Amiable Split Option?

Instead of head to head, how about a friendly split? TJ stays away from RAGBRAI week and gets the 3 RAGBRAI training rides and develops a new week long ride in August. A great option would be a week long loop ride, starting and ending in the same town. Makes logistics for riders easy and can focus on different quadrants of Iowa. It can even dip into neighboring States like the TDF does to other countries. Why copy RAGBRAI when you can offer something unique? A friendly split option.

This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

28 Replies

mootsman, October 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm

Instead of a north, central, south route the loop option would allow a east, central and west loop route. Think about how great that east option could be, probably about 3 days along the river. And the same for the west option. So we’d hit hilly areas and flat areas during the week too. All the start/end towns could be a reasonable distance from the DSM airport. And the air travel, easy when its a round trip to and from the same airport.

Its RAGBRAI made easier logistically for riders which would attract lots of riders.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

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mootsman, October 20, 2019 at 7:55 pm

And for riders driving to the ride, parking your car in the same place where you’d pick it up. Solves the biggest logistical headache of RAGBRAI, starting on the opposite side of the state you end in.

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Jboz, October 20, 2019 at 8:19 pm

I agree 100% on a loop route! That would seal it for me. Another benefit is it would be a completely different ride, distinct from RAGBRAI, and definitely would appeal to many. Honestly, I grapple with start town end town logistics every year and it’s always a challenge. By the time I make it to western Iowa on Saturday, I’m exhausted!

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Sandaltan ., October 20, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Multi-day rides abound with loops or only one move. Ya gotta bring your own RAGBRAI shirt to those.
https://www.bikingbis.com/across-state-bicycle-tours/

RIDE RIGHT

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“Bicycle Bill”, October 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Just want to mention that Carter LeBeau and the Quad Cities Bike Club tried something like this — a loop ride that lasted six or seven days — back in the 1980s or 1990s called “TOGIR” (The Other Great Iowa Ride).

TOGIR (rhymes with ogre) is the The Other Great Iowa Ride, a week long tour of eastern Iowa that goes from college to college where the riders can camp or sleep in the dorms.  Morning and evening meals are provided in the college cafeterias.  TOGIR was started by the infamous Carter LeBeau of Davenport, an avid cyclist who has the distinction of being the only person who has ridden on every RAGBRAI.
https://robertpanderson.com/tvl_0106_index.html

Never really took off, and petered out after maybe six or seven years.  Someone else picked up the rights and the name, and I guess it limped on until the early 2000s.

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David C., October 21, 2019 at 5:40 am

I just learned about this flap yesterday. My take is the show must go on and I am otherwise nonplussed by what I consider to be an internal power struggle that never should have seen the light of day and likely had been brewing for some time.

RAGBRAI is not TJ. No one is indispensable in this world and TJ made his choice. It may seem like this is an existential threat to RAGBRAI but it reminds me of everyone who said television was over after Cheers ended and then we got Friends and Seinfeld. Sure, end of an era. And a beginning of a new one. Next.

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mootsman, October 21, 2019 at 8:33 am

Just want to mention that Carter LeBeau and the Quad Cities Bike Club tried something like this — a loop ride that lasted six or seven days — back in the 1980s or 1990s called “TOGIR” (The Other Great Iowa Ride).

Never really took off, and petered out after maybe six or seven years. Someone else picked up the rights and the name, and I guess it limped on until the early 2000s.

So true BB. But I don’t think it was the fact it was a week long loop ride. The other example is in Colorado’s “Ride the Rockies” sponsored by the Denver Post newpaper and “The Bicycle Tour of Colorado” which was a week long loop ride put on by an organization led by 1 guy. RTR typically does not start and end in the same place (does once in a while) and BCT always did. Also similar support groups as RAGBRAI and Iowa’s Ride. It took about 20 years but “The Bicycle Tour of Colorado” eventually went away. I think RTR stuck because it is sponsored by the state’s major newspaper though and it was also first to market. Making it THE ride in Colorado. Same is likely to happen to any other big week long ride in Iowa. A newspaper always has a great way of promoting its ride without much cost. In the paper with news coverage.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

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KenH, October 21, 2019 at 9:23 am

I have actually started looking at other rides. I am committed to RAGBRAI for as long as it runs. I hope there is a RAGBRAI L and I hope that it is spectacular! But if TJ’s ploy does manage to kill RAGBRAI I will not be joining him, ever. Bike Wisconsin offers a couple of loop rides and three linear rides. They all look interesting, none of them are RAGBRAI of course. Two of the linear rides cross state borders. The Will to Ben ride is particularly appealing to me, it is on my list of rides to do and has been for a couple of years. Loop rides do have logistical advantages, they are well worth doing. There is one in Illinois too, GIBT. This year was a loop, I do not know if that is always how it is structured. Another one I would like to try, but in all cases in addition to RAGBRAI, not instead of.

