Bikes, Ragbrai


For the last two months I have been listening, learning and just getting out on the road to train for Ragbrai ..(a bike ride across my home state of Iowa.)

My first attempt on a road bike was all of 8 miles. Then I started riding 15 miles then 20 and for the last couple of weeks I have been pushing over 60 plus miles on the asphalt .

After about the first 30 miles I started having pain in the ole IT band ( iliotibial band) across the front of my right knee. – The IT band pain was a familiar foe that I was dealing with last year while doing a lot of riding on my single speed 29er mountain bike.

Because this July I will need to ride approximately 65  – 70 miles per day for five to six days I needed to get some advice from some friends who could help
A local roadie gave me the following advice and so far it seems to working.

Here is what Mike had to say regarding knee pain.

Knee pain on the bike is one (or more) of three things:

1. pushing too big a gear.

2. improper fit.

3.  improper form.

spin rather than push a gear. If you have a cadence sensor and it tells you that you’re peddling at 60-70 rpm most of the time you’re asking for knee problems unless you are very strong and have superb form. Typical rpm for me is 90-95 and I can spin up to 110 rpm easily but you have to have good fit and form to spin like that comfortably.

Form is pretty complicated actually and involves fit too. It takes a professional to really teach you proper form and it would also involve a real scientific analysis of fit to get all the angles and position correct to allow you to have proper form easily.”

I immediately started spinning rather than straining in my peddle strokes and my last two 60 plus miles of riding have been working well and I have not had much knee pain to speak of.

My next set of goals will be to ride 60 plus miles for five days in a row to see what if any thing pops up .

Also, here are just a few pics of some road hazards that I have encountered out there .

This tumble weed attacked me from out of no where.

Stimulus money has not reached this road yet.

Common man!

Be careful out there folks ….cars, truck, trailers, motorcycles and all kinds of hazards can make a good day not so good real quick.


roadie for a summer



  1. Melissa Robinson-Arezzi says:

    Just stumbled onto this…Wish I had advice for you. Just wanted to say that for RAGBRAi think of it less as 60 mile ride per day and more as 6 10 mile rides in a day. Because that is far more accurate. Some people like to just blow through rush to get to the overnight town. To me spending a little bit of time in each through town is the best. Sample some food. Do some dancing. Talk with the locals then move on to the next town and repete. Good luck! I can’t wait. Less than two short months.

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