Best Town, etc.

1.) Anyone agree that Lytton is the best overall town this year? Kind of rare that a passing-through town would have won my vote.
2.) The first day is long and hot with much less riders on road. While no official counting, but this year’s attendance must have down significantly, the older the age groups drop sharper.
3.) Also I noticed that there was much less road kill on the first two days. They increased later days.
4.) Hard to believe there were 3000 opted in Karras loop. I also saw much less “cheaters” who rode in the opposite direction to cut the loop shorter. But the suckers would have to suffer climbing out of Stone City in the end.
5.) Clint dip site is a little anti-climax.
6.) Air Force Team is also smaller?
7.) Weather-wise, what a contrast between the first five and last two days.

10 Replies

KenH, August 9, 2021 at 9:19 am

I don’t have a stand out best town but I agree that Lytton did a GREAT job and it is quite a small town. Ridership felt down this year, it will be interesting to see what the official count was, if they release it. Food was a little hard to come by the first couple of days. The gravel day is a great idea but I only made about half of the second section before had to take US69 south to the main route where I could get some actual food and cold drinks. They need to include a town with services on the gravel route for those of us who are not training for gravel races. They also need to supply cold water at their aid stations instead of leaving the water out in the hot sun all day. The walk in beer cooler in the Alden Casey’s may have saved my life! The insturctions and route markings for support drivers were horrible, as usual. But DeWitt took it to an all time low. They had absolutely no one anywhere at the entrance of town to give any guidance to incoming support vehicles and there were no signs. After ending up nearly in the downton expo area I parked nearby and talked to both town and RAGBRAI representatives about this. As it turned out, DeWitt had changed their mind about the support route 6 months before RAGBRAI and had told RAGBRAI but the support route maps that RAGBRAI gave us were never updated!

Keep in mind that i am an engineer and that noting problems so that they can be discussed and fixed is my life’s worth. Overall this was a great RAGBRAi and like thousands of others I was delighted to be on the roads of Iowa again on a bicycle with thousands of my best friends! The new leadership team is off to a great start and if there were issues they were no more than in previous years. I look forward to many more if my advancing age permits.


Derek Eilderts, August 9, 2021 at 11:36 am

Lytton doesn’t stick out to me. Was that the first town with pie? And sorted by flavor? I guess the first town with pie always gets bonus points. I thought Ackley was a great breakfast town and Alden was a great afternoon town. I must be partial to the A towns.
We left quite early on the first day and there were noticeably fewer riders. But from the 2nd day on it seemed like a normal RAGBRAI turnout. I suspect others started leaving earlier in the day to avoid the heat.
And I agree the dip site was a total dud. Took one look at the setting and another look at the line and made the easy decision that it wasn’t worth it.


Uncle Kraig, August 9, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I thought Le Mars was the best starting town in years! They were the only town, I believe, with a functioning website that included maps, entertainment, sponsors, etc. They communicated often on social media, the town was welcoming, the entertainment was good especially the Tom Petty cover band (except for those poor women from KC that did the Madonna and Lady Gagga covers, they were really bad) I thought Alden was a great town and Lytton did not let us down with their pie build up. It was great, easy to get and plenty of it. Nice job. I’m already trying to guess next years route :)


Uncle Kraig, August 9, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Oh and I almost forgot, I had the best breakfast pizza in my life at Leons Pizza in Webster City, it was fantastic. And, I was not a big fan of the $5 cover charge (for non riders) in Iowa Falls to get in the walled compound. My wife met me that night and I was kind of suprised she had to pay a cover to get in there. Not a big deal in the scheme of things but just hadn’t really seen it before and it probably kept some locals from coming out and enjoying the circus of RAGBRAI.


igor, August 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Off the top of my head I really liked Le Mars, Lytton, Ackley, Alden, Ft. Dodge, Webster City, Iowa Falls , Parkersburg, Walker. Hottest RAGBRAI since 2012. I left early and left late and I feel there was less people overall this year. The road felt less crowded. Good news is that I didn’t see too many crashes, ambulances etc.


Jack in VA, August 11, 2021 at 7:46 am

I’ve got to give a huge THANK YOU to the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce- and the town RAGBRAI coordinator. I used the shower at the high school and in the crowded bustling space I managed to walk out feeling nice and clean and fresh- and left my shaving bag behind. Didn’t realize till about 10 pm when I needed to take my meds before bed. The next morning a volunteer suggested I check with the CoC office. First person I met was cleaning up the square- and was the event coordinator. She took my name, description of contents, phone #, email, , etc.
Monday afternoon my phone dinged “ We found your bag! Mailed today”.
I was impressed with the town when we rode in and while visiting. Im absolutely in love with it now.
THANK YOU DeWitt❤️❤️


klkoopman, August 13, 2021 at 3:35 pm

They were all great, but I’d like to compliment all the pass-through towns of the final three days (Waterloo to points east). These were all towns with small populations, yet every single one of them did a terrific job. This in a year when it was understandably hard finding volunteers.


Mike Murphy, August 14, 2021 at 8:20 pm

First two days I was disappointed in all the towns. Cherokee being the worst meeting town in my 11 times doing Ragbrai. I was there at 8:15 and nothing other then the DQ stand was open. Considering they have been an overnight town before I expected a better effort. Alden seemed like a town that would be great to live in. Downtown DeWitt was outstanding with all the tables they had in the downtown area. I decided to eat at a vendor on friday night in DeWitt and really appreciated being able to sit at a table and enjoy a great tenderloin and enjoy the lovely night. The only other complaint was Waterloo, way to spread out and didn’t have a Ragbrai feel to it. I agree that the crowd seemed light, however I felt that the riders really enjoyed themselves. Look forward to seeing the route for next year.


SFC JKL 2, August 21, 2021 at 11:07 pm

Lytton was really good, but I have to give the nod to Parkersburg and all of their “world’s greatest” signs.
I heard the Air Force team was 100 this year, so a little smaller than the 120 they had the last several years (I think 180 was their max) Correct me if it’s wrong. We did camp next to them one night. After our captain hugged the first one that wandered thru our camp, we never saw another one all night.

This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by SFC JKL 2.


mamadailydose, September 17, 2021 at 7:30 am

Yes, I have read about this state that is really best and amazing town, love this place. I have my baby, he has drool rash on mouth area. Is this a sign of living at polluted place?


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