Witnessed this first hand a few times along the week. Service time would be 4:30pm but cops would shut everything down at 4:00pm to “move people along”. Of course it was the hottest day of the year so that excuse doesn’t make any sense. If anything they should’ve kept things open an extra half an hour.
When it’s this hot out like it was, us riders need resources. We need water, electrolytes, food, shade and a break. Beer is nice but it’s a want, not a need. When you are running on fumes coming into town knowing you have 30 minutes to get these resources only to find cops screaming at you to leave it can became extreme frustrating and downright dangerous. Who makes this call? RAGBRAI or the Iowa State Patrol? Where is the common sense in doing this? When riders complain to the cops they say “you should have planned accordingly”. WE DID! It’s hard to follow the rules when they can be changed at a moment’s notice.
This action pisses off the vendors, the businesses, the locals and the riders. There are four groups of people that are against this decision by the Iowa State Patrol. Besides, they know once they leave the town everything opens back up again, so what’s the point?
As hot as it was this year its only a matter of time before someone gets injured or killed because of lack of food/water during the supposed “service times”. Unfortunately that may be the only way to get things changed with this. In 2020 RAGBRAI had a town hall meeting with riders and this was the riders number one concern. RAGBRAI promised this would not happen but here we are discussing it AGAIN. We’ve told TJ numerous times that Iowa State Patrol turns off the free water in towns but he kept his head in the sand and denied it ever happened. We’ve all seen it. This is not acceptable in any shape or form. I heard a story of a 87 year old struggling to stand up and a cop yelled at him to leave town only to have a local scream back at this awful officer.
If you have any stories like these please share below. We need to get things changed with RAGBRAI on this. They may promise not to do this again but actions speak louder than words.