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Best and Worst?

What is everyones opinions on Best town and Worst town?

Best town for me was Waukon. They had everyone spread out, set up, just seemed to flow good in town.
Oddly Charles City seemed to be the worst town from our teams experience. Lack of everything.
Even with a vehicle pass, we kept getting told we werent allowed into the official camping areas in EVERY town. However every single local was driving through taking photos of everything.

Overall, the ride was good, a few very rough patches. The first stretch out of Decorah was the roughest roads. The weather was great in my opinion other than a little windy one day.

As soon as we got more to eastern Iowa, traffic got worse and worse on the routes. We even had a group get ran off the road by a milk truck driver that decided he didnt care if RAGBRAI was there or not and simply laid on his horn.

So, whats everyone elses opinions?

46 Replies

dalebob, August 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

Hard to pick a favorite moment but happened upon a group called The Spacemen in Ionia. 13 year old boys playing ACDC and killing it! They need to be a featured band next year. That downhill into Charles City in the rain was nasty. Lots of bikes went down when the patrol would suddenly stop the bikes to let vehicles through the intersection, combination of wet brakes and clipless pedals. I put on my Uncle Sam hat and stood out on the hill and warned folks speeding down the hill to slow ahead. A great ride overall, fun to ride through my home town of Decorah.


Bernard Schwartze, August 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

My first RAGBRAI and it exceeded my expectations. My favorite overnight was Charles City. Liked the concert being next the square, made it feel like there was a lot more room. I appreciate the park atmosphere. The bridge over the river was cool. Lawler was awesome, wish I had more time to stop that day.


jwsknk, August 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Clear Lake camping was not very good at the place they put several teams. Almost all the kybo’s were lined up in one corner of a several acre site. Almost in the middle of PBV land. Some that were scattered around had signs says only for so and so’s use. Winding paved paths going through team/clubs campsights that were also used as roads. No water available. Someone asked a volunteer and they snapped back we told group contact there was no water here. Good thing it wasn’t hot out. At least they could have contacted the National Guard to bring a tanker over. They used to do it in long stretches between towns. Getting out of town they stopped everyone right on the edge of town for about 10 minutes. First I though maybe it was for an ambulance of clear traffic from side streets. But no, “Bob” said someone ahead radioed him and said the road was really packed so hold everybody up. So instead of things spread out like before the stop, fast and slow riders were all bunched up again until that first hill.


RoyBoy, August 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I agree, Clear Lake camping was not very good. There were plenty of kybos throughout the camp ground but they were reserved for special teams and the public ones were a long way away. I heard someone say they used one of the private kybos in the middle of the night and purposely slammed the door as loudly as they could.


jake d, August 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

The kybo situation in Clear Lake was the worst I have ever seen. From our campsite I measured it off on my bike computer at almost 500 yards. That was taking the most direct route thru the tents, not following the path; and we were closer than some. I don’t blame the clubs for protecting their turf, but if no one is using them and no one is waiting, what’s the big deal. They don’t charge by the pound.
The club next to ours was more than happy to let us use there’s if we put a dollar in the collection box taped to the door. RAGBRAI needs to address this issue.


Jack in VA, August 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm

My only WORSE would have to be cell coverage in Cresco – my uncle drove down from St Paul to meet me, and we almost missed each other due to not being able to communicate. I finally headed over to Decorah with friends, and as soon as we got out of town, the cells worked just fine. Unfortunately, my uncle was still in Cresco and couldn’t receive texts or calls. After a few hours he gave up and started heading north back to MPLS/StPaul – and the text msgs and voice mail messages popped up as soon as HE got out of town. We were all able to meet in Decorah for a wonderful meal and evening together.

LESSON LEARNED – next time we plan to meet during the ride, we will not only choose a town, but also a pre-determined location and time to meet up just in case the cell systems are completely overloaded like they were in the last 3 towns.

Brings to mind what it was like WAY BACK WHEN before cell phones – we had to use landlines and pay phones. Somehow we survived – (and evolved????)


Sunflower, August 1, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Verizon was on top of its game throughout the state except for Cresco.

Best coverage by far, so far, on RAGBRAI.


CyclingCyclone, August 2, 2017 at 11:25 am

IMO-Best? The entire week. I’ve said this ride is in my top-5 favorite RAGBRAI’s out of the 34 I’ve ridden. Great weather, route, towns.
worst? I had no issues whatsoever with Charles City. Had a fantastic plate of biscuits and gravy at Dave’s Diner when we got into town, the Lutheran church we stayed at were great hosts, the homeowners of the house I knocked on for a shower were extremely pleasant, but I thought the shuttle routes in that town were wonky with no rhyme or reason.
Actually, what peeved me and my 2 friends the most were wheel suckers. Either they would quietly sit on, and not acknowledge they were back there and surprise you, some would ask, which we would politely say “no thank you, we don’t draft with people we don’t know”, and some would act like you just insulted their mother for telling them no drafting. For years I’ve thought about getting one of those Yosemite Sam mudgards that says “Back Off!” and attaching it to the back of my bike or jersey.


Amanda, August 2, 2017 at 7:04 pm

RAGBRAI 45 was one of best ever! The end of RAGBRAI was the worst ever!! I dipped my tire with my team and then went to town to eat.After a few celebratory drinks, we went back to the RV to get ready. I tripped and fell and broke my fib tib. Had surgery today and now on the road to recovery!


Carl Anderson, August 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Ragbrai 45 was Great. The bummer for me was dealing with a sinus infection. The icing on the cake was after getting my centry ride in was my Granddaughter came to my camp and we got a chance to visit. The most gorgeous morning was coming out of Spencer.


Mike Murphy, August 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm

RoyBoy…Don’t understand why they would slam the door. Part of our charter fees goes to ensuring that we have extra kybo’s and other amenities. No reason to be mad at us just because we choose to pay for a little nicer Ragbrai.


jwsknk, August 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

In Waukon two guys from Ness in Winneshiek County were dropping off more kybo’s about 6:30-7:00 around the campsites in the city park. At least 4 sets of 4 where they say a need for them. Saved a lot of people longish hikes and the plumbing for those 2 bathrooms in the concession building by the baseball diamond. Spreading them around is a little more work for them but saves so many people the middle of the night hunt through the park trying not to trip on anything.


SFC JKL 2, August 3, 2017 at 9:11 pm

The ride into Decorah was awesome. The ride out destroyed any positive feelings I had built up. Huge hills to go with probably the worst road we were on all week. The weather has to be a highlight. A week earlier and we would have been smoked. Cool at night for great camping. People coming out to support riders this year were great. I think I saw more people handing out free stuff than ever before. Free PB&J sandwiches? I don’t know how you even think of that. Free chocolate milk, free bananas, free water. Free frosty malt beverages. Definitely a free alcohol record. We knew it was going to be an easy ride, but that was one for the ages.


T. Gap Woo, August 4, 2017 at 6:52 am

Princess Amanda,

I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune following the tire dip in Lansing. I had hoped to meet you after I saw several Black Fungus riders outside of Shepard’s. When I asked where you were, your teammates said that you were uptown and would be along shortly. Within a few minutes, I spotted Mrs Woo in the crowd, so we headed to dip site 3 for pictures. Our paths must have crossed and I never got to meet you.

I can’t help but think that if we would have met and chatted for just a few minutes, the “timing” would have been altered and you wouldn’t have been injured. Shades of Stephen King!!

In any case, please accept my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hope to see you along the I-O-Way in 2018.


Michrider !!!, August 4, 2017 at 7:38 am

Princess Amanda, I know you’re a tough chick! You will recover and be better than ever! Take care of your Lefty!!!


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