RAGBRAI XLV Countdown – July 23-29, 2017
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

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI Web Store Now Open!

    The RAGBRAI Web Store is NOW OPEN!

  • RAGBRAI Training: Now that RAGBRAI is Over for Another Year, What Should You Do?

    Well, RAGBRAI came and went, and I hope you were well prepared and had a great time. Hopefully you learned something to do better for next year.

  • Adventure Traveler's Video Captures the Essence of RAGBRAI

    Check out this great ‪‎RAGBRAI‬ video from Ryan Van Duzer, who travels the world and creating content aimed at inspiring people to hit the road.

  • Congratulations to the Dream Team on Another Great Year!

    The Dream Team uses the power of a bicycle to assist youth in developing a positive approach to life’s challenges.

  • Congratulations to Grace from Shenandoah for Winning the 2016 RAGBRAI Kid’s Art Contest

    This year’s winner of the RAGBRAI Kid’s Art Contest is 9 year old Grace from Shenandoah. Grace’s artwork depicted the local theme in Shenandoah of “Peace, Love, Ride”

  • Good and bad luck of another unforgettable RAGBRAI

    Amid tragedy and serendipity, you can't make this stuff up.

  • RAGBRAI paves road to adulthood for 6-year rider

    DeAndre Parson said he wouldn't be in the position he's reached without the Dream Team.

  • Second cyclist dies while riding RAGBRAI; suffered heart attack

    A second cyclist has died along the RAGBRAI route this week. Clifton Kahler, 60, of Florida passed away Tuesday following a heart attack he suffered while riding along Highway 2, according ...

  • What to look for Saturday on RAGBRAI

    The final day of RAGBRAI 2016 promises to be the easiest of the week!

  • Check out one of RAGBRAI's oldest buses

    Omaha-based Team Pump's bus is one of the most colorful, and oldest, team buses currently operating in RAGBRAI.

Latest Videos

  • Take a look back on all the fun moments the Des Moines Register staff captured on video during RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Riders brave the swinging bridge in Columbus Junction.

  • Winds remain out of the northeast for Saturday and with partly sunny skies, highs will hold in the lower 80s. The weekend looks dry for the most part, perfect for those finishing up Ragbrai or maybe heading out to the Indianola Balloon Classic.

  • Omaha-based Team Pump's bus is one of the most colorful, and oldest, team buses currently operating in RAGBRAI.

  • Hal Colliver has been collecting signs since 1973. Its a hobby of his he loves to share with others who often stop by to look at his barn.

  • Teresa Condon and Tracy Henriksen have fun in their infant costumes.

  • Riders take over Wooden Wheel Vineyard

  • The complete century ride, including the Karras Loop, from Leon to Centerville on RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Lyle Dumont has built and rebuilt enough model trains and full size tractors to fill 30,000 square feet of space. Take a look around his collections

  • \u0022The best part of this job is hearing all the thank-yous,\u0022 Iowa State Patrol trooper says.

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