(115 replies, 47 voices)
Started 3 years ago by Zeb SLatest reply from Jason Stoller 2 years, 10 months ago
Here it is, all about the $’s. Discuss.
R-Daryl – “I doubt the ordinance is aimed at the “residential” lemon-aid or cookie stand set out by a family.” Monona & Crawford County Ordinances. This page is provided by IowaCraftBeerTent.com and the links to the ordinances are toward the bottom. And yes, they really are prohibiting “residential” lemonade, water, frozen yogurt, pork chops, beer; anything and everything from how the ordinance reads, when the vendor is setup in an “unincorporated” region of the county.
As for 30 miles or less of a stretch on a bike, and your requirements for food and water. Far be it from me to tell a person whether they are adequately fit to ride such distances. If it’s 100 degrees that day, there will be a number of fairly fit people questioning their sanity, and 1,000’s wishing there were stands in between towns.
I see this as more of a constitutional right of a person who lives in an unincorporated area to use their land as they see fit. How should a city be able to prevent a private landowner from erecting a stand, or renting out space to another, to sell food, beverages, souvenirs, whatever, to passers-by? If the county requires a permit for such, it should be consistently applied 24/7/365, not conjured up special just for RAGBRAI, imo.
In my past Ragbrai’s there was usually a free water handout along the way. I think it was provided by the state, but not sure. I thought these stops (one per day) was marked on the maps with a water droplet. I don’t see any this year. Will these stops be banned? Since they are not for profit are they exempt? They could still create the “unsafe” hazard since there are no safe places for riders to stop in Monona county.
@LawnchairMan, my experience is there is usually free water on the way out of each town in the form of some type of PVC Rube Goldberg contraption hooked up to a hose or hydrant, but I don’t remember seeing any the road except through the kindness of farmers.
I top my bottles off leaving town and the buy, if necessary, from kids or school groups on the side of the road. Those kids are going lose out in Monona, though since there are only 9200 people and probably 2000 minors in the entire county, there may be in fact no one on the side of the road anyway.
<” ‘I’ve talked to people from Illinois Missouri and so forth that’s wanting vendors to be on the rural roads. We just feel it’s a safety issue. They’re going through a lot of rolling hills between here and Turin is the only flat ground and there’s only one residence behind that stretch of highway,’ says Mike Collison, Monona County Supervisor.”>
I’ve went on Google Maps and that stretch of road between Onawa and Turin looks like pretty prototypical Iowa to me and other counties haven’t feared for our safety. Oh, well, that first day is so short it should hardly matter.
Seems to me that if these counties don’t want us then we should change the route!! I’m sure there are other counties that would love our money.
I am a tad disappointed by the decision to limit vendors due to safety concerns. We have, ya know, rolled out of Onawa five previous times without any previous safety issues. Why now?
[quote quote=1286698]Seems to me that if these counties don’t want us then we should change the route!! I’m sure there are other counties that would love our money.[/quote] Crawford County is NOT banning countryside vendors. They changed course.
I remember – maybe 8 or 10 years ago – when Fair Trade Coffee (sometimes referred to as the Coffee Hippies) and Mama Raphaels either refused to come back to Ragbrai (my belief) or were “fee’ed” out by the counties in order to drive business to Iowa vendors and discourage non-Iowa vendors (that’s my opinion; the DMR would have you believe otherwise although we all know that while the DMR does not collect or set the fees, they certainly can have more than just a little “influence” on the rules the cities and counties enforce). I had the chance several years ago while riding Bike Virginia to speak with Mama’s and they are sticking to their story that the license fees charged to non-Iowa vendors simply made it prohibitively expensive to come back to Iowa. The truth is I agree with Ragbrai being set up to benefit Iowa citizens and I don’t have any real problems with charging the likes of Fair Trade, Mama’s, et al, more for licenses. My complaint, however is more of a deja vu theme in line with this thread. On more than several segments of prior Ragbrai’s we experienced long stretches where breakfast just did not get served if you chose to skip the long lines at the pancake place or Farm Boys Burritos and then found yourself having no options other than buying an overpriced, plastic wrapped Honeybuns from some unlicensed roadside vendor. Bound to be some middle ground. There is a place for the annual providers who have abandoned Ragbrai as they fill a need.
