I don't understand the anger.

Yes, TJ approached this in a way that rubbed people the wrong way. Yes, the DMR could have handled the King thing better. But you know what…sh** happens. Business arrangements morph and change, relationships sour, and sometimes it all blows up. And I suspect that there are no complete saints or sinners in all this.

Nobody posting here really knows all the behind the scenes nuances and details that led to this. Ever had a big fight with a close friend, spouse or family member? They get ugly…sometimes really ugly. And more times than not, after time has had a chance to do it’s magic and olive branches get extended, things start to heal up, fences get mended and new beginnings emerge. That might be happening with RAGBRAI and Iowa’s Ride too.

So why all the arm-chair vitriol? Why are do some posters seem to be so locked into their chosen side, and rooting for a swath of destruction to happen on the other side? We are just spectators…but they are in the middle of it, each with a lot at stake. Isn’t the best approach to just let the natural process unfold on it’s own without spectators getting emotionally invested in it? I don’t know…maybe this just reflective of our current culture, with everyone on a hair trigger waiting to get angry, offended or hurt over something they can’t control anyway. If so, that’s sad. For me though, I’m just going to watch and hope that it all turns out OK.

So Iowa’s Ride, or RAGBRAI, or some alliance between the two creating something really cool? Either way, I’m pretty confident that I will be riding my bike through Iowa in July. I’m hopeful…somehow I think it’s going to be alright.

27 Replies

Papa T, December 1, 2019 at 7:47 am

“No Doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”

#1313454

Joseph Schlau, December 1, 2019 at 8:04 am

And more times than not, after time has had a chance to do it’s magic and olive branches get extended, things start to heal up, fences get mended and new beginnings emerge. That might be happening with RAGBRAI and Iowa’s Ride too.

I can only handle just so many tours down memory lane in a given week, so maybe you need to read the history of treachery and deceit associated with the Iowa’s (other small) Ride starting from October 15th.

But I will take you for a short walk down the lane to November 10th to a DMR article on reconciliation. In spite of the trial balloons floated by TJ toward this goal, Ragbrai put an end to it right there. The reconciliation and magical olive branch theorists gave up their “some alliance between the two creating something really cool” quest for a grand reunion. The only fences to be mended are those intended to keep him out for good.

The announcement this morning introducing the new director and supporting team at Ragbrai was the final slam of the door in the face of the petulant ex-employee who presumed he was the Great Ride rather than a caretaker. This would-be thief and his confederates in the Iowa Bike Coalition are now left to run their small ride in the shadow of Ragbrai.

You are right about one thing, new beginnings will emerge. Welcome to the new Ragbrai team.

#1313456

Logan Foltz, December 1, 2019 at 8:06 am

Anger was rooted in TJ’s obvious intention to steal RAGBRAI at the beginning. Now TJ appears to have conceded and IR will be going east to west and staying in towns of 5k or less. Sounds pathetic and offers nothing that can’t be replicated in plenty of other rides across the country. I’d be surprised if it is still a thing in ten years, and if it fails, I won’t be sorry for him. But if it doesn’t harm the RAGBRAI experience, more power to him.

#1313457

Jboz, December 1, 2019 at 9:07 am

“Steal RAGBRAI”? “Theft”? “Treachery and deceit”? Please.

Was it an obvious attempt to compete head to head with RAGBRAI? Absolutely…and competition is exactly why we have iPhones and Big Macs under the Eiffel Tower.

Was it poorly thought out and executed? Probably…which would explain the course correction.

Is RAGBRAI going to suddenly fold because TJ decided to attempt something that countless business people have attempted before in a free-market economy? Very doubtful, and only if there are deep underlying weaknesses we aren’t aware of.

Competition can be unkind. It involves risk and a certain Machiavellian cunning. And it often fails. But it forces entities to sharpen their swords and it fosters innovation.

Again, not sure where the rage is coming from. Perspective folks…it’s a bike ride, not your first born.

#1313459

Joseph Schlau, December 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

and competition is exactly why we have iPhones and Big Macs under the Eiffel Tower.

What?????

#1313463

Logan Foltz, December 1, 2019 at 10:08 am

Is RAGBRAI going to suddenly fold because TJ decided to attempt something that countless business people have attempted before in a free-market economy? Very doubtful, and only if there are deep underlying weaknesses we aren’t aware of.

Easy to say this in hindsight but it really doesn’t match the mood and sentiments of this forum a couple of months ago. Not everyone thought that DMR/Gannett was committed to assembling a competent team and that TJ could be easily replaced, and that a new team could pull off designing a route in a matter of a few months.

I don’t see this as a Coke and Pepsi kind of deal. It’s more like VHS and Beta Max. How many other states have more than one bicycle tour of this size? And what happened to past attempts to compete with RAGBRAI? Surely TJ was not ignorant of these facts, and I doubt he was foolhardy enough to think he could be an exception. If you gave him truth serum right now and asked him if he would start IR all over again, knowing that it is almost certain to never supplant RAGBRAI, do you really think he would say yes? I doubt it.

