can you ride an electric bike on ragbrai

Can You Ride an Electric Bike on Ragbrai?

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RAGBRAI, or the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is a renowned cycling event that draws enthusiasts from across the country to traverse the picturesque landscapes of the Hawkeye State.

With its unique blend of camaraderie, adventure, and sheer cycling joy, RAGBRAI has become a staple for riders seeking the ultimate biking experience.

As the popularity of electric bikes, or e-bikes, continues to soar, one question often arises: Can you ride an electric bike on RAGBRAI? In this article, we delve into the regulations, considerations, and overall experience of bringing an e-bike to this iconic event.

can you ride an electric bike on ragbrai

Understanding RAGBRAI

Ragbrai is a week-long cycling extravaganza that typically covers around 400 miles, crossing small towns and showcasing Iowa’s diverse terrain. The event embraces a spirit of inclusivity, welcoming riders of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a first-time participant, the allure of RAGBRAI lies in its sense of community, challenging routes, and the chance to explore the heartland of America.

The Electric Bike Revolution

In recent years, electric bikes have revolutionized the cycling landscape, offering an accessible and eco-friendly alternative to traditional bicycles. E-bikes are equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance to the rider, making cycling more accessible to a broader audience. As e-bikes gain popularity, many cyclists wonder if these electric wonders are welcome on the roads of Ragbrai.

Can You Ride an Electric Bike on Ragbrai?

The organizers of RAGBRAI have recognized the growing interest in electric bikes and have established clear guidelines for their participation in the event. According to RAGBRAI regulations, an e-bike is considered a ‘bicycle’ as long as it adheres to specific criteria. The e-bike motor must be under 750 watts, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and be equipped with operable pedals.

This means that riders with e-bikes meeting these requirements are indeed welcome to join the ranks of cyclists embarking on the RAGBRAI adventure. The inclusion of e-bikes adds a new dimension to the event, allowing participants to enjoy the ride at their own pace while still relishing the challenge of the Iowa landscape.

Benefits of Riding an E-Bike on RAGBRAI

  1. Accessibility: E-bikes open the door to cycling for individuals who may face physical limitations or challenges. The pedal-assist feature provides an extra boost, making the journey more accessible to a broader range of participants.
  2. Extended Range: The electric assistance on e-bikes can be a game-changer on long rides like RAGBRAI. Riders can cover more miles with less effort, enabling them to explore the scenic beauty of Iowa without worrying about fatigue.
  3. Inclusive Experience: E-bikes allow cyclists of varying fitness levels to ride together, fostering a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for friends and family participating in RAGBRAI as a group.
  4. Reduced Impact: The pedal-assist feature encourages a more sustainable approach to transportation. E-bikes have the potential to reduce the overall impact of the event on the environment, aligning with the growing trend toward eco-conscious cycling.

Considerations for E-Bike Riders

While the inclusion of e-bikes enhances the RAGBRAI experience, riders should be mindful of certain considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:

  1. Battery Management: Riders must manage their e-bike batteries to ensure they have sufficient charge for the entire day’s ride. Access to charging stations may be limited, so planning ahead is crucial.
  2. Group Dynamics: E-bike riders should be considerate of their fellow cyclists. Communicating effectively and respecting the pace of traditional cyclists will contribute to a positive group dynamic on the road.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Riders should ensure that their e-bikes comply with RAGBRAI regulations to avoid any issues during the event. Checking the wattage, speed, and pedal-assist functionality is essential before hitting the road.
  4. Ride Etiquette: Observing RAGBRAI’s ride etiquette is paramount. This includes abiding by the ride hours, practicing safe riding habits, and respecting the rules of the road as outlined in the participant guide.


Riding an electric bike on RAGBRAI opens up exciting possibilities for cyclists seeking a new dimension to this iconic event. With clear regulations in place, e-bike enthusiasts can now join the ranks of traditional cyclists in exploring the charming landscapes of Iowa.

The inclusive spirit of Ragbrai embraces the diversity of cycling preferences, ensuring that riders of all types can come together to share in the joy of the open road.

So, if you’re considering bringing your e-bike to Ragbrai, rest assured that the adventure awaits, complete with the camaraderie, challenges, and breathtaking scenery that define this legendary cycling experience.

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