The Chainlink

I wasn't able to make last year's due to work commitments but this year I definitely want to go back. Who's planning on going? Do you have a team or a charter service or other?

I'd love if we could organize a Chainlink day where we wear our jerseys and ride together for the day. 

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Virgin here, registered but at the mercy of the lottery I suppose. Going solo but looking to make friends before/during or meet up with (a) group(s). Trying to figure out the best way to get car/bike to and fro right now.

That's great! You may want to consider Porkbelly Ventures http://pkbelly.com/ for the week. I did that my first year and it made RAGBRAI a lot easier (and with showers). 

I am going for my #17 RAGBRAI with Suzy Schnauzer doing her #7. We get a ride to and from Iowa with a friend and use Out of Staters charter during the week. http://oosbicycleclub.com/ We like them a lot.

You could use Bicycle Illinois' charter (bicycleillinois.com) which I did one year because my friend wasn't going. Robert Layton (local Chicago guy) takes you from S. Michigan Ave all the way to the start and back home from the finish. Very dependable service. He partners with Bubba's Pampered Pedalers. I have no experience with them but I see from their website that they include a tent, mattress and set-up and naturally it's much more expensive.

Out of Staters carries your luggage and finds smaller campgrounds in all the over night towns. I've used them for most of my RAGBRAIS. There's also a beverage tent to hang out in at the end of the day in the campground. You can make friends along the road and in the tent.

You can let Ragbrai carry your stuff from town to town which is included in your registration. But it's a bigger pile of luggage and a bigger campground. And probably nobody knows your name. I like using Out of Staters because it's about 300 people and they know us. Of course, having a dog on the back of my bike helps people remember.

Ask me anything about RAGBRAI. I'll be happy to help.

Thanks for the info. I've never prepared for anything so far in advance in my entire life.

How much was bicycle Illinois charter when you used it?

This will be my third year and have used Pilderwasser, an economical, user friendly/hassle free, and fun group who most people in the group have an affiliation with Grinnell College.   http://www.pilderwasser.com/ragbrai.html

Seriously contemplating going.... this would be my second RAGBRAI.

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