RAGBRAI LI Registration is Now Open!

Any veteran riders remaining from 1975 or prior?

I found the special vest and route arrow while getting ready for RAGBRAI this year. The route arrow is autographed by John Karras. I enjoyed getting to know John and Donald Kaul on SAGBRAI then rode RAGBRAI III and IV. After a 36 year hiatus, I’m back for the 40th anniversiary. My Dad will be a RAGBRAI virgin at age 75. I still have newspaper clippings from those early rides. That was really, Back in the Day. Let me know if you rode one of those early rides.

21 Replies

Michrider !!!, May 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

My jersey from 1997 also shrunk!!! Couldn’t be the beer and snickers!!!!


Sandaltan ., May 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

My jersey from 1997 also shrunk!!!Couldn’t be the beer and snickers!!!!

Neither beer nor snickers Mich, it is the Vanilla Wafers.



Just Krusin, May 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I rode the Kaul Karras Bike Ride #1 and #2 back in ’73 and ’74, before it was called RAGBRAI. Those first years they could end the ride in city parks like in Dubuque because the crowd was so so small compared to today. In ’73 they gave the riders a cue sheet with roads to take to get to the next overnight town, good thing because there were no direction arrows and quite often you would ride for a long time without seeing another rider. And in the early years you could get free food in pass thru towns, especially church cookies and farmers handing out free watermelon. Remember once back when we had to ride a stretch of gravel and some enterprising farm boys set up a hay wagon so you could sit on it with your bike and didn’t charge too much to take you across the gravel. Back then the ride was only 6 days and included a true century, like 103 to 106 miles everyone had to ride. And then there was good old Clarence Piccard with his long sleeve wool shirt and heavy pith helmet. He was found by the IHP riding down the shoulder of I-80 once, took a wrong turn. Ah, the good old days and memories but then the new days and memories are pretty good too.


knees36, May 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Well, I participated in RAGBRAI from the very first year…at least vicariously. All I could do was read the DM Register about the ride in those earlier years. The first ride went right through Ft. Dodge and Coalville where we lived. I wanted to ride with you all, even for a mile or two, but couldn’t get off from work to do even that. I remember many of the stories that are being recounted now and wishing like the devil himself that I could have been with all you veterans of the ride. Just didn’t have enough vacation time in those days to do the ride and still have vacation time left over for the family. One of our “veterans” here in Dodge rode the first year and every year after (except one) until just a year or two ago. I still remember him putting on his SAGBRAI shirt during one day of the week in many of his later RAG’s!!! People noticed that in a big way!!! Sadly, he passed away just last year while in his mid 80’s.


Michrider !!!, May 9, 2012 at 5:24 am

Sandaltan: Neither beer nor snickers Mich, it is the Vanilla Wafers.


No, don’t tell me it’s my beloved vanilla wafers!!! Helen brought me this box in 2010, it’s all her fault!!!!


jake d, May 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I wasn’t there in ’75’, but my wife was. It was her first year and she was 9 years old. Her father started the the year before,(SAGBRAI). She missed a few in between, but this year will be her 30th RAGBRAI, our 23rd together. Some may have read her story in Karras’s book, it’s right before John’s final words. For anyone interested, the quickest link I could find is http://www.geocities.ws/cityofcoin/story.html

Why am I posting this instead of my wife? Because she doesn’t like to take the credit she deserves, and I want everyone to know how proud I am of her.


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