The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Ragbrai boycott

What happened to the discussion about boycotting Iowa due to Steve King’s remarks? Was that whole thread deleted? I know there was a lot of name calling, but the initial statement / question was completely civil.

I was really looking forward to another great ride across Iowa this year, but the more I thought about it I realized that if I participated I would condone congressman King’s bigoted attitudes. Iowans say that King is only one person, but if other Iowans didn’t share his views, then he wouldn’t have been elected. I hope that a loss of revenue in King’s district will inspire his defeat in the next election.

I look forward to riding Ragbrai in the future, either on a route not in King’s district, or when he is replaced.

90 Replies

Profile photo of rjjensenia
rjjensenia, April 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

Lawnchairman I respect your decision, and your sacrifice appreciated. Ragbrai will miss you. In 2017 we get W wind and flat.


Profile photo of Cory
Cory Rood, April 7, 2017 at 6:55 am

If I avoided everywhere that someone maybe said some offensive things if probably never leave my home.


Profile photo of Chad
Chad Frana, April 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

King’s voice belongs to King.
Ragbrai will go on and the fun will continue
Iowa welcomes all….
I know.. I’m an Iowan


Profile photo of Bill
mootsman, April 7, 2017 at 7:51 am

The RAGBRAI forum is about the fun of RAGBRAI.

BTW: RAGBRAI Don’t Care!


Profile photo of Ken
reedkennethia, April 7, 2017 at 8:13 am

RAGBRAI is a politics free zone. I am a very politically active person who’s beliefs are the opposite of most of those people in western Iowa, but I do not let any of those feelings get in my way that week. RAGBRAI is a week where we can get together as Iowans and not as liberals or conservatives. If I can look past politics for a week, then I’m sure you can too.

This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Ken reedkennethia.


Profile photo of Amanda
Amanda, April 7, 2017 at 8:28 am

Okay, I just got sucked into this.I am in Steve King’s district and I do not vote for him. If RAGBRAI always went through his district, that would be revenue that they would count on every year and that would hurt if boycotted. BUT most towns realize they aren’t hosts for the money. Some towns even lose money. Weather plays a big role in the amount of money passing through hands on RAGBRAI.

RAGBRAI is MY vacation. I look forward to it every year. I start my count down on day 350! RAGBRAI is a politics free zone and should always be!


Profile photo of Christopher
Christopher Miller, April 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

I’m a liberal from the Northeast….I wouldn’t miss RAGBRAI in 2017 because one politician says things I disagree with. Frankly the best strategy is for all of us to ride side by side, talk to the folks along the way and just reinforce that we are all in the end not that different. The less we demonize each other, the sooner we can actually achieve good things. I look forward to meandering through Iowa this summer.
If I want to avoid pinhead politicians, I have enough of those back here in New Hampshire to keep me distracted. Respectfully, can we skip the boycott talk.


Profile photo of Ken
KenH, April 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

It’s none of my business how other people vote. That is the nature of a democracy, or a democratic republic in this case. I don’t boycott nuthin,. Nuthin’ ‘cept pies with rhubarb inn’em. That’s just an abomination!!

Seriously though if you want to have a better district, state, nation, or RAGBRAI then engage with those with whom you disagree. Learn about them. Understand them. Find common ground with them. Compromise with them. This is hard stuff that Americans rarely do any more but it must be done to make America great again, sure, but more importantly to keep America viable as a nation. Anyone who has studied our Civil War much has to be creeped out by the tenor of political discourse in this country lately. It is frightening!

You accomplish nothing by staying home from RAGBRAI, it is one place out of many where every year you can do the hard grassroots work of interacting with those different from you that leads to a better future. You can accomplish nothing by participating only in gatherings of people who think just like you. I can think of two prominent political parties who prove this daily….


Profile photo of Joseph
Joseph Murphey, April 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I live in Texas and think my representatives are equally reprehensible. I still ride my bike in their district. If you really want to make a statement, ride with a sign on you or your bike but keep in mind you may be in the company of twins who wear diapers, a man dressed as a banana, Elvis and thousands of others making statements that are a lot more fun than polarizing. My recommendation is to have fun and you will still have 51 weeks to protest when you get home.


Profile photo of Scott
LawnchairMan, April 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Thank you all for your comments. I want you to realize that I have REALLY thought about this. I will miss riding past the cornfields and enjoying the food and hospitality of Iowa. As much as this is true, I also don’t think that bigots should be in office. If it were an ordinary citizen making racist or bigoted statements I would be there for sure. I think that were I to ride this year, King would think I supported his statements. Representative King has to realize that his actions, his words, have consequences. If others join me in not visiting Iowa, the loss of revenue can be blamed on King, and help defeat him in the next election.

In saying this, I am NOT trying to encourage any of you to join me. I have read that because of King there may be up to 500 people boycotting Iowa this year that may or may not include Ragbrai. I have decided this course for myself. My absence in Iowa might not make a difference, but for once, I am taking a stand, and that makes a difference to me.


Profile photo of Evelyn
ESchiers, April 7, 2017 at 6:41 pm

KenH I like to read your posts, but this time I must disagree. My politics leans toward Team Rhubarb Pie! However, maybe we can meet in the middle with some good ‘Ole fashion Apple Pie ala mode. Ragbrai and pie- it doesn’t get more American than that.


Profile photo of Bill
BillSpriggs, April 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Ken, I travel from California just for the rhubarb pie. I am somewhat disappointed when the ruin it by mixing it with strawberry. Maybe we can meet in the middle with cherry. See you in July.


Profile photo of James
Jboz, April 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

“but the more I thought about it I realized that if I participated I would condone congressman King’s bigoted attitudes.”

I’m sorry, but exactly how does riding a bike through a particular area amount to condoning the attitudes of a politician who represents that area? If I happen to buy an cold beer, it doesn’t mean for one minute that I have someone taken on the sins of the guy who brewed it, or the truck driver who hauled it, or the politician who represents the district of the bar where they poured it for me. Ridiculous.


Profile photo of Barin
Barin Beard, April 7, 2017 at 9:47 pm

My bicycle is electronics free and politics free. No devices, no BS.
Looking forward to my first RAGBRAI…been wanting to ride this for almost 40 years.


Profile photo of brian
brian wallenburg, April 7, 2017 at 11:10 pm

I believe more could be said by riding and politely let people (that want to listen) know how you feel about your stance, for or against most anything for that matter. I’ll be riding.


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