COME RIDE RAGBRAI WITH US
Bike World has decades of RAGBRAI Charter experience... We're in charge of the logistics, but you're in charge of the fun!
YOUR FIRST STEP
Go to www.ragbrai.com and fill out the registration form before April 1. Our Official RAGBRAI Charter services can only be used by those with a RAGBRAI wristband. Lottery results will be posted in early May. Don't worry if you didn't get a wristband, just let us know; we have always had more folks selling than buying (even up to the day we leave), and we can put you in touch with each other - you just might have to be patient!
WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH OUR STANDARD CHARTER?
We will transport you, your luggage, and bicycle from West Des Moines or Ames to the start, & back at the end. During the week we transport your luggage to each overnight town, where we have selected a campground for everyone to enjoy. In the afternoon you can relax under our shade tent, in chairs we provide, and partake in friendly conversation with other folks on the charter. Figure out where to find lunch, what the evenings entertainment is, or what the town has to offer.
Our goal is to make things more convenient for you on your cycling vacation. We have a charging tower for your electronic devices, large water jugs that we keep full of water (no ice in these) for your water bottles, bike pumps for the morning inflation, cold beverages and coffee in the morning (both available for a small donation), etc.
.IN-TENTS FULL SERVICE CHARTER UPGRADE
AVAILABLE WITH OUR STANDARD CHARTER OR LUGGAGE ONLY SERVICE PACKAGE
This is optional upgrade to our basic services, we will provide the following: A tent (standard is 7 x 8 feet roughly, while the premium dome is even larger with a 6 ft tall ceiling) with a full size air mattress, set up every day when you come in from the road. Pull into camp, and the In Tents area will be set up and waiting (we promise to be done by 2:00PM), find your tent, and your luggage will be there waiting for you. Secure your bike, grab your clean clothes, and go pick up a fresh towel from our check out station, and go hit the showers.... all without having to search through the luggage mountain!
In the morning, grab your bike, drop off your tent key, and hit the road... we will load your bags, and tear down the tent...and move it all to the next overnight location! Imagine, enjoying all the benefits of camping outdoors without the hassles... two people per tent, so there is space for you and your luggage inside... if you are riding solo, you can put your bike inside if you would like.
WHAT MAKES THIS GREAT?
You don't have to worry about the little things like: Where are your bags? (we think green army duffels are the number 1 choice of riders!) Where are you going to set up your tent? (Shoot, do you have a tent?) Taking down your tent in the predawn darkness (where is that last tent stake!) Sleeping on the hard ground one more night. Another shower with that damp smelly towel. The advantages are many... spend more time on the road, meeting people, enjoying Iowa. Pack less...no tent to haul while you get here. If it has been a long day, come in, have a seat in the shade and relax... you don't have anything else to do. InTents is an optional upgrade service to either our luggage only or basic service options, and the cost for the upgrade is in addition to either of our other service options.
THE FEW THINGS 'IN-TENTS' DOES NOT INCLUDE
Bedding Bring your sleeping bag and pillow. Our mattress is full sized, and there is one mattress per tent.
Showers These are provided by the overnight towns...locker rooms, car washes, shower semis... all to benefit our hosts.
Meals We will have a hamburger night social so that you can meet other folks on the charter. After that we rely on the overnight towns to provide us with a "taste of Iowa" Check each towns daily paper for what is being offered.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
The following pricing is added on top of your basic charter service costs.
$400 (plus tax)
You get a standard tent + queen size air mattress + setup and tear-down
$500 (plus tax)
You get a premium 6ft tall dome tent + queen size air mattress + setup and tear-down
PACKING FOR RAGBRAI
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What extras are included with the charter?
Our goal is to make things more convenient for you on your cycling vacation. We have a charging tower for your electronic devices, a huge shade tent and chairs, large water jugs that we keep full of water (no ice in these) for your water bottles, bike pumps for the morning inflation, cold beverages and coffee in the morning (both available for a small donation), etc.
Do we offer one way transportation?
If we have seats available we may offer this option. We will do round trip transportation first, and fill in if we have one way seats that open up.
Is there parking available at store locations?
We have limited amounts of unsecured parking at both of our loading locations. Parking is not guaranteed, is first come first serve, and is at your own risk. If you do plan to park at one of our store locations, please let us know, so we have a rough idea of the needs.
What is our bag/luggage limit?
Each person can have 2 bags. The total weight limit for the luggage is 50 pounds combined. (Not 50 pounds per bag)
What do I need to bring...?
We will have chairs and tire pumps, a charging station for your electronic device of choice. Check our 'Packing for Ragbrai' section for a suggested list of things that you should plan to bring.
