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Anyone interested in doing the two rides anyway?

Well, we know they’re both canceled that’s for sure. There is a monumental amount of preparation and planning that goes into both Ragbrai and Iowa’s. That being said, what if we, as a smallish group did the two rides anyway? Sure, there would be no bands, Porkchop Man, or Beekmans, but in all honesty what were we planning on doing this summer? That’s right….riding. My ad hoc proposal (tentative, and open to much discussion) is to go to Dubuque, ride to rock Rapids, get down to LeMars, head back across lovely Iowa to Clinton, and ride or shuttle back to Dubuque all following the original routes (even though Rag may have that same route in 2021). Well, for lack of a better name call it the “Double Crosser” ride. Ok, call me crazy, but what else are you planning to do in late July? Your thoughts?

8 Replies

T. Gap Woo, April 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm

In answer to the question you posed in the title of your thread, I will be precise and concise: “NO!”

Per your request to call you crazy, as they say in Deutschland, “Du bist veruckt!”

See you along the I-O-Way NEXT YEAR!


Rick, April 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

I’d be interested….if a ride I’m scheduled on (the Erie Canal ride) is canceled. Do you anticipate camping along the way? I would think if we go to the towns as they were originally scheduled we could camp right in the towns: they’d get a kick of we intrepid die-hards, eh? I’d like to try to arrange a good place to leave my car in Dubuque, maybe at a LBS?


hnschipper, April 28, 2020 at 2:02 pm

Why would you assume you can camp in town when RAGBRAI has been cancelled this year? I would not show up in any town expecting towns to be ready to accommodate riders. If you’re going to go, call ahead and make arrangements.


Rick, April 28, 2020 at 2:27 pm

I’ve camped all over in parks in Kansas on bike rides: besides RAGBRAI riders, particularly, seems to be such historical benefactors to these towns. Besides, we’d still have to eat and drink, I’m picturing just a few people anyhow.


KenH, April 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm

I originally made some noise about doing the ride anyway but we know a lot more now than we did then and I am no longer interested in this notion. If you live in Iowa and you comply with Iowa’s restrictions and the overnight town regulations then be my guest. I don’t think Iowa needs a big influx of outsiders right now however and I am not a resident so I am not going to make any plans based on assumptions about the situation in Iowa at the end of July.

I believe that RAGBRAI has hinted at holding a weekend ride in the fall and PBV may also try to hold one. I will keep an eye on those options. If they come to pass and if Iowa feels comfortable with non-residents coming in for them I would consider them. There are riding options in Illinois too and I will keep an eye on them as well. It’s anyone’s guess if any of them will come to pass.


Jboz, April 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm

So, are we talking about a big group (like hundreds) of riders all doing a quasi-RAGBRAI by riding the exact route on the scheduled days? If so, they probably would be frowned on and I would not want any part of that.

But I am considering getting together with a few friends and doing a “home grown” 6 or 7 day route, probably circular, and somewhere around Iowa. And we will probably share a few rooms in a budget hotel since that’s a viable option without thousands competing for hotel rooms. We ran the numbers, and all-in will cost less than RAGBRAI since no charter, no cross-state bus, etc..

Is that likely to create a problem for the locals? I seriously doubt it. Look at it this way…let’s say a small group of cyclists pass through a town. And let’s say they stop at Caseys to grab a sandwich, a slice of pizza and some Gatorade. Or maybe they actually go into a local diner and sit down for a nice meal. How is that any different than a few dozen auto travelers moving through over the course of the day, grabbing a sandwich or having a meal? If businesses are open, they are saying “Please come in and spend your money here.” The fact that we rode up on a bike should not matter one little bit to that business, and probably represents less risk than the road warrior or trucker who has been all over the place over the past few weeks.


Papa T, May 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm

I wonder what is the over/under on the number of cyclists doing this in July. Talk about HISTORIC!! People in Iowa will talk about the crazy Pandemic riders in 2040!!


Eric Strobel, May 1, 2020 at 9:32 pm

I would be interested but based on the number of people who would like to do this. I was thinking around 20 or so would be a manageable number for logistics and the towns. I’ll watch this thread to see what comes of it. I need to have a ride to look forward to for motivation.


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