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2021 Rider Numbers

Has anyone heard any guesstimates on actual daily rider numbers?

8 Replies

Bachetta rider, August 9, 2021 at 1:55 pm

I heard from a somewhat reliable source that only 6,000 rode the entire week from LeMars to Clinton. That means approximately 9,000 part-timers, and most of them on the eastern half. This was real evident Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Easy to get on the road in the morning and very easy to navigate the pass through towns. Then it was back to normal at mid-week.


Chris, August 10, 2021 at 5:50 am

I think we have RAGBRAI math hard at work. What’s RAGBRAI math? You take the real number, divide it by the number of ears of corn 3.4 square feet, multiply it by the number of bites it took Amanda to get though her last slice of watermelon, then add 41.5.



“Among the roughly 3,000 undeterred cyclists among the more than 15,000 total was first-time rider…..”
They’re claiming 3k riders did the Karras loop, and that same 15k number of total riders. I have to wonder if they’re trotting that 15k number out as that’s the same number they’ve given us every year regardless of how many registrations they actually have.

I don’t know what to think of that 3k number for the Karras loop. It was late in the day, it was a hot day, and while we were never alone on the loop, there weren’t crowds like some years. Anyone who rode the loop: your thoughts on that number?

From our perspective: the main camp was notably smaller this year. There were fewer bags on the baggage truck, as we got in a few days before they let people start taking them, so we got to see the whole pile. That means nothing in the overall headcount, though, as more people could have been with the Charters than with the RAGBRAI truck. The crowd leaving on Sunday and Monday wasn’t much different than most years from our view, but we’re out of camp with the early birds so never saw the heart of the crowd.

See you in July,


Niles, August 10, 2021 at 10:02 am

Numbers in RAGBRAI are hard to count. Just as my earlier said:

Hard to believe there were 3000 opted in Karras loop. I also saw much less “cheaters” who rode in the opposite direction to cut the loop shorter……

My team always leave at 7:30am all the years. This year the starting crowd is much thinner at the same time period.

In Le Mar Comping Ground, I went to the top of fair ground stand and could see the number of vehicles and tents were less than other years.

But again, this is not a usual year. When things get better next year, I expect to see a much bigger turn out.


wrj, August 10, 2021 at 12:05 pm

In our group, roughly 11% of our fully registered cyclists did not show up to ride. too hot? too covid? days too long? I don’t know. How about other groups? Did you have no-shows as well? Maybe that explains the discrepancy between reported and actual numbers of riders.


Niles, August 10, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Yes, we have 20% no-shows which had registered. The No.1 reason? Delayed or finally-done physical check-ups find health issues which need surgery and can be operated until recently. One special case is, though, still being locked down in Canada.


KenH, August 10, 2021 at 3:11 pm

My team had two “no shows” but their absence was known two years in advance and they never registered. We actually had three new riders this year and our net team size was 25% larger than it’s ever been as a result!


Simplykatieb, August 18, 2021 at 4:50 am

am looking to buy the souvenir tee off someone. I am sad I missed it (my first full RAGBRAI was this year) and would take any size. I would pay $35 for the $10 shirt. Please let me know.


SFC JKL 2, August 21, 2021 at 10:57 pm

Numbers were down this year. No way were they close to 15k. The weather scared off some of the pirates and the media preaching the covid scare hit several others. My guess would have been 8-10k on a good day. Next year should be closer to normal.


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