Le Mars?

Just read a story from KIWA (a radio station in Spencer) that suggests that Le Mars may be having second thoughts. Quoting from the article, “City officials in Le Mars, which had been tapped as the ride’s starting point, are talking about whether they think hosting this year’s opening night is a good idea, considering the amount of preperation lead time required and the remaining uncertainty about satety due to Covid-19”.

Anyone else hear anything?

48 Replies

Uncle Kraig, January 27, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Bummer, it sure sounds like this is going to be a tough RAGBRAI to pull off. I sure hope they can figure out a way to do it and keep everyone safe and the towns happy.

#1326340

KenH, January 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm

I agree, this is not a good sign. The vaccine should be available to all by the beginning of RAGBRAI but so many people are so spooked about this that it is hard for towns to commit. The situation could change for the better by the March 15 decision date, I hope the towns can be convinced to wait until then to see what the end of July is expected to look like. If the new administration’s happy talk does not produce significant vaccination progress by then I suppose towns have a reason to be concerned. As do we. I’m old enough to be in Illinois’ phase 1B so I could get an email any day now, depending on how quickly does are delivered to my county.

#1326343

hnschipper, January 27, 2021 at 6:38 pm

I agree, this is not a good sign. The vaccine should be available to all by the beginning of RAGBRAI but so many people are so spooked about this that it is hard for towns to commit. The situation could change for the better by the March 15 decision date, I hope the towns can be convinced to wait until then to see what the end of July is expected to look like. If the new administration’s happy talk does not produce significant vaccination progress by then I suppose towns have a reason to be concerned. As do we. I’m old enough to be in Illinois’ phase 1B so I could get an email any day now, depending on how quickly does are delivered to my county.

The way distribution is going here in my county, I have serious doubts the vaccine will be available to me before RAGBRAI. Our state is ranked 50th in vaccine distribution.

#1326344

Danny Edens, January 27, 2021 at 9:27 pm

https://kiwaradio.com/local-news/third-host-town-mulls-pulling-out-of-ragbrai-2021/?fbclid=IwAR1wCYkT8Uyf9E4dKMVgAZBk7tG8IwPMAdtxouFld9AxXsv547TD3E-8YKI

Ragbrai® 2021 seems more unlikely everyday. A “normal” Ragbrai® that we known and loved in the pass seems even unlikey for a few years unfortunately.

This reply was modified 1 month ago by Danny Edens.

#1326347

LawnchairMan, January 27, 2021 at 10:18 pm

Other than essential service providers our area is only giving vaccines to those 70 or older. I almost qualify, but since my wife is several years younger I will wait until we both can vaccinate at the same time. I expect the roll-out to pick up steam soon so that most of us are treated by May. I think by March 15th we should be able to project favorable results by July.

If we do lose Le Mars, would we have to give up Sac City too? Sioux City would be about 80 miles to Sac City. Sergeant Bluff would be 75 miles. If we started at Sioux Center or Rock Rapids it would be nearly a century. I hope Le Mars will stay with us.

#1326354

hnschipper, January 27, 2021 at 10:38 pm

If we do lose Le Mars, would we have to give up Sac City too? Sioux City would be about 80 miles to Sac City. Sergeant Bluff would be 75 miles. If we started at Sioux Center or Rock Rapids it would be nearly a century. I hope Le Mars will stay with us.

Onawa to Sac City would be a feasible option.

This reply was modified 1 month ago by hnschipper.

#1326355

Daniel404 Daniel404, January 28, 2021 at 5:21 am

Thanks

#1326358

KenH, January 28, 2021 at 9:09 am

My wife is younger than me, too young for our phase 1b like me, but she probably qualifies for phase 1c due to a medical condition. Now these are Illinois classifications that I am talking about and I do not know if they are or are not the same in all 50 states. As a good husband I could wait for her turn to come up before getting mine but I do not plan to do that. Both she and I have to be out in the world almost daily and because of that I am the person most likely to infect her and vice versa. Therefore I think the best thing to do is to get one of us vaccinated as soon as possible. That appears most likely to be me but if it happens the other way for some unexpected reason I am perfectly fine with that, I want her to get vaccinated ASAP!

This thing is hanging in the balance for longer than I hoped it would. I don’t expect any firm announcement about these issues at the route announcement party on Saturday but there could be some comments. Those of us fools who paid good money for the livestream tickets will pass that information along as soon as we get it, as the Register may do too. It will put a lot of financial pressure on the RAGBRAI team if the ride has to be canceled two years in a row. Maybe the long term commitment to the ride is there but at some point the bean counters will have their say. So, I am starting to wonder if they will impose a fairly small limit on the number of the riders this year in an effort to convince towns to stay on board and to get at least some of their normal cash flow in 2021. Could they go so far as to limit it to ONLY those of us fools who carried our registrations over from last year? I don’t know how many people that is.

On the other hand if they can convince the towns to stay with them until March 15 there is still a good chance that the end will be in sight by then and everyone will be confident enough to proceed as planned. I certainly hope so!

#1326363

Joseph Schlau, January 28, 2021 at 11:33 am

I will start off with a certain bias in my perspective. So far this pandemic has resulted in the deaths of 3 relatives due to Covid19, all in different states, under different circumstances. I have another 8 relatives who were sickened but mostly recovered though 1 appears to be a covid long hauler. In the first 6 months of the pandemic, I knew of no one personally who was infected. Then that changed.

