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Any intel on official campground sites at host cities?

We know that Sioux City’s official campgrounds are going to be in Chris Larsen Park and Riverside Park. Unregistered riders will be at Cook Park. The bike expo will be at the Tyson Events Center and the adjacent parking lot.

Any details on other host towns???

46 Replies

HereForThePie, March 30, 2023 at 10:48 pm

Regarding Carroll, yes, that is what their Facebook page claimed is their “main campground.” It’s always assumed main campground is synonymous with baggage trucks.

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direwolf, April 2, 2023 at 11:27 am

Suzanne Barron: You show keen insight for a first-time rider. Finding a suitable campsite can be every bit as taxing, and more demoralizing, than the ride itself. Individual campsites are not marked, but charters will often rope off huge swaths of ground. Shade is at a premium, as is access to bathrooms. Charters often set up around midnight, in order to secure prime space for their paying customers.

We peruse town maps ahead of time, look for small parks. Depending on how comfortable you feel riding with your bag, you might want to check out some sites before you pick up your bag – it can be a nice way to see the town.

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Barry Schnoor, April 3, 2023 at 8:43 pm

Suzanne, Direwolf may be right. But I seem to think charters find their own spaces. There are “teams” that rope off areas. I got a little miffed last year when the DreamTeam roped off a big area in West Union. But that was before I realized what a great organization they are, and all the good things they’re doing for our youth. Generally, non-chartered teams are not “allowed” to rope off areas, but there’s little to stop them, aside from kindness and common sense. SAG Wagons are not the same as charters. BUT…all that said, I’m a hammock camper and am thus a little more limited on where I can hang my hammie. With a little creativity, I’ve never NOT been able to get a good night’s sleep.

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Phil Stearney, April 4, 2023 at 1:41 pm

Suzanne / First Time Rider: I agree with everything said by others. If you are with a charter, your camping area should be well signed on your way into town so that you are guided to the correct location. If you are with a team, they should be giving you an address or a location that you should be able to find. Based on your post, however, it looks like you are camping in the ‘general area’ and will have the Ragbrai truck bring your bag. If so, that is what I have done the last four years…I ride solo every year and I would suggest you simply ride to the general campground (ask if you can’t find it), find the baggage truck location, and then ride or walk your bike around to find a place for your tent. Leave your bike at that location…walk back and grab your bag. It can be crowded sometimes, but I have never had an issue finding space for the tent. Shade? We’ll that’s more difficult…but regardless of how crowded it is, you will have neighbors and you will be welcome. If you have questions, ASK. You will be riding with 25k other riders – all of which will be happy to help you. PM me with anything more specific…and welcome to the ride.

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LawnchairMan, April 7, 2023 at 11:54 am

Hi Suzanne,
I have only seen individual tent sites marked off last year in Lansing the Friday before we bussed to the start town. I have always used a charter, but imagine similar land grabs at all camp areas: it’s first come first served. I am usually one of the first ones in. I mark my spot with my shoes and helmet, then go get my gear. As has been mentioned, the shade goes first. Tents are then put up randomly. Don’t be surprised when a small tent is put up where you thought none would fit. Random is cool, though, because you always meet new neighbors. It does get awkward at times finding a path through the guy wires. I always suggest using day-glow green guy wires or put flags on them. Otherwise you may have friends dropping in on you.

Last year was the first time I couldn’t find my tent in the dark after my morning toilet. It took me 20 minutes to find it, then lost it a second time. I’ve considered clipping a flashing light to my roof, but I will just try to find better landmarks next time.

There was a posting a few years back that some people were reserving spots in the main campground for their fellow riders who were not there yet. Ragbrai staff told me that reserving spots is not allowed within the main campground. I’m sure it still happens, but is it worth fighting for? I plan to reserve a spot for my one team mate, but would give it up if challenged.

Have a great first Ragbrai Suzanne!

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LawnchairMan, April 7, 2023 at 2:06 pm

Suzanne,
A couple of more things about campgrounds. I’ve never heard of the main campground being split, but I have never used it. I have seen all riders camp in the same park with yellow tape separating the charters. Usually the main campground is by itself and charters camp in other parks. Sometimes charters camp next to each other. Sometimes my charter has had a whole field to itself.

