RAGBRAI XLIX registration is now open!

Memorable RAGBRAI Sights, Sounds & Smells

Happy Springtime, fellow RAGBRAI’ers! It seems like posters on some of the other threads have been getting a little bit testy lately, probably due to a combination of cabin fever and spring fever. To help lighten the mood, I pose this question: What’s your most memorable (positive, negative or both) RAGBRAI sight, sound and/or smell?

My favorite sight occurred in 2013, at the end of my first RAGBRAI. I stopped at the top of the hill by the “Welcome to Fort Madison” sign and saw the Mississippi River stretched out below. Tears of joy over my accomplishment of biking over 400 miles streamed past my ears as I flew down the hill into town and zigzagged my way to the river.

My favorite sound occurred in 2014. The music playing in the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake sure brought back memories of “The Day the Music Died.”

My favorite smell happens every year, it seems. Does anything smell better than grills full of sizzling meat at Mr. Pork Chop?

I could go on and on, but let’s hear from the rest of you.

See you along the I-O-Way in a few short months.

26 Replies

jwsknk, March 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

Heading to the Mississippi, pre jersey daysLoin cloth man


jwsknk, March 25, 2016 at 7:57 am

this is heading to the Mississippi, the other is Loin Cloth Man. wish the edit function worked.


William Mugan, March 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

2015 Frozen outside of Cedar Falls


William Mugan, March 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

2015 Frozen photo


William Mugan, March 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

One more time :-)  2015 Frozen


KenH, March 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Frozen don’t mean nothing to me but my riding buddy has children who would have never have forgiven him, or me, if we had ridden past:


KenH, March 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Spamalot is more my style:


OrtonvilleMI-Steve, March 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Great Pic’s and memories everyone – Gypsy Rose!


ppayne1959, March 30, 2016 at 8:35 am


Chuck Norris could ride RAGBRAI all 10,000 times with all of us on his shoulders without skinny shorts and still be a day early.


Ken Reed, March 30, 2016 at 9:07 am

My Favorite Sight: I have two. The first one was finishing my first full RAGBRAI in 2008. Riding down hill in LeClaire and seeing the Mississippi River gave me a sense of accomplishment and all out love for what I just did. I knew I’d never be the same again. The second one was seeing my girlfriend (now wife) do RAGBRAI for the first time in 2011. I knew at the end of the week she was hooked.

My Favorite Sound: Cranking up “Happy Boy” by The Beat Farmers on my bike on Sunday every year.

Smell: Well, I don’t really have a favorite RAGBRAI smell but I do have a LEAST favorite. The portajohn in Sac City in 2012. It was about 100 degrees and I really had to go. I got in there and it smelled like a war crime was committed in there. No amount of alcohol can make me forget what I smelled that day.


amateurcyclist, March 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

My favorite sites: (1) The awesomely friendly people of Iowa. (2) Dancing, baton twirling state trooper. (3) Google dude inline skating across the state.

My favorite sounds: (1) Early in the day, when its still calm and all you hear are bikes. (2) “Flag back! Wait, is that a thing? I guess it is! Flag back!” (FDA dude, please bring a smaller flag next time. While impressive, the one you had last year was so large that it is a safety hazard to other cyclists.)

My favorite smells: (1) Mr. Pork Chop. (2) Pancakes.


Viewing 11 replies - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)

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