RAGBRAI LI Registration is Now Open!

Reply To: How to better motivate “bandits” to register

LawnchairMan, February 1, 2023 at 11:24 am

How big a crime it is to go bandit? Posters have compared unregistered Ragbrai riders with Walmart shoplifters. That’s pretty harsh. If I swipe something from a shelf, then that item is gone. No one but me can enjoy it. Conversely, Iowa roads are open to anyone, and a Ragbrai bandit does not prevent another rider from participating. So, what are they really “stealing”? I wouldn’t call it stealing, but bandits do enjoy advantages that wouldn’t exist if not for Ragbrai. If not, they could do their own ride anytime.
I did my own ride in 1973 from Ames to Sioux City. I went to the local courthouse or DOT to get detailed county maps. I planned my route to avoid busy roads and gravel. I camped at parks and paid the fees. I arranged everything myself. Logistics is one thing that Ragbrai provides.
Another is safety in numbers. There are so many riders that most traffic is diverted around us. That wouldn’t happen with a small group of independent riders.
The most important benefit of registering for Ragbrai to me is SAG. I crashed the first day of Ragbrai in 2015. I had to be sagged and taken to a hospital. Since my wrist band matched my bike band, my bike was returned to me without any hassle. I can only imagine the red tape to get the bike back for a bandit. So, in my opinion, high SAG fees should apply to anyone picked up without a bike band. I’m thinking more than the cost of registration, so that registration becomes the bargain.
While I think it is not accurate to call bandits thieves or shoplifters, my adjective of opportunist may be even harsher.

This reply was modified 10 months ago by LawnchairMan.

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