Blue Grass Detour onto Gravel

Haven’t seen anyone post this so I will. Great #RAGBRAI. The first 6 days were fantastic in too many ways to list. But the detour up into Blue Grass on the last day was complete BS. Why didn’t the route continue on 22 past Montpelier through Buffalo? Barely saw the river until the finish. And the main route should never include gravel, but this one did just to force us through a gauntlet of Blue Grass vendors. The detour also added unnecessary miles on an unusually long final day. Can anyone explain why this was considered a good idea?

24 Replies

Dizzy, July 29, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Limiting my comment to the presence of the gravel. 1) Due to the depth/thickness of the gravel, we would have been better served w/some type of overwhelming alert as to it’s presence. (If it was there, I missed it.) With only 10 miles to go, I only had one thing in mind; getting to Davenport. 2) That “alert” would have included a “non-gravel” alternative through Blue Grass. D


flyinbrian, July 29, 2018 at 9:32 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one that was annoyed with that. I don’t mind the long day and I did the gravel(sand pit) on day 1 but there was no need to force us through that vendor gauntlet. It could not be ridden through so I was just hobbling through gravel in uncomfortable shoes when I wanted to be riding.


craig levy, July 29, 2018 at 11:13 pm

It was complete BS. Went in…saw the set up… got a Gatorade and then walked my bike back out.

It appeared to only a money grab. Why the re route around their downtown?


soianewlee, July 30, 2018 at 7:09 am

I’m guessing they thought it would be more fun to go through an old drive-in theater rather than visiting the same vendors in town. Stopped and got a gatorade and a $2 piece of pie which was the best deal of the week.


TJ Juskiewicz, July 30, 2018 at 7:27 am

Just so you know, the entire downtown was under construction… the town chose to do that…


Jeff Glass, July 30, 2018 at 8:01 am

From the comments I heard as we stumbled across the loose gravel, Blue Grass won the award for ‘Worst Pass Through Town.” Unfortunate.


Mark Weintraub, July 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

TJ, Thanks for the reply, but, seriously, why go through there at all under those conditions if there was another route available?


jwsknk, July 30, 2018 at 8:46 am

we did a kind of cross country route behind the vendors, lot less gravely


U Knee Cycle, July 30, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Do not ever do anything this stupid ever again. If there is any disagreement, perhaps Gannet corporate needs to review whether sending 15,000 bicycles through a loose gravel parking lot falls within the ‘accepted risk’ terms of the standard waiver. It is interesting that police were shutting down every private gathering upstream, but not this atrocity. The only good thing about it is that they did have warm water and enough paper towels to clean up all the blood that was spilling out of my leg after trying to make a sudden stop in said loose gravel to avoid a sudden bunch up of other traffic.


Anonymous, July 30, 2018 at 12:19 pm

What on fucking Earth is everyone complaining about?? If the gravel was an issue, get your ass off the bike and walk through it. You all are making it seem like it’s the end of the world. Bunch of fucking BIG BABIEZ!


BugBoss, July 30, 2018 at 12:32 pm

I thought this stop was substandard. That being said, I also enjoy variety and a challenge (I did the gravel and the century). I heard lots of people complaining. I get their perspective. But let’s not make a big deal of it. It could have been better, and it did seem like a money-grab. But I voted with my dollars and just rode (didn’t walk) through. No problems.

I’m open to all solutions, and if the downtown was completely under construction…was there really a great other choice?


Sandaltan ., July 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Each community makes all the decisions within their own community including the route through the community. We are simply guests.



LawnchairMan, July 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Went around the drive-in. A friend only road from Davenport to Montpelier and met me at the entrance of the drive-in. He learned that we just had to go straight through the barricade, then a take a left to join the main route. Maybe a four hundred foot detour with no gravel. Sounds like we made the right choice!


Dean McCarrick, July 30, 2018 at 2:42 pm

I agree with someone earlier-the town was under construction-the vendors were all locals who were trying to raise money for local causes. Their prices were less than anywhere else on the ride- as far as adding miles to the ride??? The reason I do the Ragbrai are the miles- I had to walk more through most of the towns than I did in the drive in. I think it was great that Blue Grass worked with what they had and I for one had no problem with it. Blue Grass, thanks for putting up with having thousands of strangers come through your area.


Niles, July 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Oh yeah, the one tenth mile of gravel broke so many kneels and destroyed so many Rolls-Royce bicycles and cost a Tour de France time trial.

I believe Blue Grass compensated their guilt with the most generously priced pie of the whole RAGBRAI week.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)

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