What time do the luggage trucks leave camp?
7 or 7:30 am. Yep, don't plan on sleeping til noon with our charter. We will wake you up if we don't see you moving around. =)
Where will we be camped in...?
If things work out according to plan we will have a preassigned camping spot in each overnight town. Sometimes that doesn't happen. If we know ahead of time, we will advise you in an email the week before we leave (don't ask before that, we won't know) Sometimes things change on us, and plans get set aside, be prepared to go with the flow, we are in town somewhere!
How do I find the campground?
We will have signage starting at the edge of town, leading you to the campsite. These signs will be posted on poles, fence posts, barricades, etc... just follow them in. If you miss a sign, or can't find the camp, go to the bike shop area and ask the staff at our shop- they will always know where we are. Information centers should know, but sometimes it depends on who you talk to you, so it may not help.... but the bike shop will always know where we are after 11 am!
Can I ship my bike?
You can, we would be happy to receive and build it for you if you are a member of our charter. There is a shipping service that is available however, that will transport your bike boxes, and pick them up your bike at the end of the week for shipping. Not all the details are out yet, but check out www.ragbrai.com for updates on this service.
Will we be close to showers?
We will probably be within walking distance of a shower. Sometimes we have to take a shuttle. Just depends on where we get located. Same goes for the port a potties... we won't always be right next door, it isn't possible to always be near the facilities. The overnight towns determine where showers will be, and what type they are.
Can I bring my Solar Shower?
We do not provide shower enclosures for use of solar showers. Iowa Code prevents the drainage of gray water into anything but a sanitary sewer line (nope street drainage is not the same thing) as we can't provide that, we don't suggest that you bring them along. If you choose too, and you use one, you could receive a ticket.
How do we transport bikes?
When you check in on Saturday, we will have you take your bike to our truck (semi or 26' straight truck) where we will remove the pedals, and ask you to remove large bags. We then will load them up with packing blankets for the trip. If you want to take extra precautions, you may get pipe insulation at any hardware store that will slip over your tubing. Be prepared to haul insulation in your luggage, as we have no space allocated for that. More details on this will be forthcoming in the information emails that you will be getting. We do the same thing on the return trip at the end of the week.
How should I train?
Yes, there are people who ride RAGBRAI without doing any other riding, however, it will be much easier if you put in some preparation ahead of time. Start out slow – get your bike ready, and make sure it feels comfortable to you. Ride every day if you can- even 10 miles adds up! When you have a few miles under your wheels, take longer rides of 20 miles or so, and do a few that are 40 or 50 miles so that you are used to long days in (or on) the saddle! Get used to drinking lots of water, and eating frequent snacks while you ride- it is important to keep well hydrated and have fuel for your body to use. Remember to follow the "rules of the road" while you ride – remember that you are doing this for FUN!
When do we annually open up registration?
Shortly after the RAGBRAI Route Announcement, likely February 1st. At that point we will take registrations, process your payment, and rely on you to get us your wristband number on May 1. A friendly reminder: Our service is not available unless you have a wristband, so get us that number May 1 to finalize your reservation!
When will we know the costs every year?
Around January 28th. We have to know the overnight towns first, and then we get the transportation quotes.
My question isn't answered here... what should I do?
Feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for applying for a RAGBRAI wristband | Still need to apply for a wristband? Click here
Wristband lottery results announced by RAGBRAI | Charter riders will need to notify us of your wristband number to finalize charter reservation
Last day to cancel for partial refund with our Bike World Official RAGBRAI Charter | See our cancellation policy below for more information
RAGBRAI XLVIII Charter Departure Day!
Ames will start boarding at TBD, with departure TBD | Des Moines will start boarding at TBD, with departure @ TBD
We will not have any later departures
RAGBRAI XLVIII Final Day!
The first bus will leave the final town in the early afternoon | After that, buses will be leaving as they get filled | The last bus will leave around [TBD]
We understand things happen. Through June 15th, 2020, if you need to cancel your charter spot with us, we will issue a refund less a processing fee. Starting June 16th, 2020, no refund will be issued.
Feel free to email us email@example.com or call our Ames shop (515-232-3669) and ask for Steve.
RAGBRAI is an experience like none other... but we are camping. No air conditioning, there will be bugs, there might be a breeze during the night if we are lucky...we will probably have a thunderstorm in the mix... kybos will be nearby, but not always right next door (there is a ratio of 75:1, not bad!)... What you can count on is the wonderful hospitality of Iowa... the friendliness of the people, the wonderful scenery, and food like nowhere else.