I have to believe my experience is not unique and many of the people in Iowa have had a similar or worse experience.

Buena Vista County where Storm Lake is located was the worst county in Iowa per capita covid wise. No surprise they passed on the opportunity to have thousands of people from all over the country and world come into their community.

Other communities are watching and evaluating the decisions of Storm Lake, Maquoketa, and looking at what Le Mars does on February 2nd, to see if the economic benefits of Ragbrai will justify the risk of additional infections and deaths.

In August, South Dakota performed another calculus of economics vs risk. A state that had avoided serious outbreaks was pushed to the top tier states in per capita infection and death after the Sturgis motorcycle event. I’m sure many in S Dakota are wondering why they are left with dead family members so that a bunch of people from other states could come there for a week of fun and drinking.

I have read many posts expressing the hope and belief that Ragbrai can somehow “convince” towns to remain on the ride at a time when the most optimistic projections of vaccine administration to the 20 somethings and older teens is the end of summer or fall.

The people in Iowa read the news too. They also read about slow distribution of vaccine, covid variants from the UK, S Africa, Brazil, and yes Illinois. They hear the reassurance that the current vaccine will “mostly” be effective on these more virulent and possibly deadlier variants.

Look at the economic disparity of profit and loss in 2019. Indianola made a profit, Council Bluffs a loss.

Now Ragbrai is asking towns to risk economic loss as well as expose the community to health risk. So that a group of people from other states can party and drink for a week. That is asking a lot.

Communities in Iowa will have a large measure of safety when they have all of their population fully protected by vaccine and are assured visitors are also equally protected. They will also be looking at the specter of the covid variants and be assured these are under control as well. When the pandemic can be put in the rear view mirror, then Ragbrai will be welcomed as in the past.

#1326368

T. Gap Woo, January 28, 2021 at 4:11 pm

There has been so much misinformation, disinformation, speculation and general BS floating around the Twittersphere that I don’t know who or what to believe anymore. I shall not add to that morass!

Leaving all politics aside, all I know is that the rollout of the vaccine(s) has not gone as planned. It seems like every state has its own plan for distribution. In my state, I have been moved from one “category” to another for no discernible reason.

All of the local hospital systems are setting up vaccination “stations” to administer shots when they have a supply to administer. The hospital system in my hometown emailed me that, based on their records, Mrs Woo and I are qualified to be preregistered. They will notify us when they have the vaccine, so we can schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, they sent the same email to a gazillion other people, with no indication of when they expect to receive the vaccine.

So, we patiently wait.

Will we get vaccinated in time for Ragbrai? Will riders from the rest of the US be vaccinated in time? How about the riders from outside the US? Will bandits be vaccinated? What about the vendors and Iowans along the route that we will encounter? GOK.

If the population is not expected to be fully vaccinated (or close to it) until late summer 2021, I don’t see Ragbrai going forward this year. 😢

In the meantime, I will spend the cold northeastern winter riding my CycleOps indoor trainer. As an homage to LeMars, I will be quaffing hot chocolate from my Blue Bunny mug and eating my morning cereal in my Blue Bunny ice cream bowl.

See you along the I-O-Way in July??

#1326370

Joseph Schlau, January 28, 2021 at 5:14 pm

These articles from this mornings New York Times illustrates where we are at and just how far we have to go.

“We may be in the very early stages of herd immunity. Roughly 100 million Americans seem to have had the virus. (For every person who tests positive, three more have had it without being diagnosed, studies suggest.) Another 24 million people have received a vaccine shot.

Put those two groups together, and you realize that about one-third of all Americans have at least some degree of immunity from the virus. That may be enough to begin — begin — slowing the spread,”

Another article stated “The vaccination campaign in the United States has steadily managed to pick up its pace, and around 1.2 million Americans are now being inoculated each day. But there are hiccups.”

If 1/3 of Americans have some form of immunity that leaves 2/3 that are susceptible.

If only 24 million have received the vaccine, at this point over 300 million still are waiting if we include children that may eventually be included.

If only 1.2 million of the remaining 300 million Americans are being vaccinated per day, then it will take months to reach everyone.

#1326371

LawnchairMan, January 28, 2021 at 8:23 pm

hnschipper,
Thanks for the mention of Onawa. I wouldn’t mind going back there. It would still be 80 miles to Sac City, but it’s a possibility.

#1326374

Larry Klaaren, January 29, 2021 at 1:42 pm

“We may be in the very early stages of herd immunity. Roughly 100 million Americans seem to have had the virus. (For every person who tests positive, three more have had it without being diagnosed, studies suggest.) Another 24 million people have received a vaccine shot.

Put those two groups together, and you realize that about one-third of all Americans have at least some degree of immunity from the virus. That may be enough to begin — begin — slowing the spread,”

Minor correction. Those groups are not mutually exclusive. Some of the 24 million vaccinated people are in the 75 million that either had the virus asymptomatically or were not diagnosed. My experience in epidemiology tells me that correcting this for non-exclusivity would require a complicated formula that requires statistics, which I was never good at. Or at least have no energy for.

#1326387

Joseph Schlau, January 29, 2021 at 2:07 pm

So what. Either way, it’s a low number of people that have some protection. The point of the stories was to illustrate the large number of vulnerable people still out there not protected by either immunity or vaccine and just how many months may go by until we achieve that point. If you are the elected officials responsible for the safety of your community, an estimate of the number of vulnerable people, however rough, is better than nothing.

#1326395

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 48 total)

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