#1313464

Jboz, December 1, 2019 at 10:24 am

Joseph Schlau “What?????”

Indeed…Le Big Mac. McDonalds has been in Paris for decades now. https://www.flickr.com/photos/parismycity/3102286908

Competition brings us both the miraculous and the absurd.

Logan Foltz…”How many other states have more than one bicycle tour of this size? And what happened to past attempts to compete with RAGBRAI?”

No other state has any single ride of the size and provenance of RAGBRAI. But several states have very successful smaller rides that have been going on for many years. Michigan has a few. Wisconsin has a few. North Carolina and others as well. If Iowa can only support one ride, then the forces of competition will quickly and efficiently sort that out. If it can support two rides, then the forces of competition will require both rides to innovate in order to stay competitive with the other, and riders will win.

#1313465

Sandaltan ., December 1, 2019 at 11:46 am

“Don’t understand the anger..” Me neither Jboz. I live in Iowa and now have not just one but two week long rides to chose from. What is bad about that? I am reminded of the little book “Who Moved My Cheese” except no cheese has been moved, no rider has been affected except for the emotional fear that change generates. Fear can become anger and anger can become hate. Noticeable on the forum is a near lack of posts by newbies looking for information on RAGBRAI, I think the rancor has kept them away.

RIDE RIGHT

#1313467

Joseph Schlau, December 1, 2019 at 11:58 am

Jboz, December 1, 2019 at 10:24 am
Joseph Schlau “What?????”

Indeed…Le Big Mac. McDonalds has been in Paris for decades now. https://www.flickr.com/photos/parismycity/3102286908

Competition brings us both the miraculous and the absurd.

Maybe we can frame this another way. If someone works for Mcdonald’s and let’s just call him the Hamburglar. Well if Mr. Hamburglar suddenly decides he does not like how the Big Mac was treated in the press last week, and decides to quit, he is not entitled to take the research and development for the special sauce with him and come out with the TJ Deluxe Charity Special.

The intellectual property of Mcdonald’s is not there for the Hamburglar to take and use as he wishes.

In the same light, when TJ Juskiewicz left Ragbrai and announced his new ride was going to look amazingly like the ride he had been employed to run for 16 years, the folks at Ragbrai and riders said no. The reaction from Ragbrai riders was vocal. The reaction from DMR and Gannett was legal.

TJ did not move his ride to another week and direction because he did not want teams fighting over the bus. No, he had real legal concerns verified by 2 reporters that legal action would commence if he used his special knowledge about the intellectual property he possessed to run his own ride.

I’m ready for that Big Mac now.

#1313468

Jboz, December 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Joseph Schlau – and that’s where contracts, copyrights, and lawyers come into play. I happen not to be a lawyer, but I am a cyclist. Let the lawyers do the lawyering, and the cyclists do the cycling.

#1313469

mlwalk, December 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Here is the deal with emotions, anger, happiness etc. You don’t have to understand them, people have different emotional reactions to different things and that is okay and they don’t have to justify them to you or anyone else those are their emotions and how they feel. I may completely agree with Joseph and that is okay because those are my emotions and if one of them is anger at TJ for what he tried to do then so be it that is how I feel. You don’t have to understand. I know you don’t care and feel that what he did was okay in your book or whatever, don’t want to put words in your mouth and I apologize if I am wrong but you are also entitled to how you feel, what you are not entitled to do is try to tell someone else how they should or shouldn’t feel.

#1313470

Jboz, December 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Who exactly is telling anyone how to feel? And where did I say that what TJ did was OK? I have only stated that I don’t understand the anger (I still don’t), that there is probably more to the story than we know, and encouraged folks to keep it all in perspective. Anyone is free to twist themselves into knots over this if they so choose. I simply choose not to, and I’m inclined to leave it to those directly involved and the forces of supply and demand to sort it all out. Life is short and I’d rather be on my bike.

#1313471

Joseph Schlau, December 1, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Then please, go go a ride. Please.

#1313472

mlwalk, December 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm

I apologize if I put words into your mouth in my attempt to explain that you really don’t have to understand the anger others may have nor do they have to explain those feeling to anyone. Joseph is right maybe a bike ride would be good thing. I think I will go watch the Mr. Rogers movie.

This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by mlwalk.

#1313475

klkoopman, December 1, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Understanding the anger is easy: Many people are passionate about this ride and have individual, personal motivations why that is so. The fact that it exists was taken for granted until a month ago, but when threatened it’s understandable that people (a majority, to TJ’s surprise) were motivated to defend it. The Register did a dumb thing, but that does not come anywhere close to trivializing 47 years (count them) of underwriting this ride.

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