RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

2017 – Lansing – Where did everyone go?

Rolled in about 2:00. Town was dead. Was I that far behind? Did most opt out of the last day? What happened?

20 Replies

rickpaulos, January 30, 2018 at 5:53 pm

That’s the way it is. Everyone is in a big fat hurry to get home. My own club has a too early departure time, so early I don’t have time to stop anywhere on the last day’s ride.


Groeny82, January 30, 2018 at 6:37 pm

I could be wrong but I think some of the people might have dipped their tires at Harper’s Ferry and not even continued on to Lansing. But I think a vast majority of people haul a** to the last town so they can get out of Dodge and head home. My team usually gets in fairly early, gets cleaned up, goes back to the route and then we stick around to watch the Air Force roll in. Pretty cool site to see.


Nico ZZZ, January 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

I got in today about 12:30pm and barely had time to shower and grab a twelve pack of Busch Light, two Red Bulls and a party size Cool Ranch Doritos bag before getting the last seat on the bus back to The Big O. No one ever wants to hang out anymore…in such a hurry to end RAGBRAI and get back to the salt mines. Sad, just so very sad.


KenH, January 31, 2018 at 7:29 am

We got in at 12:40, a few minutes before the Air Force did and that was a great sight to see. The town seemed fairly busy then although there was a steady stream of traffic leaving town already. We did not hang out, we just loaded up, met up with a couple of people who had asked for a ride to the Chicago area with us, got them loaded and headed home. If it had been up to me alone I would have taken a short time to see the sights this year. But with three others who were anxious to get on the road I just went with the flow and most years I am in their camp on this issue anyway.

The end towns don’t get much love from riders, sad to say. However they do have an opportunity to get some love from all the people arriving in town the Friday before the ride to meet with their charters. They’d be well advised to make an effort to capitalize on that opportunity. Harper’s Ferry probably made out big this year because it was convenient for folks to make their final fuel stop there and that stole some thunder from Lansing. If an end town really wants to capture the attention of the riders the would need to do something really special and I confess that I have no idea what that would be. There is no evidence that it has been invented yet.

One thing that RAGBRAI could do for the end towns is to use them as overnight towns too. If the route were straightened out a bit, at least some years, we could get to the river in six days instead of seven. We could overnight in one of the traditional end towns or even towns that have never had that honor and potentially are unable to support it if offered. And then we could take a nice ride along the river to one of the other traditional end towns where the ride would end on Saturday as per usual. Personally I think that would make a nice route and it would reward the end towns with the love the overnight towns get from us over time.

Now there was one other factor last year that undoubtedly contributed to the early departure from Lansing last year. I took my motorhome last year with the intention of splitting the driving of the same among three riders. It was touch and go for a long time but at the last minute one of my riders had to pull out because of a health issue in the family. That left two of us to do the ride/drive across Iowa. We were as creative as we could be to maximize the time each of us spent on the bike and we even managed to ride the two loops together because the meeting towns were placed well enough to allow that. We were traveling in formation with a larger team and one of their riders decided to take a day off the bike and drove for us one day. But the last day was a problem because we both wanted to ride that day. So we hit on this scheme where we both drove the motorhome to Lansing, and then rode on a back road back up to the main route where it left the relatively flat road that left Waukon heading east and turned south to head down to Waterville and those hills. We had to climb one more massive hill than the rest of you to get from Lansing to that point on the route. As we were doing that we were passed by a steady stream of you all heading the other way on the same route to get to Lansing. So more than a few of you also noticed this route which not only saved you about half the miles for the day and allowed you to get out of town even quicker but which also had only one huge hill.

And that one hill was all downhill!

For you guys and gals!!


jwsknk, January 31, 2018 at 9:07 am

There was a little backwater boat launch with a big parking lot just south of town ( actually just off the road Ken H took) where a lot of teams loaded up. So many didn’t even make it into town. it was easy to get the busses in and out of town. I think we did a noon meeting for the dip at Harpers Ferry. So probably around 1 when we got out of there. Then about another hour to ride to Lansing. Meet there at 2. Load busses at 3. Out at 4.


