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After much encouragement from the Ragbrai community and a set of AMAZING COINCIDENCES we have initiated project TUBE-BRAI!
Here is the deal: After looking closely at the Ragbrai route it occurred to many of the riders and myself that the host cities provide numerous opportunities to float down and around in some of Iowa’s most beautiful, historic and clean river’s and lakes. AND these rivers and lakes either cruise right through where you are camping or are just a few minutes away. So not only can you bike ride across IOWA you can river and lake float through Iowa too! And all in the same trip!!! The kids will love it and so will your bones! Ahhhhh it is just so exciting I want to scriggle! (That is scream-giggle; I learned it from my 3 year old.)
TUBE-BRAI 2012 will start in Cherokee on July 22nd. Here my company, Iowa River Tours, LLC has organized an awesome float shuttle that takes you upstream to Main Street Bridge, floats you through woodlands and campsites and you can either take out at our base camp, right where you started, or continue downstream another ¼ mile to Spring Lake Park where other campers are staying. We are at the charter group camp. With your inner tube purchase (inflated and waiting for you at the shuttle starting point) you will be given a wrist band so you can take the shuttle to put in all day long, as many times as you want, until sunset. We only ask that you buy your tube from us. They are fat comfortable tubes, not pool toys and the glory of it is that not only does it double as the most comfy camp-chair, but it deflates— You have a pump I imagine AND a repair kit already so it is that easy!
Oh my! This gets better by the minute as I am thinking it through! You can purchase your tubes online at http://www.iowarivertours.com and we will have them fully inflated and waiting for you with your wristbands.
The Iowa River Tours base camp is located at 509 Hughes Street in Cherokee, Iowa 51012. Right in the middle of the charter camps. Please support us by pre-buying your tube, we will only have so many extras the day of the TUBE-BRAI and this is something that will make this year’s Ragbrai stand out. Plus we will enter you in a drawing for a two-day river trip on the Little Sioux!
There has been the question: why do we need you to BUY your tube and buy it from US? Here is why: If you buy the tube, what you do with it is your business. It would be insane to think that I could afford 3000 tubes to rent and then what would I do with all of them when ragbrai was done? Secondly, Life jackets are not required if you buy your tube, and to have 3000 jackets on tap….same scenario as above….Thirdly, it is a lot easier on the books for us, no paperwork or rental agreement or return policy …you can see the long lines of tubers if we had to do all that stuff and the number of employees we would need would make it cost prohibitive…
So please buy your TUBE-BRAI tube from Iowa River Tours online and acquire a free shuttle pass from http://www.iowarivertours.com website. We are asking $30.00 plus Iowa tax for the tube that you keep and the wristband.
Full disclosure here, I make $10.00 per tube, but I have to pay drivers and insurance and all the gas, etc and rent the people hauler for the shuttle, and manage the orders and get the tubes… so I hope you see this as reasonable for an item that is going to provide so much comfort for you and really add so much joy to your trip.
Still not sold? Let us examine the TUBE-BRAI route shall we? SUNDAY: DAY 1
CHEROKEE: pick up your tube and hop on the “bus” to float on the Little Sioux—the most fun you can have on the water in Cherokee. Here is a link to photos of the fair queen candidate river trip we just took on the Little Sioux http://iowarivertours.com/trip-photos-2/fair-queens/
MONDAY: DAY 2: LAKE VIEW: The town’s theme is take a break at Black Hawk Lake. It has spectacular beaches and is the Nations most Southern Glacial lake. So EVEN IF—Big if here— the weather is not so good the first day, you will have your tube to float here…and down the road for that matter…It is a Win-win-win-win-win—and don’t forget it doubles as a camp recliner! Here is a Black Hawk Lake tour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufQxdyUT6jY
TUESDAY: DAY 3: WEBSTER CITY: Boone River is the highlight here! And below Webster City the fishing is spectacular! The city’s theme is Fun at the River’s Bend! Here is a Boone River Slide Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtizmjM6MnM WEDNESDAY:
DAY 4: MARSHALLTOWN: Here is a video http://youtu.be/EvsXXoAVvI0 of the river. The current word is from the Chamber of Commerce is that the river runs right through town and is thigh to knee deep and perfect for sitting and cooling off, but don’t jump from the Bridge! Ouch! You won’t go very far or fast but you will cool yourself off!
THURSDAY: DAY 5: CEDAR RAPIDS: There is a river right through town here and the party is scheduled for the evening “On the Island” with the Counting Crowes. I have to discover more about the tubing laws here but you may also want to check out Ellis Habor. It is a really unique water community. http://www.cedar-rapids.org/resident-resources/parks-recreation/parks/ellis-harbor/Pages/default.aspx
FRIDAY: DAY 6: ANAMOSA: Here is a video of the Wapsipinicon River outside of Anamosa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA6UYwS2fME AND if you are staying at Wapsipinicon State Park here is a video of them moving the old bridge to it’s new location in the park! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmkEKbegTvE Amazing considering everything that goes into a project like that!
