Could 2 concurrent rides actually find a way to mutually exist, and even cooperate to benefit both rides AND riders? Probably not if they go their separate ways completely, both running cross-state rides along different routes, which creates direct competition.
But, could they cooperate and plan together, all while maintaining/creating 2 separate and distinct experiences? An “everybody wins” scenario?
But some options could be:
Iowa’s Ride becomes a 7-day loop, but sharing 3 overnight towns in the middle of the week and part of the route. Benefits: Allows friends doing separate rides to reunite for at least part of the ride, kind of a happy family reunion. Also gives riders who prefer the easy logistics of a loop an option, while still retaining the RAGBRAI feel and vibe.
Iowa’s Ride and RAGBRAI follow the same basic route with common overnight towns, but one focuses on longer, more challenging routes while the other goes with easier, more family friendly routes. But both rides converge in the overnight towns.
Iowa’s Ride seizes on the rapid growth of gravel riding and creates a cross-state route consisting primarily on gravel roads, but as above scenario, routes converge daily in the overnight towns. Dirty Kanza is an intense gravel race (not a ride) and has grown to nearly 3000 riders. Personally, I love rural gravel riding, but not racing. To my knowledge, there are no cross state gravel rides anywhere in the US. Could be an opportunity?
Some (not all) divorced families maintain great relationships and even share major holidays, even happier than when they were together. Possible here?