John Richardson, January 31, 2018 at 9:08 am

I arrived in Lansing around mid morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast there while visiting with other riders. I was quite happy that Lansing had a bridge and I was able to cross over into Wisconsin and continue riding south on the scenic river road rather than deal with all the traffic fleeing Lansing on the Iowa roads.


Barin Beard, February 1, 2018 at 7:10 am

I got to my car, got out of my bike gear, put my bike inside the car, then headed up to Lanesboro, MN to hangout with a friend for a couple of days before heading back south and west to New Mexico. Lansing seemed fairly quiet…


Amanda, February 1, 2018 at 9:29 am

Our group got in around 10:30 or 11. We went to a few bars then ate at another. Had a few drinks, danced to the last 2 songs that the band was playing then ventured on to our support vehicle to get our bags. We were planning on staying in a downtown business apartment. It was so cool! Unfortunately our plans changed when I fell and broke my tib fib. We spent several hours in the ER in Waukon and then got motel rooms and spent the night. We drove home the next day. This year we are planning to stay Saturday night in Davenport. If we can find a place to stay.


“Bicycle Bill”, February 1, 2018 at 11:23 am

How’s your leg doing there, Mandy?



igor, February 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Normally I have be on the road out by noon so this past year in Lansing was nice for me. I got to Lansing about 1215. It was rocking then. Ate some food, water, more food then met my crew at the dip site in town about 2. We went up the street into town and watched the Air Force roll in. I think we headed out to meet the RV about 3ish and it was really quiet. The band was still playing but everyone was gone except a few people on picnic tables. If you have the time, stay in town and watch the Air Force come in. It was awesome. One of these years we hope to spend the night at the finish town just to experience something new.


Luv 2 Ski, February 1, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Everyone is always in a hurry to get out of town. In 2014 I had planned on staying over in Guttenberg but after having dinner decided to head home. A lot less going on than I had thought there would be. Last year I got to Orange City Friday and that was great. My plan from now on is to get to the start on Friday and probably hang in the end town for a bit but head home Saturday.


Amanda, February 2, 2018 at 3:25 pm

[quote quote=1281248]How’s your leg doing there, Mandy?


It’s doing fairly well. the ankle is swollen and I have pain at times but I can ride a bike and walk. So I am good to go for RAGBRAI 2018!


Sexton, February 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

[quote quote=1281335]

It’s doing fairly well. the ankle is swollen and I have pain at times but I can ride a bike and walk. So I am good to go for RAGBRAI 2018![/quote]
Princess Amanda,
Take it from someone who has been there, it takes forever for the swelling to leave, but you WILL get there. I did something similar many years ago. By the time I learned to walk again, it was winter, and wading in the north Atlantic did much to reduce and eliminate the swelling. (I know, not much ocean frontage in Iowa) As for the pain, I was lucky (?) the surgeon nicked a nerve, and three days post-op, there was no pain. I also can’t pass any field sobriety tests that involve balance because the foot has been numb every since.


John Richardson, February 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

I apologize for getting off topic a bit but I have so much admiration for those that fight to get back to doing the things they enjoy after an injury.
Almost 7 years ago I found myself in a rehabilitation facility without a clue how I got there. I still remember the first thing they taught me to say “Hi my name is John Richardson and I have a traumatic brain injury so I may seem confused”. I was told that on my bike commute home from work I was struck from behind by a 1 ton cargo van going 55 mph. I spent 3 weeks in ICU but have no memory of it. Besides the traumatic brain injury I had a long list of other injuries and if not for my helmet I wouldn’t be writing this. It’s been a long road back but I was able to ride RAGBRAI 2013 and have rode every year since. I feel quite lucky and can certainly relate to Amanda’s and Sexton’s stories.


Anonymous, February 4, 2018 at 9:00 pm

I plan on biking from Albuquerque NM to the starting location for 2018 RAGBRAI, and of course doing RAGBRAI. Reading your story, I am now having second thoughts. In 2013, I rode from NYC to Chicago during the summer, and never did I fall, gotten hit, or received a flat. What are the chances of these things happening (being hit by a damn car)!?

Thanks for reading,



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