My preparation strategy was the same as before.
1. Ride as much as possible
2. Get a good set of tires
3. Drink a bunch of water
4. Shove my jersey pockets as full of Jelly Belly Caffeine Sports Beans and Pearson's Salted Nut Rolls
This is a tried and true recipe for success. RAGBRAI is not for another month so really all I need to do right now is #1 the rest can wait, besides, diet Pepsi has water in it. It is liquid..... The hard part about #1 is finding the time to put in the hours necessary to avoid pain on a 6 day bike ride across the state of Iowa. I work long hours and the Irish Tsunami must be kept at bay, both of which compete for my time. Not to mention I like to sleep sometimes.
The best solution is biking to work. There is a reason that so many people drive. Bicycle commuting requires planning, organization, and discipline. The good thing is that I posses all of the qualities necessary to plan, organize, and demonstrate the required discipline; just not all three at the same time. I have been riding the Ogre to work nearly every day and I can say that it takes everything I have to plan, organize my stuff, and the muster the necessary discipline to get up at 0400 in the morning shave and hit the road.
Though it is painful to get up at that hour of the morning I do occasionally get nice views as I cross the Mississippi on the Government Bridge.
Old Man River is calm and happy.
The only problem with that plan is that it is only 16 miles round trip, hardly enough to get conditioned for 600 miles. My solution is to take a couple of days and take the long way home. Davenport provides ample opportunities with several great bike paths. Most days, I am exhausted when it is time to go home and changing into commuting clothes is often a challenge. But the long way home provides a great end to a long and stressful day. It may not be enough but it fulfills strategy #1.