E-Bikes and RAGBRAI

harryS

Well-Known Member
In that thread about "mom rides an ebike", one of the ladies interviewed in the video clip is doing that on her ebike. Cool.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Depending on the terrain, wind and distance of the particular daily RAGGRAI ride segment and the amount of assist you choose to use, I think it would be difficult for most ebike riders to make the segment on a single battery charge. So you would probably want to have two freshly charged batteries and of course would need to have some kind of prearrangement for recharging at each day's stopover location. It could be done, but would take some planning.
 

Beertender

New Member
Sorry about posting this in the wrong thread.

Thanks for the response AlanDB. harryS, unable to find a video matching your description, so I assume you are making a bad joke.

Yes, difficult to do one leg of the week long bike ride with one battery (yes, despite preconceptions, most of Iowa is filled with hills). I know there are groups who will haul your camping gear and clothes from location to location. I also know there are bicycle shops that have a vans at each location and trailing through the ride who will sell new tires, tubes, rims, bikes etc. But I haven't heard of anyone's experience with an electric bike. Are there people who will recharge your two batteries on one day, while you use/transport your other two?

I also hope that someone can tell me how e-bikes are received (acceptance) on the tour. Some people are quite militantly anti-ebike.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
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.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
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.
 
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AlanDB

Well-Known Member
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.)
 

Beertender

New Member
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.
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.

FLAT Day? The following link shows the major elevation changes along this year's route. I've heard that this year is the flattest and most 'downhill' route of all of the previous 45 years. https://ragbrai.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Elevations-2019-750x320.png
 

Beertender

New Member
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.
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).
 

Beertender

New Member
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.)
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.