Geode State Park

The idea of putting a stop in Geode State park is, on its face, a good one.

The execution was tragic and I really felt bad for the vendor who was selling the rib eyes and lemonade.

They said they had been slammed all day, ran out of food and had to have a DNR truck escort the owner of the stand out of the park to resupply and then they were still out of food well before the stop closed.

If the Register is going to put a stop on the map and expect people to trust it to refuel, and its going to be in the middle of a stretch with very little in the way of decent-sized towns, it needs to be able to serve until its close time and have contingency plans that are workable if demand is higher than expected.

The Geode stop was fine, but it should not have been on the map as an official stop- it was pathetic and it was not the 2 or 3 vendors’ fault.

13 Replies

Kent Sewright, July 30, 2019 at 3:32 pm

Agreed. This should not have been on the map as an official stop and it was not the fault of the vendors. Putting restrooms and the main stop at the bottom of a hill on a wooded and very narrow road with an immediate turn and climb? My bike group agreed that someone at the Register used poor judgement.

#1310469

PAM JUSTEN, July 30, 2019 at 3:41 pm

I agree! It was dangerous, and over crowded, couldn’t get to the bike parking so bikes were laying everywhere. We needed water, but couldn’t get any. The park was beautiful, but better suited for a ride of 1,000, not 10x that amount

#1310470

Sandaltan ., July 30, 2019 at 7:35 pm

The DMR has four full time employees, to the best of my knowledge none of those people choose the vendors, dictate where they set up, and do not advise them as to the quantities of provisions to stock.
After the route is announced Great Ship RAGBRAI is largely crewed by local RAGBRAI committees, all volunteers.

RIDE RIGHT

#1310484

Sunflower, July 30, 2019 at 11:56 pm

The DMR has four full time employees, to the best of my knowledge none of those people choose the vendors, dictate where they set up, and do not advise them as to the quantities of provisions to stock.
After the route is announced Great Ship RAGBRAI is largely crewed by local RAGBRAI committees, all volunteers.

RIDE RIGHT

That’s always been my understanding-so when there’s a stop on a map in a state park I figure something else entirely is going on. The Iowa DNR are just about as much fun as a root canal on a good day and getting a permit to sell food on their premises nearly certainly involves an unspeakable sex act, so I’m not thinking that stop was part of any community’s plan. The fact that it was such a fail is no surprise.

#1310498

Sunflower, July 31, 2019 at 12:13 am

I guess this just needs to be put plainly: the Iowa DNR is a branch of law enforcement. So some unaccountable bureaucrats with a long list of policies and procedures were put in a position of having an effect on RAGBRAI’s brand and they failed miserably. If you’re surprised, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

Very poor judgement on TJ’s part in terms of protecting the brand. I trust those guys to check fishing permits and catch poachers. Customer service isn’t part of their culture.

So, I’ve learned my lesson. No more passes through DNR property.

This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sunflower.

#1310499

klkoopman, July 31, 2019 at 6:41 am

This issue has nothing to do with the DNR, unless you’re obsessed with the idea that RAGBRAI couldn’t possibly make a bad decision. Forcing thousands of riders over a curb (let’s not forget that one), then through a tight, winding, hilly road was a really foolish decision by the RAGBRAI planners. The rest stop was located in a blind spot immediately after a down hill run. People were screaming to cyclists behind them in order to warn them. There was no secondary route to re-stock vendors or even to get an ambulance in. Even the very helpful Iowa National Guard people ran out of water. Terrible planning.

This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  klkoopman.

#1310501

Jboz, July 31, 2019 at 7:05 am

The poor planning and decision making was exacerbated by the fact that it was a long 19 mile stretch to get there. Most riders carefully plan their food and hydration needs around the pass through towns, and with a 19 mile ride from Houghton I would venture to say that most (including me) rolled into Geode fully expecting to replenish, only to be sorely disappointed. I waited in an extremely long line for about 10 minutes, and when it didn’t budge I bailed. Fortunately, there was a large church a few miles on the other side of the park exit that was serving delicious homemade tacos and stuff…and it was inside with a/c, seating and clean restrooms. They weren’t even that busy, which was surprising considering they were the first real option after Geode.

That said, with one or two exceptions (like Geode), this year overall was a positive experience for me.

#1310503

Brady Bisgard, July 31, 2019 at 10:57 am

I agree the stop was too small but you feel bad for the vendor? Lol that guy made out like a bandit that day.

#1310517

Sunflower, July 31, 2019 at 11:24 am

I talked to the guy, he was distraught looking at hungry people who clearly needed to eat.

#1310528

hnschipper, July 31, 2019 at 11:26 am

I had a fantastic pork chop and lemonade from the vendor at Geode State Park.

#1310529

Sunflower, July 31, 2019 at 11:30 am

This issue has nothing to do with the DNR, unless you’re obsessed with the idea that RAGBRAI couldn’t possibly make a bad decision. Forcing thousands of riders over a curb (let’s not forget that one), then through a tight, winding, hilly road was a really foolish decision by the RAGBRAI planners. The rest stop was located in a blind spot immediately after a down hill run. People were screaming to cyclists behind them in order to warn them. There was no secondary route to re-stock vendors or even to get an ambulance in. Even the very helpful Iowa National Guard people ran out of water. Terrible planning.

I think it was a two-party eff-up. TJ passed off the local organization of the stop to people whose primary goal is the maintenance of that park and not the feeding of riders. So that was a poor decision on his part. Then you’ve got the DNR and they just were totally out of their depth. The lesson- if you’re a brand manager don’t pass off responsibility for your brand to people who don’t work in private sector; they have different gods and generals.

#1310531

Sunflower, July 31, 2019 at 11:32 am

That’s the vendor I spoke with. He had great food. So when is the IT guy at the Register going to fix these comments so that when you click “reply” your comment shows up directly under the comment you’re replying to?? The forum has gotten better, but c’mon guys!

This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sunflower.

#1310532

Neil Havran, August 1, 2019 at 11:03 am

Special thanks to the kid that turned on the water hose at the park. I stood in line, filled the bottle from the hose, drank it on the way back to the end of the line and filled it up again, drank 3/4 of that one and filled it up a third time and took off after a few pictures and a short break. First time rider in this thing so I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time but it sure seemed like a real Charlie Foxtrot at the bottom of that hill.

#1310579

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