RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
Friends of RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI news team

Water Works park a ghost town



Thousands of riders camped here last night, but by 11 a.m., Des Moines Water Works Park was a ghost town. Only one tent was still pitched, with a couple of bikes strewn on the grass in front of it. All was still; there were no signs that its occupants would be waking soon. Just a few bags of trash and some overturned chairs at empty tables were reminders of the numbers who had made the tent city home for a night.

A blue school bus sat running at the campground’s entrance, waiting for I e of the riders it was servicing to finish taking a shower in the port-a-potty-walled add-on at the back of the bus.

“It can be a little bit on the campy and rustic side,” said Coleman Tucker, of Houston, who was off to a late start this morning after spending Tuesday night partying with friends. “But you don’t have to wait in line.”

And having a bathroom available, even a plastic one, “At 4 in the morning, it’s clutch.”

Walter Aten, 30, originally of Evansdale, is the proprietor of the Superior Hawgs bus. He charges $175 for the week to provide the amenities and transport gear from one campsite to the next. This year, he is serving 20 riders.

“I usually try to leave really early,” to find the best campsite far from the others, Aten said. But having to refill his water tanks for the shower, “it takes a little bit more time to get out of the campsite.”

About two miles from the official campground, Steve Skrine, of Chicago, was one of three guys breaking down his team of five’s camp on a bank above the river, where they slept the night before.

Loading the rear car seat, which was used as a makeshift sofa, back into a van, Skrine, 50, said, “You gotta utilize everything when you’re roughing it at RAGBRAI.”

Skrine and the others were heading to Monroe to switch off with the rest of their team for the ride to Knoxville. Last night they opted not to go downtown for the festivities, instead going out for Mexican and then hanging out at camp.

“After a vigorous day of riding,” Skrine said, “we partied on site, then passed out under the stars.”

Leave a Reply

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI XLII Survey Results

    All of us here at RAGBRAI would like to thank those who took the time to complete the surveys after RAGBRAI XLII.  4,470 online surveys were completed, providing ...

  • Des Moines Could Move Part of Great Western Trail

    A section of the popular Great Western Trail in Des Moines would no longer pass through Willow Creek Golf Course, under a plan being pursued by the course's owner.

  • Lost and Found on RAGBRAI®

    Did you get home from RAGBRAI with less than what you started with?  Lost wallets, drivers licenses, and credit cards have already been returned to their owners.  We have several ...

  • Merchandise Returns and Exchanges

    Want to return or exchange an item you purchased on RAGBRAI? Here's how.

  • Meet the woman who rode RAGBRAI in combat boots

    Riders handed her cash from spandex pockets and small-town American Legions put up tip jars to help along the way. So far, Hameister’s raised more than $1,700 for the campaign, ...

  • RAGBRAI Reflections with John Karras

    by John Karras, Grampa RAGBRAI A strange, but predictable, thing happened this year to Ann and I on our way to our umpteenth time to ride RAGBRAI–we were physically unable to ...

  • Rock Valley's Jaydn Faber Wins the RAGBRAI Kid's Art Contest

    The children of the RAGBRAI XLII overnight communities were invited to participate in the annual RAGBRAI Kids’ Art Contest.  The contest called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Don’t put your bike away now!

    Well, another RAGBRAI is done and in the books. I hope you enjoyed yourself and I also hope this blogs gave you some advice that helped you prepare adequately for ...

  • Top 10 things we'll remember about RAGBRAI XLII

    After 42 years, each ride can seem pretty much like the one before -- except when they don't.

  • RAGBRAI celebrity Taco Johnson helps dad, son connect

    How to make the boy understand and simultaneously stay better connected with him throughout the week? Eureka! The universal, ageless antidote for the doldrums: Legos.

Latest Videos

  • Look back on the ride of 2014 in this video highlight reel.

  • A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.

  • As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.

  • Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!

  • Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, is participating in his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty on RAGBRAI and for their funky socks.

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).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy