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D-Port should not host RAGBRAI for a very long time.

I understand that Davenport had some river related issues this week but diverting some support vehicles to Moline was dumb. They also had way too many things planned for that weekend which made it worse. Of the five RAGBRAIs that I have done, D-Port was the worst town and that includes Waterloo. 

48 Replies

Anonymous, August 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I agree. Seems that once RAGBRAI was committed, it seems the city got greedy and did a BK 7 running race and a street festival downtown on the same day, in addition to the separate bicycle festivities. Maybe it was economies of scale, but sure didn’t see the same amount of police/traffic support for RAGBRAI as I did for BK 7 (and we also got 2nd billing on a company street sign as well).

On another note, I would like the name of a BBQ/smoked meat vendor (I think it was Manning) on the east side of the street nearest to where the hill leveled out. Anyone out there able to help? Thanks!


dbreon, August 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I was very concerned over the D’port arrangements for Friday night camping on Credit Island, having to move to St. Ambrose early Saturday morning for long term parking, and all the talk about everyone being routed onto a narrowe bike path and possibly being stuck (or held captive) on the island at the dip site.  I have to say, D’port worked out fine for me.  

Instead of camping on the island, I slept in my truck at St. Ambrose.  I wasn’t the only one. The school bus driver dropped me off at the casino and I found a great place for dinner, Wood-something, a couple of blocks away.  In the morning, I was right there for the east-west buses. 

On Saturday (ending day) I thought some of the roads through the neighborhoods were pretty narrow, but it was OK.  I wasn’t looking forward to biking up the hill to get from the river back to St. Ambrose but I didn’t like the way they were loading the bikes into the pick up truck bike shuttles, so I ended up riding / walking the three miles anyway.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with us, D’port!   



jake d, August 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm

  This was my 22cd RAGBRAI and definitely makes my top 5 for endind towns.  Beautiful setting, miles of river front to dip, and plenty of room and time for team photos.  There were showers, food, and not alot of congestion.

  Yes we had to ride an additional 3-4 miles down the river to our staging area, but that was the best part.  It was a very relaxing end to a challenging but fun week.



jake d, August 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

dtabor said: On another note, I would like the name of a BBQ/smoked meat vendor (I think it was Manning) on the east side of the street nearest to where the hill leveled out. Anyone out there able to help? Thanks!

If it was the one with the black tents, they’re Cynful Smokers BBQ out of Wapello  IA.  They were set up in Carson, Manning, Slater, Marengo, and Wilton. 

Never heard of them until this year, but wound up eating there or taking food to go on at least four days.  FYI, you can fit a half rack of ribs in your bike wedge if you can scrounge up a plastic bag.   


Persp73, August 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Props to Davenport for the shuttle.  I was getting frustrated trying to figure out how to get up the monster hill to St. Ambrose without getting mowed down, and a volunteer pointed out that they had a shuttle bus to haul me there and a pickup to haul my bike.  Twenty sweat-free minutes later I was at St. Ambrose.  Just sucked that nobody seemed to know this shuttle existed.


Hillman, August 2, 2011 at 3:36 am

it is amazing how much people whine for no good reason.  just stay home next time if you cant appreciate the work of volunteers who welcome us. by the way, the bad crappy industrial road you are griping about was because the mississppi river was over flood stage and Dport had to change the route as it was flooded.  there were multiple options to drive into congestion or stay clear of it in moline.  so i guess you will never be happy.  we had a great time as always. thanks d-port, i appreciate the effort


Ragbrai Nation, August 2, 2011 at 5:08 am

D’port did an excellent job under the circumstances, I was expecting the congestion to be worse than it was. Old Man River held all the cards and the city  executed their Plan-B as best they could. I liked riding through the common folk neighborhoods and the ppl there were thrilled to have us. It was a huge blessing for everyone that the weather was dry & clear. From the dip site we chased a river boat while riding the bikeway to Bettendorf (to catch out charter). It was a great ending to a another great ride.


CyclingRoberto, August 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

A day after RAGBRAI finished, the news was that the River was going to flood the area we were using by Monday due to heavy rainfall in the Dubuque area.  I hope that all the whiners realize that Davenport has been hammered by flooding this year, and they still managed to put on a good effort to welcome the ride.


wnl256, August 2, 2011 at 6:50 am

I had no issues at all with Davenport. They did a good job handling the last-minute change of route due to the rising river waters. There were lots of local residents lining the streets on the way in, cheering and clapping. And I’m pretty sure we had more shade on those few miles of roads (between Locust St and River Dr) than we had the entire rest of the week! I didn’t mind the extra few miles after the dip site. The path was pleasant and (at least when I was on it) not overly crowded. Someone in my charter told me it was 3 miles to Bettendorf, which it most definitely was NOT. But my family found me easily and getting the car in and out was a breeze. It helped that I had been forewarned of the I-74 bridge construction and told my wife to come in from the north. I feel bad for anyone that got stuck in that: it was a several mile backup. I’m sure some charter buses were late for their pickup because of the construction.

