We leave for the 42nd version of RAGBRAI - or better known in our household as RAGBRAI 2014 - early Saturday morning, so I'm getting the gear ready today. Just a couple of tweaks from last year for me. Since Zack is riding this year as well, I have to make sure he's all set with his bike and gear.
We had a 2 man Eureka Tetragon 2 tent I purchased a few years ago for one of Alexa's soccer camps, so we were set on a tent for Zack. I set it up with Zack the other day to make sure it's good to go and it was. It's actually quite a nice quality tent that is more than roomy enough for him. We tall guys tend to take any tent size with a grain of salt! So a 2 man tent always means a 1 man tent for us.
It didn't have a drop cloth, and I know contrary to many opinions on the need of one or not, I picked one up for $4.99 yesterday at Scheels. It is pre-cut at 5' x 7' and fits perfectly under the tent without any overhang that could catch water and get things wet underneath the tent. I also got a couple of 40 degree Mountainsmith sleeping bags on sale (this model called the Rollins is made exclusively for Scheels and fits up to 6'4" campers which will cover me as well as Zack).
I have two events this year (RAGBRAI and the Dakota Five-0) that I wanted to have access to some gear up front on the bike without having to stop, get off the bike and dig through the saddle bag. After reading some great reviews, I picked up a Planet Bike Lunch Box at Rassy's which is one of those gas tank/top tube bags that fits my needs perfectly...
It's got plenty of room to hold a spare tube, CO2, my external battery pack(s) for the iPhone, GU gels, a Cliff Bar, my wallet, sunscreen, washcloth, and a few "whatevers" that I usually carry with me in the seat pack on RAGBRAI. So I'm ditching the saddle bag this year for RAGBRAI (Zack will use it), and keeping everything up front in the Lunch Box.
I don't need the heavy duty off road Rokform that attaches to the stem for RAGBRAI. Instead, I will use the lighter rubber version that moves my phone off the top of the stem to the side and attaches to the bar. I can run the external battery with a short cable to the phone to extend my battery life in the iPhone to 3X's the normal amount. I can usually get about 4-5 hours on the iPhone running my cycling apps on one charge if I do it right. Having the external battery in the Lunch Box will give me double or triple that amount to cover any long days that need covering and allow me to run some apps in the foreground on the display instead of in the background with the screen asleep.
Favorable reviews led me to pick up the Challenge Bianca Strada tires which I have really been enjoying on the Roubaix. So I will be riding them as "touring tires" for RAGBRAI.
If I get up enough energy today or tomorrow, I do have some new Lizard Skins bar tape I might swap out as it has been over a year on the original bar tape which is getting a bit worn and non-white. It's not a necessity to change it out, but I might do it.
Everything else will be the same as last year in terms of our gear which I defined pretty well in this post. In addition, I look forward to this year's 42nd route and ride with full knowledge - just like I wrote about in my recap of last year's 41st version of RAGBRAI- that everyone's ride and experience on the event is unique as we all are able to make it what we want to make it. No doubt this year will be entirely different for us as well. The weather looks favorable in terms of temperatures staying in the 80's for highs, and we are really looking forward to riding this year.
Now, to pack...