Community Housing

Anybody else apply for community housing through official town sites this year? My small team of 4 applied in both Fairfield & Centerville, with bad results in both. I applied early, and heard from Centerville promptly, so props to them for that. Bad new from them was that our “host” was offering a vacant lot about a mile from town without water or any other amenities. It was nice of the landowner to offer, but not really an option for a small team of tent campers, and not what I asked for. In Fairfield, I had given up until I got an email from Fairfield Ragbrai a couple of days before the ride started. They put me in touch with a kind but quirky gentleman who offered space in his debris strewn yard (big enough for maybe one tent, not four) and access to a house with blacked-out windows and visible mold on surfaces. We decided to pass. Small towns have limited space, and maybe small teams don’t get priority. I’ve had mixed results with community housing before, but not quite like this. I don’t think I’m going to try in the future.

3 Replies

3 Pedal, July 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm

I have had a couple host experiences that didn’t work out great, but mostly over the years they have been great. This year, I applied for two, one I didn’t hear back from and the other said the Middle School was excited to host us. We ended up somewhere else that day. I know that hosting us is a side thing compared to the rest of RAGBRAI, so I roll with it. I do now sometime put on the application that unless they are on the route out, I am not interested in a host that is 5+ miles out of town.


hnschipper, July 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm

RAGBRAI is and always has been a camping event. Any housing you do get is just bonus, but housing should not be expected in any town.


turtlePacker, July 29, 2019 at 9:10 pm

To clarify: there’s no expectation of being in hosts’ home. We camp. My post is mostly a rumination about the apparent uselessness of applying for host matching through the official channels. Not looking for pampering, just wanting to plan ahead for where we’re going to lay down for the night. I’m a planner. It’s like a nervous tic.


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