RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

Reply To: TIme to Make Peace and Come Back Together as 1 Ride

skb-mpls, October 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm

Not sure how many of you read the post by a fellow rider Kevin Ross (judge in mn) that was posted on the “We’re here to answer” button on the RAGBRAI home page…. I thought I would post in again here.

A Modest Radical Suggestion.

RAGRBAI is the oldest, largest, longest, and most beloved organized cycling tour in the world. We have reached a crises that may diminish it, destroy it, or replace it with unknown results. But perhaps the current crisis instead provides the opportunity to improve it.

So here’s a brainstorming suggestion that might avoid the likely chaos and certain conflict that will result from separate, competing rides (one of which would have to be organized by an inexperienced team).

Make the deep sacrifices to reconcile the current crisis (and also establish a better ongoing organization) by creating a new, nonprofit organization to own and control RAGBRAI under a new board of directors. The Register would voluntarily relinquish ownership of the ride and the intellectual property in the “RAGBRAI” name and merchandising. But in keeping with tradition and honor the Register’s years of facilitating the ride, the ride would continue to be called RAGBRAI and the Register would perpetually have at least one designated seat on the new board. On his part, Juskiewicz would surrender his threat to use the nuclear option and would also have to entrust his future relationship with the ride into the hands of an undetermined board, trusting that the board will act in good faith for the good of the event and respect his years of exceptional service.

The nonprofit board in the first year would consist of an equal number of members appointed by the Register and members appointed by Juskiewicz, with one additional member—the chairperson—to then chosen by the board itself from outside. The Juskiewicz team would serve as the organizer of the 2020 ride, compensated comparable to their arrangement with the Register.

Going forward, the board would consist of some number of members serving staggered, 3-year terms. The RAGBRAI riders from the previous year would choose the individuals to serve as board members replacing the outgoing members who are terming out and to fill any other vacancies, each rider having one vote in an annual online election. The Register would always have one designated board member, each serving a 3-year term.

The new board after the first election would determine the qualifications of board members and the role of and the relationship between the organizer and the board.
Consider whether this proposal, or some variation of it, is in the best long-term interests of the event wholly apart from the recent conflict that led to the current Juskiewicz-Register separation. I think that following a course like this will have lasting benefits and avert a RAGBRAI Civil War, including the following:

– RAGBRAI survives, improved, and remains the singular, spectacular gem of the cycling world;
– Those loyal to Juskiewicz but annoyed at the Register would remain committed to the ride rather than desert it for a different one;
– Those loyal to Register but annoyed at Juskiewicz would continue to enjoy the benefit of Juskiewicz-organized rides;
– No one would be forced to choose between one ride or the other and all riders would continue to enjoy participating in the single biggest and best cycling event in the world;
– Iowa towns who host the ride and the riders will continue to appreciate the full magnitude of a single event;
– The Register and Juskiewicz prove their true commitment to the ride and to the people (riders and towns) who depend on it;
– Iowans demonstrate maturity in conflict resolution in a fashion that continues to distinguish the state and its people in terms of practicality and virtue;
– All riders would have (and feel) a greater and more personal grass-roots sense of ownership in the event and, as a consequence, its causes; and
– The ride will continue to honor and retain its deep tradition as RAGBRAI.

Those are my two cents as an Iowa native (now a Minnesotan) and finally a very happy RAGBRAI rider (2019) who wants a reason to keep coming back.

#1312143 |

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