I was hoping that some of the more seasoned riders could tell me where the camping areas in these towns were in the past. I looked at some of the towns on Google Earth, and I don’t see too many areas which look like they can hold several thousand campers.
I would be concerned about camping in downtown Des Moines too. Do you think they might have security monitoring people coming and going? I like the idea of camping there but the security has me concerned.
“Bicycle Bill”: Can’t remember where they had us on RAGBRAI XVI (1988)…..I was not at my best that year…..
We were at the state capitol grounds that year (1988) as well and there was all kinds of music and other entertainment in the downtown area (west side of the DM River)…one of the best overnights that I ever experienced up to that time. There was a wedding somewhere near the entertainment area and the newlyweds and wedding party were still dressed in tuxes, gowns, etc for the evening’s doin’s. All in all, a very colorful and fun-filled evening.
“BB”, XVI was the first at the Capitol Complex. I suggested to my boss, Jack Walters, Director of the Department of General Services, that we host it on the Capitol Grounds. He agreed, though I suspect the idea had already been discussed with IHP, Don Benson and Chuck Offenburger. SAGBRAI, mislabeled at the time as Des Moines, was more what I’d call Johnston with the mass campground at Camp Dodge. The expense of route security has had me doubting we’d ever see another downtown DSM stop. I’m very curious to see the route in this time.
Back to topic: Practically any city of 2000 or more has enough park/school grounds to manage. Guthrie Center did it twice. Though on SAGBRAI there were only about 2000 of us riding.
Ed, you sound like somebody who would love the charter I’ve used for 6 RAGBRAI’s: Brancel Bicycle Charters. Great group of people, the staff, the other cyclists. Always pick super camping areas. Check them out!
If you are not traveling with a big team or an RV that you would like to plug in, there really isn’t anything to worry about at this point in terms of camping. I wouldn’t worry about it. Tons of people simply show up without any logistical planning, and it works out fine for them.
Of course, that said, I already have my first reservation for the week confirmed.
Lots of people were thinking fairgrounds with the campground, showers, bathrooms there. and a stage for a big concert and stages for smaller ones. Then I read Sunday TJ said “close to downtown”… Waterworks Park? unless it’s flodded again.
CR: Ed, you sound like somebody who would love the charter I’ve used for 6 RAGBRAI’s: Brancel Bicycle Charters. Great group of people, the staff, the other cyclists. Always pick super camping areas. Check them out!
CR is right, Brancel does a good job. I traveled with them in 2007. Bob Brancel is a great guy!!