It has a built in camera/video which is a plus of not having to carry multiple items. Texting still works about anywhere so is much better than calling.
If the team needs to put out something (we’re staying someplace different) it’s easy to blast it out to everyone. The information was great back in the day, but has almost been replaced with technology. The info tent works in a pinch.
The only problem would be be people talking and texting while ride.
Like the route, I never pay attention to the weather.
I miss the ritual of checking the message board to find out what the driver decided to do. The two reporters jailed at the McDonalds in Ferguson, MO, couldn’t remember any phone numbers without their phones. If your GPS receiver can’t get a signal and you haven’t done any map work you’re lost. Having a usable cell signal on RAGBRAI changes things in a way that lets you do more without necessarily knowing more or having thought through contingencies.
I like having weather radar at my fingertips. Back in the day I would consult the TV’s radar channel before training rides. Back when the line would sweep the circle and the return would fade. With Radar I can do more knowing more. Like drinking in my tent and riding in the sunshine.
I think the biggest plus to good comms on RAGBRAI is that you can meet people you want to see easily instead of trusting to chance that you’ll see each other.
None of the above applies to people with AT&T. During RAGBRAI, my phone becomes an alarm clock and not much else. In Mason City, it was actually useful as a phone for a couple of hours until the fleet came in.
ts: None of the above applies to people with AT&T. During RAGBRAI, my phone becomes an alarm clock and not much else. In Mason City, it was actually useful as a phone for a couple of hours until the fleet came in.
I agree, Iowa seems to be a dead zone for AT&T! I had their service for years and in Iowa, my phone was about as useful as a rock! I have now switched to Verizon!!!
That was my experience exactly! In Mason City I had a few hours to call home and check in but other than that, it wasn’t even a good alarm clock. I was riding alone, so had no need to contact anyone (should have gotten the number of that lady from Des Moines Doh!) As far as checking weather, as I said to myself at 4am on Friday morning, “what’re they gonna do, cancel the ride and call up busses for 10,000? I don’t likely think so, so pack it up and saddle up.
On a universal scale, the more one adds to the whole Ragbrai experience, the more one takes away.