The safety issue involves more than just terrain. If it were just terrain then it would be an empty argument because I do not think there is any county in Iowa that has no place outside of incorporated towns where it would be safe to set up a roadside service station for a bicycle ride. Some counties may have few such spots and they may be irregularly spaced but to say that we have none is a bit nonsensical.
But the argument about providing for proper food preparation safety inspections is very powerful. Weather conditions during late July are ideal for the growth of various food pathogens. We really want our food to be safe, don’t we? I can eat at Farm Boys, errr, Kids in town just as well as in some farmer’s front lawn. If keeping food vendors clustered together makes food safety easier and cheaper to achieve then that is a good thing.
I don’t know if keeping food outlets in a few geographical clusters ends up being better or worse than having them spread out as far as the success of local food vendors is concerned. If you want to convince me one way or the other please be prepared to present your data!
As someone who is also sixty-something I have to say that 12 miles without food or water should not be a problem for anyone. If you cannot carry enough water on your bike to go 12 miles you need to fix that. If you cannot remember to keep your water bottles full you need to fix that. If you really get into trouble then the rest of us will help you out but really you need to fix these things!
I don’t, however, see any plausible concern with the safety of bottled water or commercially produced, individually packaged food items that do not need refrigeration. Any county that bans the roadside sale of these and similar items should rethink that policy.
[quote quote=1286697]I’ve went on Google Maps and that stretch of road between Onawa and Turin looks like pretty prototypical Iowa to me and other counties haven’t feared for our safety. Oh, well, that first day is so short it should hardly matter.[/quote]
I used to make farm calls between those two towns. Those Loess hills are formidable. In that area many are too steep to farm and some are too steep to graze. I do not specifically remember the highway, which may go through a flatter area which would be easier to build a road. I can say that as a southern Iowa boy, I had never seen hills like that. I do agree that if you can’t plan ahead for twelve miles without carrying enough fluids, Ragbrai is probably not the trip for you.
No more Fair Trade Coffee?? That was a favorite stop for my dad and me. I think our most recent was 2014 and they were on hand.
It was the only strong, decent coffee outside an espresso bar that we found. Guess I’ll be packing the Starbucks Via. (If you add it to a cup of weak coffee, it’s drinkable.)
Monona county isn’t changing this so adapt (like add an additional water bottle and holder to your bike). And you’re not old for RAGBRAI. Many of us are in the same age range or older. The Monona CB is not selfish.
For all the riders so concerned about 12 miles without a vendor, adapt! Figure out a plan to deal and deal. Add a water bottle to your ride, approach farm houses for refills, carry a snack, etc… But please stop the complaints about one of our host counties. Roll with it people, roll with it.
Just wanted you let all to know that I rode 30 miles this morning and never passed a single vendor. And I survived. Its my guess that 99% of the commentors here ride training rides of 20, 30, 50 or more miles all the time without having to stop to buy food or water. It seems a bit odd that good people who plan to ride a bicycle all the way across the state of Iowa are worrying about being able to get from town to town in Monona county without buying a beer or an ice cream cone. Would it be nice to have the option? Sure. Is it the life threatening event that some are making it out to be? No, its not.
WHAT!!! Say it isn’t so!!! That’s the only stop I never miss!! Damn, they will be missed.
[quote quote=1286863]Just wanted you let all to know that I rode 30 miles this morning and never passed a single vendor. And I survived. Its my guess that 99% of the commentors here ride training rides of 20, 30, 50 or more miles all the time without having to stop to buy food or water. It seems a bit odd that good people who plan to ride a bicycle all the way across the state of Iowa are worrying about being able to get from town to town in Monona county without buying a beer or an ice cream cone. Would it be nice to have the option? Sure. Is it the life threatening event that some are making it out to be? No, its not.[/quote]
Bully for you, but I might want to to stop on the roadside and enjoy a slice of pie rather than try to eat in an over-crowded very small town. Apparently, for more than forty years that’s been done without any loss of life or limb, so excuse some of us if we want to question what’s changed.
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