SATURDAY: DAY 7: CLINTON: Clinton is the river city! Hmmm…Let’s see the mighty Mississippi..here is a video of their downtown waterfront. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXimJnLKKKg
So please please please buy your TUBE-BRAI tube at iowarivertours.com click on the TUBE-BRAI buy now button, all sales are final, but if for some reason you can not pick-up your tube up that day, you can either donate it to Iowa River Tours Children’s River Ecology Camp OR we can mail it to you at an extra cost… PLEASE HELP US in this adventure and make any suggestions you wish! Spread the word and email it to all your Ragbrai friends and re-post this on sites you know of! Can’t wait to meet you! I will be all over the river that day running safety and distributing tubes! Thanks and call me (712) 229-1888 I have a goal of getting 3000 tubes sold! That would let me expand our ma and pop operation to include an on the water dock and a patio overlooking the river that serves beer and wine and Food! Thanks!!!! Owner of Iowa River Tours, Abby Grundman-Guthrie
Posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago ago #241951
Hi, I think this would be a great place to post ANY river or water park or LAKE related activity in any of the city stops. I spent a ton of time doing research, above, but the locals of course know more. So if you live in the host towns, post your river and lake and canoe stuff and pool stuff here. Abby
Posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago ago #242577
Good luck IRT! Sounds like fun!
Posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago ago #244523
Tube-Brai update: Sunday, July 8th:
First off thank you to everyone who encouraged me to continue with this adventure. DORTHY! You helped me get up, dust myself off and continue forward. Your kind words make this possible. I can’t wait to meet you.
FAQ: Does your TUBE-BRAI tube include the cost of shuttle?
Answer: It includes the cost of river shuttle in Cherokee Only, plus you keep the tube for adventures down the road. In Webster City free shuttles take you to camping along the river. In Lake View there is mostly lake floating there near camp grounds. I have contacted other area chambers to try and find shuttle routes in regards to camping and floats and they are trickling in.
FAQ: How long is the Cherokee float?
Answer: Float one mile to take out at Iowa River Tours, or continue floating another .6 miles to Spring Lake Park. Cherokee Sponsored Shuttle takes you back to your campground or come back to IRT for another go.
FAQ: What is the shuttle like?
We have a truck pulling a pontoon boat that seats about 20-25 people with tubes. The shuttle upriver will travel about 10 miles an hour and will take about 10 minutes. Therefore a shuttle will be going up about every 20 minutes until 7:00 PM. You must get on the shuttle at Iowa River Tours, it will not stop in between.
FAQ: Are there revised hours?
Yes we are starting shuttle at 10:00 AM on the 21st and 22nd.
FAQ: Are there showers at IRT take out?
Yes. They are located at the green space, just on the other side of Iowa River Tours. You can see them from our base camp.
FAQ: Are lifejackets required?
No. When you buy your tube you will sign a release form for the shuttle, but since you are buying your tube and ultimately responsible for yourself, lifejackets are not required by the DNR.
FAQ: Is there food at take out?
Answer: IRT read the blog about big food rip-offs on Ragbrai and am doing my best to secure tasty food at normal prices. As it stands as of Sunday, July 9th, we will have frozen food like ice cream and pizza and smoothies. Then have microwaves for individuals to use to cook these items. We won’t cook it for you because commercial kitchen regulation compliance would then up the price… The frozen microwave meals will most likely be provided through our company via the Schwans Frozen Food Company, so the prices will be their normal prices and not up-priced for the event. For those of you that don’t know, Schwans company is a fleet of frozen food trucks that go door to door in the Mid-west selling high quality frozen meals, you can look them up to see their prices. http://www.schwans.com
FAQ: Can we take beer/drinks on the river?
Yes, but no open containers are allowed on the shuttle, and you must be seated when shuttle is moving.
FAQ: Can unregistered people go on the river shuttle?
Yes. You just need your wrist band and a tube.
FAQ: Are we associated with CreekFest in Cherokee the night of the 22nd?
Those going to Creek Fest may get tubes from us, but our shuttle only goes to the Little Sioux River put- in. If you want to get to Creek Fest it is a different shuttle and one not affiliated with official in-town Ragbrai events. Creek-Fest is a separate event and separate ticket prices apply for music events etc. There is a shuttle at Sinclair’s aka “Sparky’s” to Creek Fest and yes you can bring your tube on that shuttle too. Go to http://www.creekfestcherokee.com
FAQ: Is it dangerous?
