newbie? Mid-forties male, experienced bicycle rider, working on getting into shape for the ride.
I've been on centuries and MS 150 rides in the past, but this will be the longest ride that I've ever been on by about a factor of 3. I'm taking this on as a personal challenge to become more fit and get out from behind a computer/gaming console for a while. I know about the ride forums
and the training schedule
, but I thought I'd query the hive mind about some other things. Specifically:
1) What do you do for food on the ride--pack your own, depend on vendors in stop over towns, or what? Do they have any sort of hydration/carb options along the way? Extra points if you or someone you know who has done it is diabetic (I'm med-controlled) and can give some specific tips there.
2) I haven't hooked up with a group so, for the time being, I'm planning on going solo the entire way. Is it hard out there for a solo rider? Is it a big hassle finding a place to pitch a tent? What's the general culture of the RAGBRAI camp like? ("Traveling carnival" is one way I've heard it described.)
Any other tips, hints, observations &c. appreciated.