Registration for Great Iowa Fall Ride Open!

Cedar County Sheriff

Eye roll…

19 Replies

T. Gap Woo, October 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Several years ago, Dubuque County proposed enacting an ordinance that would have required DMR, as sponsor of Ragbrai, to pay a fee for the same reason as the Cedar County sheriff is suggesting. Since I don’t live in Iowa, I lost track of the issue and don’t know if this ever passed.

I recall reading an article several years ago also, that cited the positive economic impact of an event like Ragbrai. The upshot of the article was that the positive economic impact far outweighed the costs incurred by a community.

So, does the Cedar County sheriff want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? I hope not! May cooler heads prevail.

See you along the I-O-Way in 2018, whether we ride through Cedar County or not.


Tim Tysver, October 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Guess the route moves a little further north.


Sexton, October 30, 2017 at 7:13 pm



Ken Reed, October 30, 2017 at 8:53 pm

I know. I hate it when people call it a race.


KenH, October 31, 2017 at 7:51 am

Of course the roads are not typically closed for cyclists either. He’s going to need WAY more than 24 deputies if he is going to enforce EVERY violation!

On the other hand we as a group do tend to bully other road users and I would like to see us apply the RAGBRAI spirit of friendship and cooperation to that as well and just stop it. One example that sticks in my memory occurred when a car was waiting to make a left turn in front of us at the top of a hill in 2016. The driver had been waiting for quite a long while because I could see her car waiting there as I crested the tops of the two previous hills. Then a miracle happened as I was approaching the top of the hill the car was waiting at. Someone called for us to stop, and we did!

The driver I am sure was grateful as were the the two or three other drivers trapped behind her who wanted to go straight. Some cyclist woman behind me was anything but pleased however. She went into hysterics, berating the people who stopped and trying to talk her team through this horrific outrage. I think she was this close to calling in professional grief counselors to help us deal with enormity of this offense to all that is right with the world. She typifies the normal cyclist attitude to sharing the road with automobiles: they can just get out of our way! We need to lose that whether in life in general or during RAGBRAI but especially during RAGBRAI because we are such an enormous imposition on the lives of fine folks who are just trying to go about their business.

I can understand where this sheriff is coming from even though his attitude is not very helpful. He needs to look at the big picture and understand how much good this event does for Iowa. And if he thinks there are ways we could and should behave better he is absolutely right. He just needs to help us understand that and develop methods of addressing that in ways that are more likely to evoke a spirit of cooperation on all sides.


Ken, October 31, 2017 at 8:18 am

Hi Ken,

As always, a voice of reason. Thanks. Ken


Ken Reed, October 31, 2017 at 9:21 am

I can see your point and I’ve seen similar situations with fellow cyclists but I’m thinking this sheriff is coming at this in a much more negative light. Personally, I think this has more to do with his dislike of cyclists than it does with sharing the road with automobiles. He thinks the Register bullies small counties into being on the route and is spiteful enough to ticket cyclists who are riding on roads that are, for the most part, closed off for the ride. This guy sounds like a hoot.

The sheriff needs to understand that these towns are dying to be on the route and hit the lottery when they are selected. Back in 2009 or 2010, there was an economic study done about RAGBRAI’s economic impact on the state for the week. I believe it was in the ballpark of $35 million. I’m sure it’s way more than that now. At this point, I am positive that the Tipton Chamber of Commence, the Mayor, and the Cedar County Board of Supervisors are trying to distance themselves from those comments and are actively trying to talk some sense into the sheriff. Not only does this impact RAGBRAI coming into Cedar County but other events as well. The sheriff isn’t doing the county any favors here.


KenH, October 31, 2017 at 10:28 am


I think we are saying basically the same thing in a different manner. I would note that it is interesting that the sheriff felt he needed to comment on RAGBRAI at this point in time. A route clue perhaps???

If I did the math right the cost of serving RAGBRAI for the Cedar County Sheriff Department would be around $12k which is about $1 for each of us. If the route does go through their fair county perhaps we should all carry a dollar in a back pocket that day and hand that dollar to the first county deputy we see and ask them to give it to Sheriff Wethington with our appreciation for a job well done!

On a more serious note, perhaps the RAGBRAI expo should include a donation bucket where we could all drop some cash to support whatever funds there are in the state to help the families of policemen who are injured or killed in the line of duty. That might put our presence in a better light in the minds of the Sheriff Wethington’s of the state and it would also be an appropriate gesture of gratitude for the contributions that Iowa’s finest have made to this ride over the years. If there is already such a bucket my apologies for not seeing it previously and someone please point it out to me this year!!


Ken Reed, October 31, 2017 at 10:54 am

Mine name is Ken too, btw. That’s a great idea. I did have a friend of mine suggest that t-shirts be made with the sheriff’s face on it with nice sayings underneath his face. All the money from those t-shirts goes to a fallen officer’s fund. Also, you know, I think there’s a chance he gave away part of the route. That being said, I don’t see us going through there now.


Mike Cordes, October 31, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Our team had the privilege last year to yard camp with a former mayor of a town where RAGBRAI stopped overnight. He told us that for many of the small overnight towns, the city will do all they can just to break even. Positive economic impacts of the ride benefit local businesses and charity groups – not the city or county directly. These towns all have tremendous pride in their communities, but they still need to balance a budget.

I’m not defending the tone of the Sheriff’s comments, but there is no need to bash him on this forum. I’m sure that the locals will address this as they see fit.


Ken Reed, October 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm

I am simply responding to his tone as it was relayed in the article. I just think the sheriff wants to be difficult in this situation and is opening himself to criticism. You can interpret it as bashing or whatever you want.


T. Gap Woo, October 31, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Note to Cedar County Sheriff: it’s 4:30 pm eastern time on 10/31/17. Turn on CNN and see what happens when bikes and motor vehicles mix inappropriately. Nuff said? Prayers go out to all affected.


Amanda, October 31, 2017 at 3:55 pm

I think his tone was harsh in the article. But I do see some good thoughts on this forum. Like a donation bucket at the announcement party or maybe RAGBRAI could add a box to check mark for donations on the registering site. A buck or 2 from all of us would add up.


Carl Anderson, October 31, 2017 at 5:21 pm

I believe Ken’s idea is a good one, but ask each county to have a designated spot for a donation, or put it as an elective on the registration .
The Sherif is an elected official, so he might be speaking of concern from his voters.No matter what his motivation was I do think we should implement Ken’s idea and practice the Golden Rule to treat pepole with the same respect as we would like to be treated.


T. Gap Woo, November 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

I like the idea of a collection/donation bucket at the Expo and a voluntary check-off box as part of the registration. In 2014, there were donation buckets in Rock Valley to help rebuild following the flooding that hit only weeks before Ragbrai, so there is precedent for this. How about it, TJ?

Organizations like Iowa C.O.P.S. (Google it for more information) and similar groups throughout Iowa would certainly appreciate our support as much as we riders appreciate their efforts.

Let’s practice the Golden Rule, as was previously suggested, and show that Ragbrai DOES care!

BTW, registration opens in a few short weeks. See you along the I-O-Way in 2018.


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