I think it is important to keep things in perspective. The Iowa State Patrol is HELPING keep the ride safe which means moving people along throughout the day. I have no doubt that once the shut down times are set they will follow them and if there was some confusion, then the riders need to adjust and get over it.
Nobody in this thread is refuting that the goal of the organizers and ISP is to ensure the safety of all the riders. What some are pointing out, though, is the manner in which this goal is being pursued has been causing unintended consequences that have created other potential safety risks. It can be very difficult to adjust to not having water available when its 100 degrees out and a law enforcement officer is demanding that you move along or face arrest.
If your interest is riding into a town and staying all day then you do not need to be part of RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI is about the journey and continuing from community to community is what you are there for.
Don’t need to be a part of Ragbrai? Why not? Isn’t the beauty of Ragbrai that it allows a unique experience for everyone, depending on your flavor? If I park in a town for a while, I still have to ride to the next one, then the next one, etc, until I get to camp…just like everyone else. I certainly don’t need anyone else creating a schedule for me.
If someone wants to stay until the end of the day and the Patrol is no longer on the roads and the SAG wagon is no longer running then the participant should be left on their own, because that behavior is irresponsible.
I’m not sure why you thinks it’s irresponsible, but the majority of us that choose to ride in the back are more than capable of riding safely without SAG support or the ISP. In fact, I would love it if I was left alone and not pushed down the road.
If people have trouble completing the route in the 12 hours allotted then they should SAG earlier int he day and get off the route.
I generally don’t start the day until 9-ish, for several reasons but namely because they people I ride with stick to the same schedule and I prefer that time of day to the enormous crowds earlier in the day. Honestly, riding at my pace, I find the large crowds somewhat dangerous. There are far more accidents between riders earlier in the day than later. I have no issues finishing in 12 hours, but my 12 hours put me well further back.