partial charge along the way in all those friendly towns.
My e-bike can easily make almost 40 miles on one charge. So 2 batteries should work for most days. Very few people haul anything with them as they have contracted with some group to carry their stuff from one destination to another. MOTEL? Who are you kidding; those who ride RAGBRAI sleep in tents and occasionally enjoy the hospitality of a host home. I doubt very many have a motel room during the trip, and those who do will be sharing the shower facility with perhaps hundreds. Your estimation of 1000 tourists is also woefully inadequate. 8500 'official' wristbands are distributed to registered riders. At least another 1500 estimated 'day riders' participate each day along the route (5x1500=7500, so 8500+7500= perhaps16,000 riders, but probably only 10,000 on any one day).I was invited on this this year by a college friend who now lives in Palo Alto. I'm afraid I'm not up to it even with electricity. 70 miles a lot of days, 88 miles one day? I ride a lot of 30 mile days and that chews up 60% of my 17 AH battery only using it on the bigger hills. Makes my hips sore, too. Super athletes, I salute you. I'm not doing the tour de France, either. Good luck finding a motel in some of the tinier towns, especially with 1000 other tourists in town. Having a repair truck following along would be some comfort to the lycra crowd, but I carry everything I need to repair my own bike since I'm out alone so often. About 8 lb worth. What I don't own is a car with a willing wife to follow along and spread out off the route at the end of the day.
Thanks AlanDB. I found that thread after starting this one. I find most of the attitudes expressed there to be refreshing, but unfortunately a few of the attitudes expressed to be predictably ape-ish.I have not ridden RAGBRAI myself, but the sales guy at my LBS told me there have been a few ebike participants in the past couple of years. I don't know if they have ridden the whole trip or just a segment or two. As far as I know, ebike riders are not restricted from participating. RAGBRAI has a reputation for being inclusive and welcoming.
Here is a thread from the RAGBRAI forum that is kind of interesting: https://ragbrai.com/forums/topic/electric-assist-bikes/.
(note to moderator … if posting links to another forum is against the rules here, please delete the above link from my post.)