Harpers Ferry

So knowing that they dont want teams in Harpers Ferry, how does one go about proving they live there to get in? We have a cabin 1/4 mile west of Harpers Ferry that the whole team is planning on meeting at, support crew too. They are worried about getting denied, but didnt think that was a possibility, so just trying to get any sort of information so my support drivers have the needed information. Thanks

6 Replies

KenH, June 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

I am going to guess, and it is only a guess, that if your driver’s license does not list an address in Harper’s Ferry then you are not getting in! That is probably the first thing they will ask for anyway. If you have some kind of paperwork to show that you own a cabin in town then you personally can probably get past whatever checkpoints they plan to set up. I think your support crew is right to be concerned about this. Now it may be that your cabin is outside their control perimeter and in that case you would have no problems at all other than your choice of routes to the cabin would be severely limited.

But why take speculation from us? Contact info@ragbrai.com and see what they can tell you. Hopefully they have realized in advance that some Iowa teams will want to make use of their personal property in Harper’s Ferry and have made arrangements for you AND your guests to access your own property. If not then I would hope your question would prompt them to make arrangements for this. If they won’t do that either then contact Harper’s Ferry directly to see if they have a plan.

I’d like to think that in this great nation of ours the government would have respect for personal property rights even during an event like this. I have to tell you however that I was once denied entry to my own neighborhood (in Elgin, Illinois at the time) because the police had it locked down to control traffic for the 4th of July fireworks display at the high school next door. I literally only got home that night because there was a back entrance they forgot to control. But Iowa is better than Illinois, right?


Niles, June 15, 2017 at 9:32 am

I think Ryan is asking for information so I don’t intend to be critical at all but just share my opinion to disagree Ken’s take on personal rights.

Ryan, I think you may want to think about your meeting arrangement in the cabin again. Even if your support vehicle is allowed to access and regardless other riders’ safety concern, etc., will it be an enjoyable experience for your vehicle to take maybe hours to get there?

If I were a Harper’s Ferry resident, I’d be willing to sacrifice my entitlement of free access for one day and then hold my sacrifice as a badge of honor even if I were not a cycling fan. And NO, I will not run the what-if scenarios that what my else rights be taken away and our society will collapse into a totalitarian regime if this special event takes away my vehicle access for one day.


Ryan Flugge, June 15, 2017 at 11:29 am

Niles, are you familiar with the area? I hate to say it, Lansing will take hours to get into as well with only 1 road going into town. I dont believe anyone can displace an entire town because of RAGBRAI, and I dont believe they will block us out, but I was looking for what we needed to gain entry. I have emailed the info, but just was throwing it out here as well. We have suddenly had some health issues on the team, and they will need the cabin for sure, and since we own it not sure how it would even be an issue (we have other arrangements already along the route for them). Being my 7th RAGBRAI, I am certain that this wont be an issue, but with no meeting town on the last day, the cabin and health issues becomes a bigger concern. And to get ahead of someone saying “you should find different plans”… Not gonna happen…


Niles, June 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Ryan, I’m in no position to command you “should” do anything in anyway. I’m far away from the area. My understanding is the traffic in/out there will be very challenge and that I believe both you and I, as well as other, agree.

I hope you’ll have a good plan to serve your team’s health-related concern. If there is any urgent need, “taking hours to get into” may be less than ideal.


RDaryl Daryl, June 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Simple solution – Get your support vehicles into Harpers Ferry the night before. If your are really in a hurry, just skip riding Saturday. Or ride the full route and plan to stay the night in Lansing. Seems to me that the roads in an out of Harpers Ferry cannot safely support an additional 100 vehicles along with the 10,000 bikes. Did someone say that RAGBRAI DOES CARE about rider safety ?


KenH, June 16, 2017 at 8:01 am

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Lansing and Harper’s Ferry both are small towns and dealing with RAGBRAI traffic will quickly become a nightmare for them AND US(!) if we do not comply with the traffic plans that the RAGBRAI team and the local officials have devised to deal with this gracefully. Please, Please, Please play by the rules!!

At the same time being such small towns how many of us really own property there like Ryan? I suspect not nearly enough to make accommodating them an issue. I think the “Ryans” on this ride are the only exceptions that should be made to the traffic plan. And it is quite possible that they have already been planned for and that Ryan’s team will have no issues. They should, and it sounds like they have, contact the Register team and/or the local officials in advance however to make sure they know what to do to be recognized as “locals” for the purpose of accessing Ryan’s cabin.

However, I think the suggestion made above to get the bulk of your gear and support crew there the night before is a very good one. That is what I would do. Get all your vehicles but one and all your support drivers there the night before. Arrange with Waukon to park one vehicle there overnight on Saturday, camp as lightly as possible Friday night, throw all your camping gear into the vehicle in Waukon, and then ride through the beauty of the driftless area without a care in the world! Once the hubub in Harper’s Ferry dies down and the travel restrictions are lifted two of you can drive to Waukon and retrieve the last team vehicle. That assumes you have more than one vehicle of course but if you have only one you can use the same plan, just arrange for someone in Waukon to store your camping gear in their garage until you can come back to collect it.


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