Add an Official 8th (but optional) Night in the End Town?

Dear RAGBRAI,

What about considering making the end town an 8th overnight town? It would need to be big enough for camping in addition to all the cars parked around town. I think the pluses for some people would be:

1) The chance to celebrate completing RAGBRAI in town.
2) It would be an economic boost to the town.
3) Teams that have busses going back home wouldn’t face tough late night drives home.
4) Longer last day mileage would no longer be an issue

Also a smaller list of larger end-towns to rotate between would encourage towns to have an ongoing RAGBRAI committee and not have to start from scratch each year.

7 Replies

Michrider !!!, September 4, 2014 at 10:25 am

An 8th night of camping? Thanks but no thanks! However, I’ll be staying overnight in a Motel (if enough rooms are available)!!!!

#935351

Iceman, September 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

Moots: I like your idea but I’m guessing it won’t fly. There does seem to a trend towards a more “casual” approach to week long bike tours as many of them are designating one of the days as a “rest day” and the campsite stays two nights in the same place (Bon Ton Roulet, GRABAAWR, etc., and the Bike Virginia only moves once during six days). Nonetheless, you are bucking RAGBRAI “tradition” (i.e., the DMR mindset) on this idea and then there are the big outfitters (Brancel, PBV, etc.) who would have to charge more for another night’s stay, and vendors and so on.

#935425

mootsman, September 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

The extra night would be an option only. Teams from out of state mainly might want the option to avoid late night drives. A few years ago our team didn’t get back to Minneapolis until 2am. A team of course can find an 8th night host on their own but the main campground people might want the option. Probably at least 2/3s would leave but those staying would have a great time and not even have to ride the next day.

#935460

George Anderson, September 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

My son and I actually had that plan this year in Guttenberg. We left our travel trailer at a RV Park in town for the week so we would have a bed and air conditioning for the Friday before the ride and Saturday after the ride. We ended up leaving Saturday night because not much was happening. The town was dead by 6:00. Maybe if an 8th night was in the overall RAGBRAI plan more might stay but I think people just want to get on the road and get home after the riding is done.

On another note Friday was pretty lively in Guttenberg so I do not think the end town get’s the complete short end of the stick as some might think. I personally spent more money in Guttenberg on Friday than I did in Rock Valley on Saturday. Add in what I spent on the last day in Guttenberg and it was way more than Rock Valley. That does not include the cost of my campsite either.

#935872

Davy Sprocket, September 7, 2014 at 8:27 am

We have stayed the night in the end town that last 2 years and really enjoyed it. While it is not the party atmosphere like the other nights, it is really nice to just relax and celebrate yet another Ragbrai. Usually, there are other riders that camp around us and the campground becomes the gathering spot. I would encourage others to give it a try whether it be “official” or no. It was no fun rolling into the end town, grabbing a quick shower(sometimes while on the road) and hustling the long drive home. I have always felt the ride should start on Saturday so there could be a better end town atmosphere.

Always a good time.

Davy

#941988

Iceman, September 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Davey:

Starting the ride on Saturday would be a great idea!

Still, I think the charters, etc. would not want to have to raise their rates (which they would if they had to deal with one more day) so I think on the last day they would just rush to leave on Friday instead of rushing to leave on Saturday, although a few more folks hopefully would remain Friday night in the ending town.

#945318

OG, September 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

It never fails. After finishing the last day’s ride, I’m unable to savor the moment because we’re so busy with all that’s required for a quick exit from dodge. Job pressures and the long drive home are the priority setters. It’s sad.

I’m therefore envious of those who can spend the night in the endtown. However, the endtowns may not be anxious to encourage and support a masss “sleepover” and post-ride blowout party.

#945329

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