If you camp next to a tree, be careful not to camp under it. Several years back a 30 foot limb fell from a tree in our camp. No one was hurt, but I think a couple of tents were slightly damaged. Try to put you tent where it will be in shade in the afternoon: east side of buildings or northeast of trees. Trees also make great places to lean you bike. I’ve even seen bikes hanging from limbs. Most bikes are laid on the ground, so that is another thing to watch for in the dark.

It is common to have a coat of dew on everything in the mornings. You might want to cover your seat.

Don’t forget to bring earplugs.

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PhilT, April 7, 2023 at 8:15 pm

Hello folks, My question is how fast will the overnight RV campsites fill up at Chris Larsen park, Sioux city? We plan on arriving Friday mid-day. Then watching the circus come to town. ( which we will be a part of. 😁) Per the Sioux City Fb page, there will be signs guiding everyone with RV’s to the park. Being that we will be coming in from the south on I-29 from Sergeant Bluff, exit 148 or 149 is what is said to use. Would it be to my advantage to get with the Sioux City Fb hosting page and see if there’s any homes open to my parking at their place for 36hrs +/-. Any help or advise would greatly appreciated.
1st timer here
Tks
Phil

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Suzanne Barron, April 10, 2023 at 10:38 am

1st time rider – Thanks for all your replies about camping! So, if there’s one thing I’ve learned these past 6 months of reading the RAGBRAI forum…don’t sweat it! Freaked in Nov about getting a spot in RAGBRAI (logged on at 1am – set alarm for midnite but forgot about time change – and super easy for husband & I to signup), freaked in January on getting a bus to the start (thx for info about contacting a charter from website list), freaked about camping but, hey, doesn’t seem to matter where we lay our heads down. What has also helped is making RAGBRAI the focus of our rides. April is 40mi each ride, increasing 10 mi each month, not worrying about mph but enjoying the ride. Wheels down at 5:30am (yep, I’m a morning person), back for breakfast. The multi days/wk of riding has made cycling so much easier. Have a small 2-person tent, bringing 2 shower curtain liners to use as a tarp over tent/bikes to keep off moisture. Starting to feel like RAGBRAI is going to be fun! : )

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LawnchairMan, April 10, 2023 at 11:03 am

Hi Suzanne,
It sounds like you have a great handle on doing your first Ragbrai. Your training sounds better than mine, and you are getting your gear set in plenty of time. One last suggestion, though. Were I you, I would invest in a four man tent. Mine is a “three person” Kelty and I feel cramped by myself and two duffle bags. If you have two people and gear, your tent will be very full in my opinion. Of course that is your call. Best of luck.

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Rob Fuller, April 10, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Once, we pitched our tent is the shade of the school only to have the early morning dew drops constantly dripping off the school eave. We laughed at our “wise” choice in location.

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Phil Stearney, April 10, 2023 at 2:16 pm

Suzanne: You have summed it up quite nicely. No need to freak out. Just get there. And then roll with it.
It’s hard to explain why that week July is so much fun. But you will soon see, like so many others who have said “one and done”…and every year we decide to come back…Enjoy the ride!

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Uncle Kraig, April 10, 2023 at 4:01 pm

FYI – I did hear that the main campgrounds in Storm Lake is going to be at the Field of Dreams on West 10th st. Kind of a bummer it’s not on the lake at Chautauqua Park again but it is what it is. See you all in July.

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LawnchairMan, April 10, 2023 at 6:13 pm

How can they steal that name? The Field of Dreams is in Dyersville.

Is this Heaven?
No, it’s Iowa.

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Rory, April 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

I have to say I am disappointed in the organization around RAGBRAI this year. In past years, overnight cities have had their websites/Facebook pages fully functional with a wealth of information about activities, campgrounds, RV hookups, entertainment, etc by now. I am having a difficult time finding anything this year, and it is mid-April. To be the 50th anniversary and “biggest” RAGBRAI ever, there doesn’t seem to be much effort into getting information into the hands of riders.

This reply was modified 1 year ago by Rory.

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DenBiker, April 12, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Rory – I totally agree… My 19th RAGBRAI – Can’t recall going this late with so little info coming from the host cities. For communities which have basically known that they would be hosting since late last fall the time to share some info with their overnight guests is long overdue. Even if plans are not totally finalized – share what you have. Some info is better than none at all!

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