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No Vendors outside of towns in first two counties

Here it is, all about the $’s. Discuss.


115 Replies

Zeb S, May 14, 2018 at 7:16 am

The minutes of the Monona County Board of Supervisors and the language of the ordinance can be read in this link. http://www.mononacounty.org/BOS/MayMinutes/05012018.pdf TJ has misrepresented this issue on his post. This has NOTHING to do with vendor size or origin. NO special service or vendors will be allowed in any unincorporated area of Monona County along the RAGBRAI route. This will be my 19th ride. Anyone remember Manning to Audubon?


Ken Reed, May 14, 2018 at 7:55 am

I would think that between now and RAGBRAI something would be worked out to accommodate Mr. Porkchop, BikeIowa, IowaCraftBeerTent, etc. The thing that makes those places special is that they are all out on the route in the middle of nowhere.


Randall Murphy, May 14, 2018 at 8:33 am

I read TJ’s post, carefully, and I agree with him. Towns need to cover their costs as best as they can and reasonable fees help to do that. We, as riders, need nourishment along the route and TJ is committed to do what he can to provide that. And the essence of the ride is connecting with the Mom and Pops, VFWs, High School Boosters, etc. and the little girls and boys with lemonade. THAT’s why I’ve ridden the ride for the past thirteen years and this discussion has been good as it has reminded me of that. The small town non-profits that are paying the fees and jumping through the hoops want us there and I won’t boycott them. I’ll probably look for them a bit more throughout the whole week.

I’ll never forget my first RAGBRAI riding into a small town and in the park in the town square, bikes and people were everywhere. Every swing in every swing set was taken, and swinging, and it seemed that all of the users were adults. Without a care in the world; just having a good time. That’s why I come to Iowa. I get enough politics and rudeness the other 51 weeks of the year. I’m looking forward to riding this year and I will do so as long as I can (or until my medication gets adjusted).

Anyway, rant over. This is what works for me: your mileage may vary. TJ, I hope you were able to enjoy the rest of the day with your family. Thanks for chiming in on a Sunday.


jay williams, May 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

The Monona County Board of supervisors chairperson is Mike Hollison (not sure on the spelling) who is in the office on Tuesdays. His cell is 712-420-5653. I left him a respectful, brief message urging them to correct this problem.


jay williams, May 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

Addendum: It’s Mike Collison with a C instead of H. Along with Tammy Bramley and Tom Brouillette, these 3 people made this decision. Furthermore, they required law enforcement to shut down vendors.


jwsknk, May 14, 2018 at 11:21 am

Maybe, just maybe towns will let the beverage gardens serve more than just the RAGBRAI corporate sponsors beverage. Very seldom do you see much of a choice in town, AB/Inbev products almost always. That’s part of the reason Craft beer tent and Backpocket are popular stops, Iowa breweries having a chance to get their name out to a larger audience. But remember Marne a few years ago? Officially the route was changed just a week or two before the ride, safety or something. Unofficially the rumor was the fire department beer garden went with other beers than the usual fare.


mootsman, May 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm

If the vendors need to find space in town no big deal. We can adapt and enjoy them no matter where they are. The towns aren’t far apart. And no, there are not big corporate vendors profiting big time on gullible bicyclists. Most of the local and out of town vendors primarily participate in RAGBRAI to enjoy being part of RAGBRAI. And some to promote their products and services. Some make more then others but none are getting rich.

I dare anyone to succeed avoiding having a good time on RAGBRAI, no matter where the vendors set up. “Party on Wayne, party on Garth”, “Don’t worry, be happy”, etc., etc…


Ken Reed, May 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm

The vast majority of the vendors are Iowa based vendors so the money spent stays in Iowa. I just think having some of these vendors in town could cause a bottleneck in some places and cause longer lines. It could also push people to more “off route” activities, which I know is something RAGBRAI doesn’t necessarily like. I get what T.J. is saying but I think it could possibly have an adverse effect on the participant experience.


Surlyman!, May 14, 2018 at 2:53 pm

I seen last year a couple places that were offering items for “FREE” but had a donation can there… what a way to get around the “vender” clause. If your not selling, your not a vender!


Sandaltan ., May 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm

From the Denison RAGBRAI web site under the tab Vendors:
“LOCATIONS: The beverage garden and most vendors will be set up in the Uptown area, the Main Campground, and the Crawford County Fair Grounds area serving as the “Last Pass-through Town” before Denison. The fee will be the same for all three areas.”
I can see the Iowa Craft Beer Tent set up in the fair ground. This will be at approx mile 40 for most riders and would satisfy the “in an incorporated” town.

RIDE RIGHT We will see.


Iowa Craft Beer Tent, May 14, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Well, we didn’t mean for our reply to be as long as it is, but we wanted to lay it all out there. We wanted to answer any of the myths we’ve seen and heard in the last 48 hours. I’m not asking for you to side with us or RAGBRAI. I am asking you to voice your opinion to help make a better RAGBRAI, which is what we all want in the end. http://www.iowacraftbeertent.com/2018vendor.php


Joel Taylor, May 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Planning to bring my own supplies to self-support and not spend a dime in these counties.


Groeny82, May 14, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Good article from Iowa Craft Beer Tent. Like I said in a previous post, I think it’s a mistake for many reasons to not allow vendors along the route. So somewhere in the middle of the ICBT article, TJ’s article, and the county’s ordinances there is a happy medium. Each side might not be completely happy with the ending but there has to be a solution that would at least make each side satisfied.
And playing devil’s advocate for a second, yes a vast majority of the vendors are from Iowa and the money stays in Iowa, but I think part of the reasoning behind some of these counties decisions is to keep it even more local. Yes having Iowa vendors succeed and keep money in Iowa is great, but then again money spent in Muscatine County by a vendor living in Muscatine County doesn’t help people living in Monona County that much (just an example, I’m not singling out any vendor that happens to live there). While I don’t personally agree with that line of thinking I can understand what they are trying to do, if that is what they are trying to do.
I’m happy Steve from the ICBT wrote about the donations he gives and who he gives them to, and also the steps he takes to make sure he isn’t stepping on the local communities toes. It makes me want to support him even more than I already do. I truly hope that he isn’t the exception to the rule on how he sets up his tent and also donating to local schools and groups. And if he is hopefully other vendors are reading this forum and are inspired to donate. It’s probably also something that these county officials don’t realize either, so even though you probably would have rather kept your donations private, it might end up being a positive in the end if the county officials know that things like that are going on.
I don’t know what the solutions are, that’s for the higher powers in RAGBRAI to figure out. But I know banning vendors in un-incorporated areas isn’t going to go over too well with the riders. Just like riders callings these communities greedy and saying they will boycott isn’t going to go over too well with the local people. There’s still time, I have faith a reasonable solution will be agreed upon before the ride.


Thomas Williams, May 15, 2018 at 2:09 am

Please refuse to route RAGBRAI through such counties in the future.


Jerry Garcia, May 15, 2018 at 7:14 am

I’m not sure exactly where these county lines fall. Do these counties cover the entire first day? Is day 2 affected at all? What would be the last pass through town that falls within these counties?


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