2019 RAGBRAI XLVII Survey Results
- 9 September, 2019
- Scott Garner
Thank You RAGBRAI Nation for another great year. When the weather turns out as great as it was (not so hot), that makes for a much happier week overall.
We received lots of feedback through the surveys this year. Listed below are some of the more common rider and support crew comments and suggestions. While we can’t make changes to address all the suggestions, we will do what we can to make your week in Iowa as enjoyable as possible. Check out the latest Just Go Bike podcast where TJ and Andrea discuss some of the issues raised through the survey comments.
- There is too much vehicle traffic on the bike route, can we close the roads to vehicle traffic?
- The Service/Shut Down times for the pass-through towns should be extended.
- Riders agree we should shut down the sale of alcohol in the pass-through towns, but can we leave food and water available past the shut down time?
- The mileage and elevation figures that we post should be accurate. There was too much variation between the posted and actual figures.
- The road conditions along the bike route were poor.
- Can we identify whether a pass-through town is just a wide spot in the road, or will there be services provided at that location?
- Make the last day shorter in mileage – closer to 50 or less is preferable.
- Can we identify local vendors/non-profit vendors in the towns so that riders can frequent those instead of the professional vendors?
- Provide better signage and maps to identify open camping areas in towns
- Need detailed maps of vehicle routes into and out of towns – identify on the maps the campgrounds, shower locations and info centers. Make these available ahead of time.
- Provide better signage and instructions for where to park in the meeting towns.
Here is a quick summary of responses to questions on the survey:
- 25% of respondents were first time riders, down a bit from last year. Over 23% have ridden 10 or more years.
- 3.88% rode the Gravel Loop through McClelland, down from last year. Based on comments from some riders, the rain had something to do with deciding to not ride the gravel loop this year.
- 21.73% rode the Karras Loop through Honey Creek Resort, about the same as last year even though the loop mileage was significantly higher than in previous years.
- 73.6% of riders spend less than $50 per day on RAGBRAI, 23% spend $50-$100 per day
- 5% are vegetarian or vegan, 2% are gluten free, 1.7% have dairy restrictions in their diet, and 3.5% have other dietary restrictions (nut allergies, no red meat, etc.) 6.9% will always choose a vegetarian or gluten free meal option, 4.5% will usually, 22.6% will sometimes, 27% rarely will and 39% never will.
- 68.4% of riders are male; 23.4% are under 45, 56.3% are between the ages of 45-65
- 71.8% would most definitely recommend RAGBRAI to someone else, 16.9% definitely would, 9.4% most likely would, and 1.9% are not likely to at all.
- 10.6% used the RAGBRAI merchandise $5 coupon found in the participant guide; 73% didn’t know about it.
- 46.4% of respondents used the bike license plate provided with the registration packet, 30.5% are not interested in using it.
- 9% of respondents were on the road by 6am, 82.4% between 6-8am, and another 7% like to start their day by 9am.
- 6.4% like to arrive in the overnight town before noon
60.75% like to arrive between noon-4pm
18% don’t care when they get there
- 40.5% prefer to eat breakfast in the first pass-through town
19.5% eat on the route before the first pass-through town
18% eat before leaving the overnight town
18.5% eat after the first pass-through town
3.5% don’t realize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
- The following respondents purchased RAGBRAI merchandise in the past 8 months:
39% at the RAGBRAI Trailers at the event
6% on RAGBRAI at a bike shop
2% at a retailer prior to RAGBRAI
16.6% online at the RAGBRAI store
24% through ride registration
33% didn’t purchase any
- The following respondents purchased a new bike before RAGBRAI:
18.6% at a local bike shop
0.5% at a sporting goods store
1.43% through an online retailer
2.6% through other outlets
77% did not purchase a new bike
- The following respondents purchased new bicycle equipment prior to RAGBRAI:
54.5% from a local bike shop
4.5% at a sporting goods store
0.4% through other outlets
21% did not purchase anything prior to RAGBRAI
- 24.5% of respondents used a personal support vehicle to carry their bags
25.6% used a RAGBRAI charter
36.5% traveled with a large group
10.5% used the RAGBRAI Baggage Truck
1.9% carry their own bags
The remaining 1% or so were single day riders or didn’t have baggage to carry
- Of those who used the RAGBRAI baggage trucks for support during the week:
52.26% had no trouble finding the baggage trucks in each town
43.67% had some difficulty finding the trucks
4.07% struggled to find the truck in every town
- According to those responding to the survey, the important features of campgrounds in the towns are:
Close to showers and porta-pots is most important
Shade is somewhat important
Food and close to entertainment not very important
- 60% of the respondents visited one or both of the nuun and Honey Stinger booths in the meeting towns
36% didn’t visit either one
The rest would have if they had known they were there
- 44% of the respondents stopped at the Iowa Ag Oasis at Howells Tree Farm on Tuesday
16.8% learned a lot about Ag
22.8% enjoyed the other activities
For 6% it was just another stop along the road
- About 4% or respondents took advantage of the SAG wagon at some point during the week:
30% was because of mechanical issues
57.33% was because of physical issues
12.67% was weather related
- Training miles varied as usual
5.88% trained less than 100 miles
32.5% trained between 100 and 500 miles
33% trained between 500 and 1000 miles
28% trained over 1000 miles
22.5% wish they had trained more
The most serious rider safety challenges identified in the survey are:
- Slower riders riding too far to the left
- Riders riding three/four abreast without leaving room to pass
- Vehicle traffic on the route
- Erratic or unpredictable riding
- Communication and signaling intent
- 36% were driving support for the first time, 19.7% have driven 2-3 years, 20.5% for 4-6 years, 7.8% for 7-9 years and 16% for 10 years or more
- 53.7% are male, 14.5% are between the ages of 25-44, 13.8% between 45-54, 35.7% between 55-64, 30% between 65-74, 4% are 75 or older
- 8% drove a bus, 21.5% drove an RV, 5% drove a truck, 45% drove a passenger car, 21.5% pulled a travel trailer/camper
- 6.5% of drivers responding prefer to leave the overnight town before 6am
26.1% prefer to leave between 6-7am
33.6% prefer to leave between 7-8am
30.6% prefer to leave between 8-10am
3.1% prefer to leave after 10
- 40% of support drivers spend on average $25-$50 per day including fuel and supplies
40% spend on average $50-$100 per day
15% spend more than $100 per day
41% prefer to purchase supplies in town once they arrive.
37.25% in a town along the route (up from last year)
21.75% before leaving town (down from last year)
- 15% got the new RAGBRAI Support Driver t-shirt, 50% would have if they knew about it
- 30% of drivers responding said they did not visit any of the meeting towns; 18% visited all 7
This year we had a question specific for those support drivers with an RV or some kind of vehicle built for sleeping in:
- 4% drove a pop-up type camper
- 19% pulled a travel trailer/5th wheel 30’ in length or less
- 12% pulled a travel trailer/5th wheel greater than 30’ in length
- 45% drove a motor home 40’ in length or less
- 2% drove a motor home greater than 40’ in length
- 18% drove some type of converted bus or RV
Thank you again for making RAGBRAI the great event that it is. We hope to see you July 19-25, 2020 for RAGBRAI XLVIII. Here are some other important dates to remember:
- Registration for RAGBRAI XLVIII opens November 15, 2019
- RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party and Iowa Bike Expo is Saturday, January 25, 2020
- Weeklong Rider Registration closes April 1, 2020
- PIGTAILS Ride is May 16, 2020
- BACoon Ride is June 20, 2020
- 2020 RAGBRAI Expo is July 18, 2020
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