Communicating with team mates

I’m a newbie riding Ragbrai for the first time this year and acting as a team coordinator. Is there usually reliable mobile phone service/reception along the route to support texts and calls between team members? Or should we plan on more low-tech comms in advance each day? Thanks for your advice/suggestions! Otto

7 Replies

BillSpriggs, June 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

Otto, Verizon is my cell provider and I’ve never had a problem with texting. A good back-up would be to have a designated meeting locations, Casey’s, HyVee or one of the local landmarks.

#1270080

Roy Trent, June 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm

I am a newbie also and we are assuming our AT&T service will be sketchy based on previous comments. We are going to use some cheap 2-way radios. They are light weight and have a 10 mile reach. One for each rider and one in the support vehicle.

#1270291

ratscallion, June 12, 2017 at 9:04 pm

I’m on Verizon. In 2014 (northern route) cell phone voice call was sketchy at best, mostly failed calls. Text worked but severely delayed like 10-20 minutes. In 2016 (southern route) cell phone could voice call, but data for email and apps was junk. Text worked but delayed 3-5-ish minutes. Able to do video calls late evening and first thing in the morning. 2017 is a northern route with larger towns. I’m hoping service will be better.

#1270351

Jack in VA, June 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Based on input from others, AT&T is almost worthless throughout most of the rural areas of Iowa. Sprint / Boost also had very limited coverage in rural areas – better in the larger urban towns. Verizon seems to be one of the best bet, although (as previously mentioned), dropped calls, voice and text time delays seem to be the norm. Definitely make some “pre arrangements” with your group members prior to starting the day in case you run into a town with no or slow coverage.

#1270362

Carl Anderson, June 13, 2017 at 5:34 am

I am with U.S.Cellular and last year was a southern route and we did not have a problem.,But they also had two portable towers that traveled within the route. If they do that again I would not think I would have problems

#1270368

Nico ZZZ, June 13, 2017 at 7:55 am

Sprint in 2014 northern route and AT&T last year’s southern route. Both rides calls were impossible during the dayli8ght hours, and texting was a 10-30 minute delay. Last year my teammate Panama and I decided to look for the other one at a pre-determined place in each town, such as the closet beer to the post office, the first beer stand in town, etc. That way you don’t lose good beer time while waiting for your teammates! We ended up reconnecting at least a couple times throughout most days.
Ride On!

#1270390

Brian Wallenburg, June 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

When sending texts, it’s always a good idea to date and time them. I’ve sent and received texts that were more than a day old (makes things even more confusing). It’s best to have a pre-determined meeting spot in the overnight town. Not always needed, but comes in handy if it is. I’ve always thought they should just go back to the way it used to be and have the wall of notes. Ride into town, find the RAGBRAI trailer and look for your teams directions to the campsite. Each team had a different colored paper plate or note pad that the support driver would hang up. Seemed simple in the day.

#1270434

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Categories

Looking for RIDES

RAGBRAI XLVII – 2019

RAGBRAI XLVIII – 2020

RAGBRAI XLVI – 2018

Training

RAGBRAI XLV – 2017

RAGBRAI XLIV – 2016

Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found

Miscellaneous

RAGBRAI XLIII – 2015

RAGBRAI XLII – 2014

RAGBRAI XLI – 2013

RAGBRAI XL – 2012

RAGBRAI XXXIX – 2011

Clubs, Teams & Charters