Riding through the industrial area was not very scenic, but as I understand it that was the alternate route as the bike path was flooded.

This could have been a whole lot worse: imagine what Saturday would have been like had the Mississippi decided to be just one foot higher!


Clive Rider, August 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

Next year will be better….as it won’t be ending in Davenport :)

For those pointing out that they had to go to a plan B, and giving them credit for being able to do so….it’s because plan A was a poor one.  Choosing a bike path to bring the masses in on was not well thought out….as was debated on here previously.

The dip line wasn’t as long because the final day was not nearly as crowded as previous years, many stopped short of Davenport.

Using an oil-slick road as plan B was their choice to minimize traffic for the residents of their city not because it was the best path to bring us in on, plain and simple.  It seemed to be their goal all along…minimize the impact to the masses that could care less about RAGBRAI coming though their town and provide as little inconvenience to their city.  Fine.  At least Burlington gave us the run of their downtown and gave us Snake Alley….nothing like that to remember for Davenport….


wnl256, August 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

I never said plan A was a good one. At least they had a plan B. They could have just closed the bike path and left us to fend for ourselves on River Drive without shutting it down.

I guess I’m just not all that worked up about it. It was a pleasant ride, even if the scenery wasn’t all that great.

On a lighter note: while riding from the dip site to Bettendorf, I came up behind a mom and her young daughter (probably 5 to 8). The child was a bit erratic on the bike (as they tend to be at that age) and was weaving across the path. The mom saw me coming and said something to her daughter, who then straightened up and actually started pedaling faster. So as I pulled up alongside her I asked “do you wanna race?” She said “NO! You’ll win.”


brianbehrendt, August 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

This was my girlfriend and my first RAGBRAI. We successfully rode every mile of the week (including the Karras Loop) and had a great time! For that, thank you. Overall, I have 2 gripes and one of them is regarding Davenport. Could a better route into town not have been picked? I thought the road we took could’ve been re-thought and was quite dangerous…between the fact it narrowed, had several sharp turns, oil slicks, a patch of very loose gravel, and the steepest downhill I’ve ever ridden (how many accidents were there on that downhill?! Horribly unsafe for many riders I have to imagine, ridiculous…), we were very unimpressed. I realize there are only so many ways we probably could have come, but it also felt very industrial and nothing we hoped or envisioned. The end, as excited and happy as we were, was rather anti-climactic and unimpressive. The view of the river and the bridge in the background were awesome, but the rest of it was more or less a let-down. We pulled off on Credit Island on our way into town for our own celebratory tire dipping ceremony which was the way to go and we had fun taking pictures before we rode on to the finish. Bright side was the helpful shuttle which took us and our bikes from Union Station to the long-term parking and baggage pickup at St. Ambrose University. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /><o:p></o:p>


brianbehrendt, August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

And I will add that I realize the route was tweaked last-minute due to flooding; this I know….my issue/disappointment was more with the road we took into town (riding on the Hwy. for a mile vs. the river trail didn’t faze me); moreso the route we took into town (unsafe in our opinion) and anti-climactic setup at the finish. I do want to stress that we had an absolutely awesome time and this is a relatively minor gripe. Something which blew us away were the amount of whiners we encountered throughout the week….”too hot!”, “too hilly!”, “too this” or “too that”….shut up and realize that as others have noted, riding RAGBRAI is a privilege, and no one (that I know of) held you at gunpoint and forced you to do this. Suck it up, and enjoy the ride! We were certainly very happy and grateful when we got home late Sunday night.


Paul, August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm


The last day always has issues. Overall, Davenport did fine. For those that needed a more highly organized end plan, do what others did and tighten up the planning on your own end. Most that rely on the route planners realize that a little adventure is to be expected. Complaining about the road conditions really amounts to just complaining that people just had to slow down in order to finish safely. It was no big deal.

It was a fun week for us, Take care and see you all next year!


KittySlayer, August 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

wnl256 said: …The child was a bit erratic on the bike (as they tend to be at that age) and was weaving across the path…. saw me coming and… then straightened up and actually started pedaling faster….

I think I saw that little girl every day all week. The age seems to have nothing to do with the weaving. Heck, there were some people who spent so much time riding from one gutter to the other they probably clocked over 500 miles for the week.


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