I went to an auction the Sunday after XLI in Winterset and the food guy there was from Dallas Center. I asked him if he had set up for the day in Dallas Center and I got a 15 minute tirade on issues with the city to get a”spot to vend”, the costs from RAGBRAI to be an”official” vendor”, and the fines he’d be assessed if he set up without A/B/C permits, and after a while, my head was spinning. It would seem to me that RAGBRAI should take care of the local vendors that WANT to be there and not make it so expensive that they have to charge $4 for cinnamon rolls or $6.50 for a breakfast sandwich. I will say that the 3 blind pigs $8 Pulled Pork lunch plate in Guthrie Center definitely had $8 worth of food on it.
Being my first time at this event, I spent way more on food than I did entry fee and the $100 I paid into the team I rode with for my share of the bus ride. Live and learn, but I guess I was not expecting “State Fair ” pricing at this event. I’ll bring a stove next time…..and a bigger cooler…
For me, the next time I ride RAGBRAI, I’ll spend a LOT less on vendor food. To me, the best deals were the Amish pie/ice cream, the Conservaton folks with the free bananas and water, and the couple of church/camp organizations that dished out the free watermelon. I went WAY over budget on food for this, my first time doing RAGBRAI, and it won’t happen again. It would definitely be a plus for the RAGBRAI folks to list the free sites along the week’s route so the financially distressed riders like me can plan our stops accordingly.
i thought lots of good choices for sure and you should know that the towns set the prices for vending, not RAGBRAI. It looked like pella was all local vendors, the choices were great and prices were reasonable.
I did not do RAGBRAI this year, will be back in 2014. I started alternating RAGBRAI every other year and do some other ride the “other years” (i.e., BRAT, Lagbrau, etc.). I was hoping that breakfast had picked up again but it does not sound like it.
First year I started (next year will be my 7th RAGBRAI), we had Mama Raphaels, Fair Trade Coffee, Chris Cakes and Farm Boys Burritos and others. The overnight towns never seemed too interested in serving breakfast but mainly the evening meal the day of arrival. Those four vendors, with an occasional Lions Club or Jaycees, etc. meant you could get a good breakfast without inordinately long lines at about 10 to 20 miles out each morning. A few years ago, Mama’s and Fair Trade dropped out and my riding group seems to be eating at Chris Cakes every morning, like it or not and with incredibly long lines.
Now I hear Pastafari (a lunch vendor) is gone. Ashamed. I don’t recall their being around in 2012 – I’ve heard there were some health violations but I’ve always heard some complaints from them about vendor fees. Mama’s and Fair Trade definitely claim to have been hurt by fees although I have no way to verify their claims.
Now I really would not care so much about who is serving breakfast if the quantity of good quality breakfast were on par with that of my first several years of RAGBRAI, but lately it seems if we bypass Farm Boys and Chris Cakes, it’s really hit and miss for breakfast (that’s why I asked about the vendors this year).
There seems to be quite a factual disconnect about the impact of unequal fees on out of state vendor fees when you talk to Mama’s (which I did last year at BRAT). While it’s hard for me to believe everything Mama’s says about fees, the tongue lashing you got (Dimwittmoose) is similar to that which I got from Mama’s. The response from the DMR has always been, in my opinion, a bit disingenous since they say, albeit correctly, that they (the DMR) do not set policy for the counties and cities and any fees the counties and cities charge are set by the counties and cities. Nonetheless, they do condone higher fees and the cities and counties charge to out of state vendors.
The bottom line is that while I want the local vendors to benefit the most (this is, after all, an Iowa ride), I want from year to year more than just one or two large vendors CONSISTENTLY doing breakfast and if that takes cutting fees to out of staters, so be it. In 2010 and 2012 RAGBRAI’s, that just was not the case and I don’t count the mom and pop (and kids) home built vendor stands with gatoraid and plastic wrap honeybuns as legitimate breakfast vendors.
there were a couple other choices for breakfast that were there everyday this year. One had the big black canopy the other was white. Got the egss, ham & cheese breakfast sandwich, hold the eggs, extra ham. Most towns, EXCEPT PACKWOOD, did a pretty good job. There was at least 1 fair trade coffee place, don’t know it it was the same one as before. the 10 year old in the group wanted a funnel cake when goind through the state fairgrounds, just as she was ready to order, the state food inspector walked in their back door. Since he watched the woman make it, guess that one was as near perfect as it gets.
Iceman, I would hesitate to believe anything the owner of Mama Raphael says about his RAGBRAI experience. I have been on several organized rides in the SE U.S. where he has had the food contract and for the most part enjoyed his meals but not his fabrications about Iowa and RAGBRAI. First, the Des Moines Register, RAGBRAI or their employees do not and never have charged food vendors a fee. The fees are set by each community and usually have two tiers, a non-profit and a profit tier. Sometimes it is further divided into within the community and outside the community yielding four fees. This results in the local non-profit vendor paying the lowest fee. I doubt very much that there ever has been an “out of state vendor” fee. Vendors who sell merchandise that include the trademarked designation “RAGBRAI” do pay a fee on each item of merchandise produced/manufactured.
Never fear, iceman, the food vendors are still going strong. I think the breakfast choices are better than ever. Pancakes, Farm Boys, Breakfast Delights, and few other vendors, as well as the usual Kiwanis or fire station breakfasts. I opt for the latter when available. I love eating breakfast in a firehouse! Sadly, Dad’s Waffles was only set up on the last day. Pastafari is still gone, but Carbo Hut seems to be a real going concern these days. Fair Trade is back, and their coffee is still good. And don’t discount the mom-and-pop-and-kids setups. A homemade sweet roll the size of your head can keep you going all day!
Bottom line: I did not notice any drop in the quality or quantity of food this year, as evidenced by the fact that I gained 4 lbs during the week!
I think there should be a commemorative patch for anyone who rides every mile, every day and gains more than six pounds. Kinda like riding the century only more difficult. I will speak to TJ about this. Good work ts, four pounds is great!!!
Sandaltan – I am not an apologist for either the DMR or the vendors. But the concensus seems universal that the cities and counties seem ever aggressive in trying to recover their costs. Yeah, I’ve read TJ’s 2010 response. All he is saying is that the DMR does not set fees – and I think I made that clear in my prior post. But don’t ever think that the DMR does not have veto power over vendor actions.
All I’m saying is that I want good, consistent and predictable breakfast. The last two years I attended (2010 and 2012) that was not – in my opinion – the case. County fees have probably contributed to some defection of the vendors but I’m sure it’s not the sole factor.
There have not been any fees imposed by individual counties for several years. Setup along the route requires that you obtain a temporary food permit for less than thirty five bucks and a retail tax permit. Of course you must come to an agreement with the landowner, I have no idea what that would cost. This year we had a Hy Vee breakfast in Perry that was quite good, our first time in a Hy Vee during RAGBRAI. Breakfast twice by 11:30 am is always our morning goal.
It was cheaper than a baseball game so I’m not complaining. If you paid $6 for a beer and $10 for a sandwich then you obviously didn’t notice that there was a Casey’s store in almost every town…You can’t beat a greasy cheese pizza from Casey’s. I was also very happy that Casey’s and Anheuser-Busch had been very cooperative of my request to have a supply of my favorite beverage available at a modest price in each town.