RAGBRAI XLIV Countdown – July 24-30, 2016
Friends of RAGBRAI

Blog

Thanks RAGBRAI for 10 Great Years! I’m Looking Forward to Many More!



Today marks my 10th anniversary working with RAGBRAI, and they have been 10 wonderful years!

I’d just like to take the time to say a few words of thanks to some people that have made these past 10 years so incredible.

I’d first like to thank my wife and kids for saying “yes” we will move from Florida to Iowa.  They have been incredibly supportive this entire journey.  Thanks to everyone for making my family feel so welcome here.  It started with a great “welcome to Iowa” party and has been great ever since.  My wife is even OK that our anniversary happens every year during RAGBRAI (July 24) and we are never together for it!  We celebrate it afterwards, of course!

Next, a huge thanks to the three people that have helped mentor and guide me the most since coming to Iowa.  Thanks to Jim Green, Dan McKay and Jack Stubbe.  “Greenie” worked for 37 years for the Register and took over RAGBRAI from Don Benson.  I promised Greenie I would maintain the ride and hopefully make him proud that he chose me to succeed him.  Dan has chaired the RIDE RIGHT committee all of my years and is a constant sounding board for advice.  Jack has been the leader of the RAGBRAI Crew and always the calm in the storm the week of the event.  You guys are the best!

The RAGBRAI staff is small but AWESOME.  We currently have just three that do the work of a dozen to get ready for RAGBRAI.  Thanks Scott, Andrea and Linda for everything.  Appreciate everything that Wes and Kristen did prior to this year as well.

The RAGBRAI Crew is our extended family.  Some have been at it for 30-plus years and keep coming back.  They work RAGBRAI because the love it and love being involved.  I really appreciate the ones that gave me a chance when Greenie retired.  Some great ones have retired recently (Zenor, Judy and Gary especially).  Thanks for the friendship and dedication to our RAGBRAI Family.

To the “Mount Rushmore” legends of RAGBRAI (John Karras, Don Kaul, Don Benson & Clarence Pickard) for founding the great event and to Don and Clarence for helping making it legendary.  Thanks also to the former Register hosts that followed them, Chuck Offenburger and Brian Duffy.  I appreciate your friendship, great talents and love of our state and its ride.  You all are the foundation that made this event what it is today!

The Register departments that we work with give us amazing support.  The Marketing Departments led by Tom, Susan and now Kurt have always been there to help promote the Register’s top event.  Special thanks to Suzanne, Patrick, Matt and others for making RAGBRAI look great in print and online.  There are so many at the Register that proudly help in many capacities and we appreciate all the support over these years.

The Dream Team has a special place in my heart and my hats off to the mentors that keep it running.  Too many to thank as everyone gives up their time for the kids.

Our 10 Bike Shops and the 20 Charters of RAGBRAI are run by some awesome people.  It has been great getting to know all of you over these years.

To the host town committees, you are the backbone of the event.  I have made some lifelong friendships from working with the town leaders.  Some of these town leaders have turned into some of my good friends today.  Thanks for always welcoming us into your communities.

To the safety agencies that keep us rolling safely along, your support is the best in the nation!  RAGBRAI is so fortunate to have the Iowa State Patrol have our back.  Thanks to the SEOs and the Alcohol Team (aka Team Buzzkill) and special thanks to Genie, Scott and #261 for keeping us safe.  Thanks also to Bob Libby and his Care Ambulance team.  You guys are consummate professionals and fun to be around.  Let’s keep shooting for “Zero”!

Thanks to Mark Wyatt at the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.  A pleasure working with you and even more is having you as a friend.

Thanks to Ketch at GeoBike.  You are one funny dude!

To Pope….  You have taught me everything about finding the best culinary treats around and catching live music.

Dave and Brent, thanks for everything!

Thanks to Tim and James, the first Iowans I really knew.

And lastly, to the riders of RAGBRAI Nation….  Thank you for letting me work on the best bike ride in the world.  I feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many wonderful folks over these years.  I have friends throughout the world that I have met on the ride.  It makes you feel great when you mention to the C.U.B.S. that you’ll be in Chicago for a Bike Expo and 30 people show up to meet you at a restaurant with about a day’s notice or the guys of Team Darryl meet you for a beer (or two) at O’Hare when you are switching planes with a hour in-between flights.  I have met a friend from ButtIce on the ride that I now regularly catch a Gator football game with just about every fall.   I could go on and on with the friends that I have met over these past ten years on RAGBRAI.

I’m sure I forgot a few people that have been a tremendous help over the years, so I’m sorry if I inadvertently did not mention your help.

My friend Greenie gave me the best piece of advice when he said we need to teach you how to truly understand Iowa as it is different than any other place.  He was right.  Iowans are the most caring and hospitable folks in the world.  They are what make RAGBRAI so uniquely special.  Since I was not born here, I can never be called an Iowan, but I’ll always try to live up to the ideals that Iowans live by.

Thanks for these first 10 years and I look forward to many, many more!

TJ Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI Director

9 Responses on “Thanks RAGBRAI for 10 Great Years! I’m Looking Forward to Many More!

Jeff J

July 1, 2013 at 7:53 am

The email sent with this posting doesn’t say who it is from, so it was pretty confusing. Checking the Register’s site shows that it was posted by Mr. Juskiewicz

Steve Murga

July 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

TJ, thank you for ten great years! You took the baton from Greenie (a tough act to follow) and have done an amazing job. The riders of RAGRBAI cannot thank you enough for all of the hard work over the past ten years.

