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Reply To: RAGBRAI 2021 IS HISTORY

Dueywife, August 4, 2021 at 12:06 pm

I was happy to be back on RAGBRAI and all felt right with the world as I was rolling along the Iowa highway.
I did feel that the pass-through towns were not prepared for the crowd. I’m used to seeing 3-4 large vendors for breakfast + town organizations and for the days we were able to get out we found that only 1 large vendor + a couple of town organizations serving. Certainly put a lot of pressure on both and food ran out quickly. Lytton was the best prepared I felt during the days we were out with plenty of pie and a pancake feed. I was quite disappointed when we got to Cherokee on Sunday and the severe lack of vendors. We were tempted by the ribeye sandwiches which we couldn’t find on the main street, asked a local volunteer who told us they were hiding down an alley in a back parking lot. Talking to other riders they had the same feedback. From pictures I saw from later in the week, more of the standard vendors were out, so I’m not sure if RAGBRAI tried to space vendors out during the week to put the focus on communities, but the community vendors were very ill-prepared. I was sorely disappointed by Sac City. Their public pool charged regular rate $7 for a cold shower and sauna dressing room and the shuttle(s) were always full as they came by our camp site. In chatting with the host of the lasagna feed in Sac City, they had been told to only prepare for 500 riders. He knew better and made sure portions were large. When you consider how many riders AND support there is coming in, you need more than a few hundred meals.
All in all, it was great to be back out on the road in Iowa. There is something very special about your state and how welcoming you are to visitors. And just something special about rolling down the highway with bicycles as far as the eye can see. I’ll always be back :)

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