As I’m following some Facebook RAGBRAI groups I am seeing a recurring question – Can I do it? Can I ride 500 miles in one week!? I’m here to tell you, yes you can! Notwithstanding any misadventures, lost bikes, or injuries, any able-bodied person should be able to complete 500 miles in seven days. The RAGBRAI organization isn’t out to make this a survival of the fitness competition. They want you to finish. They also want to make it challenging (even epic?) enough that you feel like you’ve had a transformational experience by completing RAGBRAI. Try not to focus on the 500 and instead focus on the daily distances. There are a couple of 80 mile days. If you can ride 80 miles in a day, you can do RAGBRAI.

So here’s why I believe you can do it, without even knowing your particular situation. I’ve been involved in coaching groups for many years, some of which (JDRF Charity Ride program, Pedal Off The Pounds program) were starting out with some true novice cyclists. Some of these people didn’t even own a bike at the beginning! They started training and by the end of the summer were able to ride a century (100 miles) in a day. They would never have believed they would have been capable of doing something like that. It was beyond their wildest dreams. But by sticking with it, doing the training and having others supporting them, they far exceeded what they thought they could physically accomplish. This is probably true of us in most aspects of our lives if we think about it. So 500 miles in a week is something you can do. You just gotta believe (and train).

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