Can the DMR replace the RAGBRAI staff in time?

Normally, the Director’s right hand person would be the natural successor. But in this case, the entire full-time staff walked en mass. There are so many moving pieces that make RAGBRAI go smoothly and there are so many questions yet to be answered.

* Is it even realistic to complete a candidate search and hire a new Director, who then needs to source, hire and onboard a brand new team?
* Do any of the remaining part-time staff have the experience to step into a leadership role and rebuild a team? Or are they most lower-level administrative folks?
* Is there anyone in an existing management capacity at the DMR who could step in, or would even want to? I would think most of the staff are journalists, and have no experience in the area of sporting event management.
* Is any part of the 2020 route locked down? Sounds like Iowa’s Ride is very close, so I assume TJ’s route will be the intended RAGBRAI route…in which case, RAGBRAI will have to start from scratch. Again, with time as a factor, how’s this going to work?
* If not, can the remnants of remaining part-time staff do all the recon work, community outreach and logistical planning to create a workable one?
* What about the myriad of other details (kybos, merchandise, Expo, jersey design, vendor management, campsites, ISL coverage, baggage transfer, vehicle routes, guiding and managing the overall effort, the announcement party planning in DSM, the registration process, the website, production and delivery of rider credentials, etc.)? Is there anyone who knows how to do this stuff?
* Since RAGBRAI relies heavily on volunteers, most of whom are experienced with a few RAGBRAI’s under their belts. I assume TJ and staff have carefully built & nurtured these relationships…so if many/most volunteers switch to Iowa’s Ride, how is RAGBRAI going to fill that void?

This can’t be done as a seat-of-the-pants effort by people with no real experience. This is a major event with extremely complex logistics. RAGBRAI 2020 has the potential to be an amateurish quagmire.

59 Replies

mootsman, October 29, 2019 at 8:36 am

The forum is listed as archive without an option to post new topics. What’s up with that? Does anyone know?

You can post new topics but you just have to pick a category first from the right hand side. You can;t post a new topic from an existing thread. Must choose a category first.

#1312437

KenH, November 4, 2019 at 8:05 am

Late last week I wrote to Anne Lawrie to report the spam thread about children’s books. I got a reply this morning and she assured me that it would be taken care of once they get some more important things done. It is not the worst spam thread I have ever seen, it can wait. But that is not really why I am writing this. She also mentioned that there will be a newsletter from RAGBRAI this week that will have some updates on what is going on. She did not give any details but I seem to have gotten some by other means. Now I would not have thought that I would ever have met Anne but I hear from that other source that she has been known to hand out patches on the Karras loop so many of us may have met her without knowing it!

The other means that I spoke of is a newsletter that I got from Pork Belly Ventures on Friday after I left work. I did not see it until this morning because it came to my work email. I do not have permission from the Register or PBV to share it but if you have friends who are on their email list you can ask them to share it with you privately. I am hopeful that everything I read there will be shared in the newsletter this week anyway. But suffice it to say the news is all very positive. Somewhere above I think I ventured the opinion that RAGBRAI would successfully take place this year but it might not be quite up to the usual standards. That opinion might turn out to be pessimistic.

So, check with your PBV friends or wait for the newsletter from RAGBRAI.

#1312525

skb-mpls, November 4, 2019 at 9:38 am

Thanks for the update. Positive news is much needed!

#1312526

Ken Reed, November 4, 2019 at 9:54 am

Great to hear, Ken! I’m looking forward to the newsletter.

#1312532

Mike Murphy, November 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Serious cyclists….have you ridden Ragbrai? I have 10 times and I consider myself a serious cyclist, however Ragbrai is mostly made up with non-serious cyclists. In regards to BikeIowa endorsement, who cares. BikeIowa means nothing to me or the thousands of other riders from around the country that enjoy Ragbrai.

#1312545

mootsman, November 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Serious cyclists….have you ridden Ragbrai? I have 10 times and I consider myself a serious cyclist, however Ragbrai is mostly made up with non-serious cyclists. In regards to BikeIowa endorsement, who cares. BikeIowa means nothing to me or the thousands of other riders from around the country that enjoy Ragbrai.

murphympl,

We figured out “Janie Gunn” who just joined on 10/28 is either:
1) a garden variety web troll.
2) or a plant from IR to hype up IR over RAGBRAI

No need to bother responding to her/him…

This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by mootsman.

