If you are reading this from under a rock then consider it a favor. If you have been around any family or friends today, then you have already fielded the question multiple times. "Have you seen the overnight towns for RAGBRAI?" I must have heard that 20 times today. I replied the same each time, "That's where we'll end up, what happens in between is anybody's guess." In case you are the person under a rock, here is the rundown.
The rest is elementary. Start the day in the host town, promptly find the first gravel road out of town, and follow it until you feel like turning. Spot a town on the horizon (church steeples and H2O towers are the easiest to see) and head for it to re-fuel. Repeat until you find the next host town. Set up camp somewhere, find a shower, eat. Repeat daily.
I have for sure the first 4 days clear, and may be able to slide into the remaining days if fate will allow. I am taking Paul J.'s advice from my attempt last year and finding someone else to haul my gear. I could do any of the following. Enter to have Reggie haul my stuff for a price:( or strike a deal with a shop that is on the route to haul it:) Or convince someone to ride with me and hope that one of their wives will find it enjoyable to set up camp and wait around for the guys to make it in?
Anybody like the sounds of riding primo Iowa gravel, away from the crowds, not once hearing about where Lancy Pants is, doing your own thing and bucking the status quo, riding Dirty RAGBRAI before the hipster-kids figure out that this is the way to do it, and telling the stories years ahead of them? Wanna ride through Templeton and stop for shots at the distillery? Wanna ride your bike where it is possible that no other bike has EVER laid tread? Lewis and Clark can kiss my ass! No map quest sheets, just turn where it feels right, spot some trees in the distance and hope for hills! Ride no-handed for a few miles! Get chased by farm dogs! Hope not to see nude hog farmers! Stop and ask strangers for water and see their faces when you explain that you have brought RAGBRAI to them! They will give you the shirt off their backs. That's the kind of people you'll find out there. Car Up? More like John Deere up!
Count on sufferage, but embrace it, you'll be making RAGBRAI history! Later! Travel Gravel!