RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

COVID this year?

Got lucky last year but my wife came back with the rona this year—I’m symptomatic but testing negative still. Who else got COVID on the ride this year?

53 Replies

Cole Epley, August 6, 2022 at 9:22 am

Updating to note that I finally tested positive, after symptoms got far worse. Hope everyone bounces back!


Thom M, August 6, 2022 at 10:12 am

I picked up this souvenir as well. Symptoms began in earnest on Monday.


NiaHartman, August 6, 2022 at 10:21 am

Thanks for asking, Joseph. The butterfly spent a few days in a Chicago hotel, flew (as carefully as she could while trying not to infect others) home and is feeling much better. Let’s use this forum to think up reasonable suggestions for next RAGBRAI. Covid will be with us next year so… Maybe put masks and test kits on the packing list. Maybe suggest folks plan on going home rather than making plans to see relatives after RAGBRAI if they are concerned. Easy Peasy. It would have helped us newbies who were overwhelmed with all the other logistics.


Joseph Schlau, August 6, 2022 at 12:00 pm

It is said that armies prepare for fighting the last war. So too with Covid-19’s many variations. Last year the vaccines were up to 96% effective against the original strain. Most masks were effective.

Then entered delta and omicron v6. Vaccines no longer protect but mitigate symptoms. Your RAGBRAI is still ruined but by and large most infections are milder than the original.

But according to a recent NY Times article, we have reached a plateau. 80% of Covid cases will occur this year, and we will lose over 12,000 people each month in the US.

What the situation will look like in July 23 is uncertain. The only thing one can do at this point is stay informed throughout the year.

Then make a decision based on what is known and available at that time.


Michelle Hook, August 6, 2022 at 4:37 pm

I had many opportunities to pick up free test kits from my county in IL and also everyone in US could get some free from the internet government website. Our RV group of 7 travelled with 16 tests and we did not even use one. A couple people felt like they had allergies/colds midway but did what they needed to do to recover quickly. They never ended up using the tests.


Sarah Prudhomme, August 6, 2022 at 8:09 pm

I didn’t ride because I had Covid right before, but both my 81 year old dad and brother rode and both are now positive.


Gallagher, August 6, 2022 at 8:35 pm

I picked it up, too, but I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to do it again. It’s with us for the long run, folks … if you are concerned, mask up while riding next year or test every day. It isn’t up to RAGBRAI or towns to change the way they do things.


AMaliar, August 7, 2022 at 10:43 am

^^^^ What this poster said. COVID wasn’t even on my mind when I signed up for RAGBRAI and I will gladly do it again. It’s not going away anytime soon regardless of the numbers of vaccinations out there. Like I tell people, I got my 2 shots and that’s IT. My body isn’t a Star Wars trilogy or lab experiment. If you’re that afraid of catching it, mask up or stay away unless you want to ride in a bubble or hazmat suit. Rode the entire week and I feel perfectly fine (not a Spring chicken either.)


Robert, August 8, 2022 at 9:39 pm

A friend who rode RAGBRAI with me was positive for COVID on Monday after the ride. His wife who gave him a ride home also got it. I did not. I wore an N95 mask whenever we reached the crowded streets of a pass- through or overnight town. I avoided going indoors as much as possible and wore an N95 mask if I went into a building. I got a few odd looks when wearing a mask and felt a little self conscious, but I believe a proper N95 or KN95 mask (not cloth or simple surgical mask) helped protect me.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Robert.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Robert.


Joseph Schlau, August 11, 2022 at 6:46 am

I was looking at The NY Times this morning and viewing the county maps in Iowa. I noticed some, but not all, of the biggest biggest hot spots in the state occurred in counties where RAGBRAI passed through or overnighted there.

Certainly not a clear scientific cause and effect conclusion, but interesting.


mckeeverlisa, August 11, 2022 at 2:05 pm

I rode alone all 7 days (not with a team or with a charter) The Tuesday after returning home I test positive for COVID. Strange, I had been exposed MANY times and have always tested negative. I think it was the Johnny on the spots


Joseph Schlau, August 11, 2022 at 2:27 pm

Did you ride in any busses?


Robert, August 11, 2022 at 8:36 pm

I read that the B4 and B5 variants of COVID may spread even outdoors. It is not as likely as indoors, but possible. That is why I wore a mask whenever I got off my bike to walk through the towns. I would get food and refreshments, find an open space to enjoy them without my mask, while watching the crowd from a distance. My friend’s wife who was his vehicle support did not wear a mask in Mason City while in line at the food vendors. The streets were very crowded and that may be where she was exposed to COVID. They both had it for about a week, but are not feeling better. I live with a cancer patient so am careful about being exposed to COVID, but I do not let it prevent me from enjoying life and RAGBRAI. I did get a few stares while wearing my mask.


montestaples, August 13, 2022 at 6:04 pm

I started coughing and rhinitis (runny nose) on Tuesday of RAGBRAI. I thought it was my usual symptoms I always get when biking since I have a long history of asthma and chronic rhinitis. However I felt really good all week and never felt sick. When I got home I tested positive for covid so I called Urgent care. Since I felt fine and I was on day 6 they did not want to see me and would not order Paxlovid. I have never felt sick but I am still testing positive every 2-3 days . It is now day 18. Of course my wife got it and was sicker than me but not really that bad. She was put on Paxlovid and cleared the virus in 5 days. We both have been vaccinated and boosted which seems to have prevented anything more than mild symptoms. I am still not sure I had covid that whole time but I am really sorry for maybe being a super spreader during RAGBRAI.


NiaHartman, August 14, 2022 at 9:21 am

Montestaples, we feel like you. We think we had a farm grunge from the pig smells and farm chemicals starting the second day of the ride. Lung stuff but no fever. Felt great riding all week. Monday after the ride we got other symptoms and tested positive. Since we had the other symptoms earlier we were denied paxlovid. Just wondering if there are carbon masks for riding past the pig farms.


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