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Reply To: RAGBRAI 2021 IS HISTORY

“Bicycle Bill”, August 1, 2021 at 5:35 pm

I hark back to the early years (my first ride was RGBRAI VI) when the last day might be as short as 20 – 25 miles. That changed following the debacle in Elkader. While it later came to light that many of the Elkader peccadilloes were being perpetrated by what I refer to as “local talent” (people from the area who showed up merely for the party, and carried on long after many of the riders were back in their tents at the campgrounds), RAGBRAI officials — in a well-meaning attempt to mollify the final overnight towns – started making the Saturday leg longer and longer so that riders, knowing that they still had a ‘full’ day ahead of them on Saturday, would rein themselves in and the partying in places like Elkader wouldn’t get so far out of hand.

It seemed to work, too, at least for a time while it was still the norm for riders to do for themselves. However, little by little we saw the rise of ‘teams’ and their ‘party buses’, clubs with their own support and sagwagons, and just ordinary people who pressed a non-riding relative into following along with with a camping trailer or Mini-Winnie, so the parties in some cases could (and did) go on until the wee hours and a lot of people never even bothered to ride the final day.

-“BB”-

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