The river is shallow, as we are in a drought. Your main dangers are trees in the water, sunburn and submerged things that you can’t see, so keep your feet at the surface and save excess libations for when you are off the river. We recommend taking a small first-aid kit in a couple of zip-locks just in case.
FAQ: Can we camp on the sandbars?
No. But in Anamosa the Wapsipinicon River (all areas below Central City) is designated as a “meandered stream” meaning sandbar camping is okay. I got this from Nate Hoogeveen’s book “paddling IOWA”. A great resource which from now on I will reference as *NH-PI.
FAQ: Is it going to be too low to tube the Little Sioux?
We are in a drought and the river is dropping every day. We ran the river today, 12 days out and it is still a nice flow. We think it will be fine for Tube-brai. There may be some shallow spots, but generally speaking you will still have a nice float, with some minimal scraping in spots. The good news is it becomes less dangerous for beginners too.
FAQ: Are there river gauges we can consult?
Anamosa: Wapsipinicon at Station 05421000: “200 cfs is pleasant for paddlers”, tubers can go lower.
Cherokee: Little Sioux at Station: 06605850: “300 cfs minimum” for paddlers, tubers can go lower
Lake View: It’s a lake, no problems here.
Webster City: White Fox access to Riverside Park, station 05481000 is your gauge, 200 cfs to avoid too much scraping for paddlers, tubers a little less. White Fox access to Riverside Park run is .6 miles. *When White Fox Creek enters from the right The river falls over a small drop with a wave in the center of the stream. Not sure if this is true at lower levels.
Marshalltown: Is low flow right now and good for a dip. They also have a nice YMCA.
Posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago ago #247404
MARSHALLTOWN UPDATE FOR RIVER RELATED STUFF:
The main campground, Riverview Park, is located along the Iowa River. The bike trail ends at Riverview Park and will take you out to Grimes Farm.
Posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago ago #248333
WEBSTER CITY WATER/ Tubing possibilities
The shuttles will take people to various shower and camping areas.
With that in mind – the shuttles that go to the Willson Brewer Park, Nokomis Park and Riverview Park are very near the Boone River.
A shuttle will also be going to the swimming pool because of showers.
And the shuttle going to Brewer Creek Park is next to Brewer Creek.
Hope this helps.
Webster City Chamber of Commerce
628 Second St. PO Box 310
Webster City, IA 50595
Posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago ago #248337
I stumbled across this proposal in one of the blog posts’ comments, and I love it! I already bought my tube – can’t wait.
Posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago ago #248340
Hello, Abby again.
So after reading the blog about food rip offs on RAGBRAI I thought I would publish our price list of num-nums ahead of time so you know what will be available at take out. That said there are a lot of good eats in Cherokee, but if you need food right off the river, this is what we have
Iowa River Tours Food Price List
Pepperoni Or Cheese Pizza slice $2.75
Ranchero Sandwich: ham, bologna and salami with swiss and American Cheese on Kaiser Roll $3.75
Mini Meatball Sandwich: $2.25
Garden Veggie Cheese Omelet $2.75
Ham and Cheese Omelet $2.75
Healthy Turkey sausage, Egg white and low fat cheese on english muffin $3.50
Gooey Pecan Caramel Roll $2.75
All those items are high quality from Schwans– you just microwave on site. We have 4 microwaves running for event. Also have power drinks etc. but don’t know the cost yet on those. Ice cream below….
Ice Cream: all $1.00
Ice Cream Sandwich
Vanilla Cone with chocolate drizzle and peanuts
Hope you have a safe ride!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #256740
One of the biggest questions we have been getting is does the BRAI in TUBE-BRAI mean anything else than the obvious connection to Ragbrai. We came up with Tube the-Best-Rivers-Across-Iowa…Tube-BRAI.
Be safe and have a blast,
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #257840
A couple of questions from Vegans going on Tube-Brai came in last night. As of right now we don’t have any Vegan entrees at takeout, we have vegetarian, but not Vegan. look to the Spice Rack on Main street or the Health Food store on Second Street for vegan options as I don’t think we will be able to secure a licensed distributor in time. We have some seating in back and a sandbar to the South that I am guessing will quickly turn into gathering central!
Please be safe!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #258209
That’s a lot to read. Will the tube fit into my road bike tire if needed?
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #258238
No. Sorry. I thought of that but then decided on the fat float your rear higher in shallow water tubes…
ALSO FOOD AT TAKE OUT UPDATE:
We secured a smoking deal on Powerade yesterday, so in line with the fair prices on Ragbrai food blog rip-off comments..Drum Roll please… we will be selling 32oz Powerade for just $2.00. That’s cheaper than you can get it at major stores. Thanks for the hot lead Stan!!!
Have Fun! I am so excited to meet all my new Cyber-Cycle friends!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago ago #259326
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