My faith in TJ’s honor and nobility would be restored were he to do the right thing and move his new ride to another, non-contiguous week. I’d be happy to ride with him under those circumstances. It would be a great move for Iowa and for all the RAGBRAI vendors who would then have two opportunities to serve customers without choosing sides.

It is even possible for TJ to do a ride during a contiguous week in a manner that would compliment rather than compete with RAGBRAI. For example, there are many who clamor for an east to west ride. He could start in RAGBRAI’s end town, end in RAGBRAI’s start town and follow either the same or a different route during the week. People who wanted to ride east to west could. People who wanted a two week ride would have one. People who wanted a loop ride could pick a town in the middle and ride parts of both rides and have their loop. The end town would get as much love as the start town.

So many positives, no real negatives. This is an idea worthy of the TJ that I thought I knew. This is a creative way to take the Karras-Kaul idea and move it forward in a very creative way while completely honoring its traditions. TJ’s present plan is a self-serving power grab that is unworthy of him and RAGBRAI. Any other option would redeem him in my eyes and I am sure the eyes of nearly everyone.

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mootsman, October 21, 2019 at 9:43 am

I’ve looked at those Wisconsin rides also. One of them, SAAGBRAW, was originally sponsored by the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper. In its heyday they had 3 week long routes all converging on the ending celebration in a western suburb of Milwaukee with a limit of 1,000 riders for all 2 routes. I did the south route from La Crosse in 1981. The GABRAAWR ride looks nice but it is now on its 4th owner as is SAAGBRAW (now SAGBRAW). I’m not sure what kind of turnout they get now but last I heard GRABRAAWR was under 300.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

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mootsman, November 1, 2019 at 9:25 am

I think this could still be a good, friendly split if the following happen:

1) IR does not go on the same week as RAGBRAI.
2) IR serves as a “RAGBRAI Return Ride” or the “Iowa Double Cross”. They would work together then to achieve this. IR would follow RAGBRAI and riders would ride back to the start town.
3) Whoever currently owns the 3 RAGBRAI training rides, TJ’s group gets ownership of those 3 rides.

This is what would be best for the “3rd side” in this whole split issue. What would the RIDERS want. Remember us, THE RIDERS!

This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  mootsman.

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Joseph Schlau, November 1, 2019 at 9:59 am

The time for “amiable” would have been before the staged outrage over Carson King and the dramatic exit from Ragbrai. TJ was not Ragbrai, just one of it’s many replaceable employees. I don’t look for the DMR to give anything to TJ other than a subpoena.

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reedkennethia, November 1, 2019 at 12:25 pm

The time for “amiable” would have been before the staged outrage over Carson King and the dramatic exit from Ragbrai.

Exactly. Please don’t think of this situation as a divorce where the two parties split property and children. Think of it as it is: A former employee taking advantage of a situation in order to advance their own agenda.

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mootsman, November 1, 2019 at 12:53 pm

I’ll think what I want to. Although a amiable split would have been best initially it could be also a way out of the current somewhat unfriendly one.

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George Anderson, November 1, 2019 at 1:30 pm

At this point in time why should the DMR work with him at all? The time for that was long before he left. Reading between the lines would say he had no interest in that and what he wanted was to go out on his own and take over the last week in July in Iowa. Sometimes takeovers work sometimes they do not. We shall see.

I will be riding RAGBRAI in 2020.

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reedkennethia, November 1, 2019 at 2:31 pm

I’ll think what I want to. Although a amiable split would have been best initially it could be also a way out of the current somewhat unfriendly one.

I don’t disagree that it would be a way out of the current situation but, unfortunately, I think the toothpaste has been squeezed out of the tub if you know what I mean.

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