Every year RAGBRAI seems to get better and safer. We are so lucky that you said yes to Iowa ten years ago.

Steve Murga
Team Kum & Go

Tim

July 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Congratulations T.J. It was a great loss for Florida and Iowa win (How I love that phrase). All the best for the second decade.

Bill Fugenschuh

July 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Congratulations T.J., You have done a great job. I’m looking forward to the next ten years.

Sandaltan

July 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

You are an Iowan in our book T.J. and you always will be an Iowan. Thanks for the ride.

RIDE RIGHT

Kevin Fitzgerald

July 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I enjoyed meeting you while riding with Team BRAG to RAGBRAI in 2006 and 2007. How I wish I could be there this year! No matter what, I’ll be following the action via the Register’s online site and the Dream Team Facebook page. (I’m still a Dream Team fan after participating in the joint venture with Georgia’s BRAG’s Dream Team in 2001!). Congratulations on your ten year anniversary with RAGBRAI! – Kevin –

Frank Urban

July 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I cannot find a useful map of Council Bluffs showing locations of campgrounds or anything else. Please help.

Greg Roecker

July 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

Congrats on 10 Great years with Ragbrai !! I think you passed the ” I want to be an IOWAN Stage ” with flying colors and can now say you are an Official Iowan !! See ya on the Rag ! Team Rocker and the Harlan Huff’N’Puffers

fish light

September 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up very fast!

What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link
to your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI Training: How Much Riding Should I Do to Prepare for RAGBRAI?

    This is probably the most common question I receive so chances are you have wondered about this as well. I’ll start by giving my standard answer. I suggest ...

  • Chris Charron (1961-2016)

    We are saddened to learn that Chris Charron, of Maxwell, IA, passed away on Friday while visiting his daughter and grandchildren in Pennsylvania.

  • Remembering Chris Charron

    The thoughts and prayers of the ‪#‎RAGBRAI‬ Nation are with the family of Chris Charron. Chris had a huge heart and always thought of ways to help others.

  • A Reminder About RAGBRAI Registration

    The deadline for online week-long registration is April 1. You must have your entry submitted and payment made by April 1, don’t wait until after the lottery to submit your ...

  • RAGBRAI Route: Saturday, July 30 - Washington to Muscatine

    Here is the complete route from Washington to Muscatine. The ride encompasses 49.7 miles with just 1,314 feet of climb. Riders will visit all first-time towns on their ...

  • RAGBRAI Route: Friday, July 29 - Ottumwa to Washington

    Here is the complete route from Ottumwa to Washington. The riders will enjoy 68.5 miles that includes 2,541 feet of climb. Riders will make welcome stops in Hedrick ...

  • RAGBRAI Route: Thursday, July 28 - Centerville to Ottumwa

    Here is the complete route from Centerville to Ottumwa. The route travels 50.7 miles with just 1,999 feet of climb. The morning ride over Rathbun Dam is a ...

  • Hydration Tips from nuun: 5 Tips to Stay Hydrated

    Here is the first in a series of hydration tips from nuun as you prepare for RAGBRAI. nuun is the official hydration sponsor of RAGBRAI. Staying hydrated is easier ...

  • RAGBRAI Route: Wednesday, July 27 - Leon to Centerville

    The route treks mainly east for 65.1 miles with just 2,708 feet of climb. You can tell friends that you rode your bike to New York, Bethlehem and Mystic ...

  • RAGBRAI Route: Tuesday, July 26 - Creston to Leon

    Here is the complete route from Creston to Leon. The route travels 58.5 miles with a challenging 3,318 feet of climb. You will get to ride some nice ...

Latest Videos

  • Darrel Harken of Riceville said goodbye to his daughter Grace as she headed home on her bike. Moments later he and his other daughter Hannan stop at a car accident only to discover the woman who was hit by a car is Grace.

  • Where will RAGBRAI ride in 2016? See the full RAGBRAI XLIV route including overnight and stopover towns.

  • Register reporters talk with RAGBRAI founder John Karras about the announcement that RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register were working to create a statue of Karras and fellow founder Don Kaul.

  • RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz talks about the southern Iowa 2016 route. "We haven't been to some of these towns in a long time!" he says.

  • Miss the live RAGBRAI 2016 overnight town announcement show? Join Kyle Munson, Michael Morain as they chat with RAGBRAI riders and towns vying for a spot on this year's route. And learn the overnight towns, of course!

  • Watch as RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz unveils the 2016 RAGBRAI overnight towns. The route is heading to the southern cities of Glenwood, Shenandoah, Creston, Leon, Centerville, Ottumwa, Washington and Muscatine.

  • Get the details on this year's RAGBRAI overnight towns in southern Iowa.

  • Join the "Tr3s" amigos for the 2016 BACooN ride June 18 on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. There will be a plethora of bacon.

  • What will the route go for RAGBRAI 2016? Register reporter Kyle Munson and Michael Morain try again to get the early scoop.

  • This year's logo theme is "It's time to take a break."

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2016 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy