The following is information for you the racer, and some suggestions for gear to keep in mind for the event. Of course, what you decided to carry is up to you. The items listed in RED are the "must haves" by all racers!
  • When you’re out riding in Iowa in April, the weather can change rapidly at any time and being prepared for wind and rain or snowy conditions with the gear that you carry will make your ride much more enjoyable. Even on a 60 degree day, it’s possible to get cold very quickly if you have to stop to fix a mechanical problem or become injured so always carry a waterproof/windproof jacket or thermal top and dress in layers appropriate to the conditions.
  • Maintain your bike so that it doesn’t let you down when you’re at the furthest point from civilization.
  • As a minimum I suggest carry the tools listed below and more importantly, know how to use them.
  • If possible cycle in a group so that if someone does hurt himself or herself there are enough people to stay with the injured person while others go for help.
  • Carrying a basic first aid kit and survival blanket is a very good idea.
  • Unless you are VERY familiar with the area where you are cycling, carry a map and compass in clear plastic bag. Again – know how to use them!
  • Keep eating and drinking regularly to keep your energy levels up so that you can complete the race. Be able to recognise the symptoms of dehydration and “hitting the wall” and act accordingly.
  • In most cases the farmers of Iowa are your best bud. They will give you food, and treat you like a son or daughter. But there are a few out there that would rather mow you down with their 1969 Dodge pickup.
  • Farmers own dogs. These dogs chase anything that moves. Be prepared to throw-down with a mutt if needed.
  • Redwing Blackbirds......if you get too close to their nests, they will dive-bomb your head. Just keep riding, they can't hurt you.

  • Red tail light (here is a good example)
  • Front light. Power output is up to you. Keep in mind you won't be able to recharge. (here is a good example)
  • A way to contact the "outside" world should you need help. (Hint- cell phone!)


  • Small rucksack / hydration pack
  • Lightweight waterproof / windproof top
  • Extra thermal top or warm layer to wear if stopped
  • 2 liters of water either in a bladder or water bottles
  • Food – for example energy bars, gels or chocolate
  • A good pump
  • Tyre levers
  • 2 spare inner tubes
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Chain splitter
  • Allen key set
  • Spoke wrench
  • First aid kit and survival blanket
  • Mobile phone / money for pay-phone
  • Butt butter....ahhhhh smooooth!
  • Good chain lube. Don't under-estimate Iowa's harsh conditions in the Spring.
  • Cash, debit card, credit card. Use these items to get items on the road to complete the route.
  • Handle bar map case ( Banjo Brothers Cue Sheet Holder)
  • a cycling computer ( Garmin Edge 200)

This may sound like a lot of gear to be lugging around during a race and on many cases you won’t need all of it. However, if something does happen to you or your bike in a remote spot, you’ll be equipped to deal with most situations or at least stay safe and warm until help arrives.