#1312546

mootsman, November 4, 2019 at 3:38 pm

The other means that I spoke of is a newsletter that I got from Pork Belly Ventures on Friday after I left work. I did not see it until this morning because it came to my work email. I do not have permission from the Register or PBV to share it but if you have friends who are on their email list you can ask them to share it with you privately. I am hopeful that everything I read there will be shared in the newsletter this week anyway. But suffice it to say the news is all very positive. Somewhere above I think I ventured the opinion that RAGBRAI would successfully take place this year but it might not be quite up to the usual standards. That opinion might turn out to be pessimistic.

So, check with your PBV friends or wait for the newsletter from RAGBRAI.

Kenh,

Just read the PBV newsletter and the inside info they have is very good news for RAGBRAI. Sounds like RAGBRAI will be as good as ever. And after this first year some new blood with new ideas could be just what RAGBRAI needed.

This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by mootsman.

#1312549

Cory Rood, November 8, 2019 at 8:59 am

The other means that I spoke of is a newsletter that I got from Pork Belly Ventures on Friday after I left work. I did not see it until this morning because it came to my work email. I do not have permission from the Register or PBV to share it but if you have friends who are on their email list you can ask them to share it with you privately. I am hopeful that everything I read there will be shared in the newsletter this week anyway. But suffice it to say the news is all very positive. Somewhere above I think I ventured the opinion that RAGBRAI would successfully take place this year but it might not be quite up to the usual standards. That opinion might turn out to be pessimistic.

So, check with your PBV friends or wait for the newsletter from RAGBRAI.

Kenh,

Just read the PBV newsletter and the inside info they have is very good news for RAGBRAI. Sounds like RAGBRAI will be as good as ever. And after this first year some new blood with new ideas could be just what RAGBRAI needed.

I take the info from that email with a grain of salt. Their source is RAGBRAI, of coarse they aren’t gonna let on that the ship might be on fire.

#1312693

KenH, November 8, 2019 at 11:53 am

I take information from TJ with less than a grain of salt for the same reason. The newsletter has not appeared yet. The reason for that could be significant or mundane. Waiting is hard, isn’t it? 😕

#1312694

Sandaltan ., November 8, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Registration opens Monday, four days early, what could be better? There is nothing to fret over.

RIDE RIGHT

#1312697

Jose Medina, November 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm

It is all good. I have heard of many people changing their minds and going with Ragbrai. I have done it 30 years and I am sticking with Ragbrai. I have read the newsletter too and there is nothing to worry about. Better than ever.

#1312698

krucam, November 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Brancel Charters sent out am email a couple weeks back asking what we, their customers, wanted. 550 responses. 44% RAGBRAI, 30% Wherever, 26% IR.

Brancel, Pork Belly and others did meet with the new DMR RAGBRAI crew. Also, below is from PBV and may or may not be the same as the mentioned newsletter but I bet it’s close…
https://pkbelly.com/content/show/113

This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by krucam.

This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by krucam.

#1312707

Miss Curmudgeonly, November 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm

That’s a great newsletter. My team goes with Brancels and I’m glad to hear that most people picked Ragbrai with the survey. I certainly did, in no uncertain terms.

I found it telling in the article that someone posted about TJ claiming that there were “discussions” going on behind the scenes, which Ragbrai said they knew nothing about. Who knows what’s true, but the fact is, TJ is one person, he’s not Ragbrai. They’ve put on a great ride for many years before him, and will continue to do so. That TJ is even suggesting a reconciliation tells me his ride isn’t shaping up as planned. I’d guess he needs Ragbrai a heck of a lot more than they need him.

#1312711

Bob Braigar, November 9, 2019 at 2:36 pm

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=now%207-d&geo=US&q=RAGBRAI,Iowas%20ride&hl=en-US&tz=480

Visual on @IowasRide getting crushed by @RAGBRAI_IOWA. Google searches are a good proxy for awareness and registration intent. #RAGBRAI2020

#1312718

Joseph Schlau, November 9, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Brancel Charters sent out am email a couple weeks back asking what we, their customers, wanted. 550 responses. 44% RAGBRAI, 30% Wherever, 26% IR.

This is an interesting trend. So if these numbers are indicative of the overall rider intentions, and just say the wherever numbers are evenly split, then the Ragbrai/ IR split is about 60/40. I don’t see how IR could remain financially solvent if they are not getting even half the numbers. The question is, if this trend continues at what point will IR fold and will any of the early registrants see any of their money back.

#1312726

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