Registration deadline extended to April 15 for weeklong rider, weeklong non-rider, and vehicles passes!

OK, so how was it at Lansing?

I was unable to join the ride for the last couple of days as I had originally intended, not even as a spectator, so I don’t yet know the effect of 15-20K people flooding into Allamakee Country and converging in little Lansing.  So was it as much of a combination refugee camp/Chinese fire drill/clusterf*ck as I had been envisioning every time the subject came up over the past five or six years (which was the primary reason I was sure that RAGBRAI would never end in this little hamlet again)?  Or were they able get their shit together, somehow manage to provide for the influx of riders, their team vehicles, and other vehicles and non-riders as they came to pick up riders at the end of the week, and make it work?  Or did enough riders call it quits at Waukon or somewhere along the way to Lansing on Saturday so that there were far less than expected actually arriving in Lansing?

-“BB”-

41 Replies

Papa T, July 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

It was a clusterf*ck!!! They did not have their s*hit together. Helped out by the worst cell connections all week! Lesson Learned for teams, “Let the charters get in and get out”. As I recollect, Brewhaha got in late AM. could find NO evidence of organization. cars and buses and RV’s lined up five miles out of town. Got to city park, nobody there to direct folk, some “officials” who told where you “couldn’t” park (not where you could). But the charters were gone by early PM, and things got manageable. Worst end town organization I have ever seen!

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Papa T, July 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Great Ragbrai BTW!

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Ryan Flugge, July 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm

I ended in Harpers due to the family cabin there. That being said, buses and cars were lined up 2 miles outside of town on each side of the road, buses and charters were scattered on the gravels all the way down to 76… Harpers seemed to have it together and were working well with everything. However town was NOT shut off at all, everyone was in and out, they were so HAPPY to have everyone. I feel like it was better with the double dip site, people that stopped at Harpers helped keep it from getting overly hectic.
We went to our hunting property around 4 pm, and there were STILL riders on highway 76 between Waterville and Harpers, I really felt bad for those people due to traffic was terrible since the ride was “over”.

The biggest downfall I saw throughout all of RAGBRAI was the lack of shutting down highways in the hill country. Some very nasty drivers in the hills, also a milk truck driver that was lucky I didnt catch him. He had to be doing 50+ mph, never bugged from the lane, only laid on the horn. Was just flat out dangerous.

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KenH, July 30, 2017 at 10:54 pm

I had no problem in Lansing. We left there about 2pm and there didn’t seem to be problems for anyone except many had to park well outside of town on the road shoulder. I was told our small motorhome would not fit through the clutter on the route to the bridge to Wisconsin and that probably cost us 90 minutes to get back to Waukon and then SE. I’d rather they’d made it possible for me to take the direct route but they did a surprisingly good job while we were there.

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Cycling Robert, July 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

An absolute cluster fxck. The exit from Lansing to the WI bridge was down a 1 lane alleyway, very poor planning.

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Geoff Butland, July 31, 2017 at 8:44 am

I left Lansing long term parking around noon, destination New England. I hadn’t seen any eastbound traffic on the bridge at Lansing so I opted to cross the mighty Miss at La Crosse. While parked roadside checking maps on the Route 9 East detour a charter bus stopped and the driver came over asking for directions into Lansing. Based on the traffic I saw coming in to town it must have been a long wait for anyone riding that bus. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I was able to “get out of Dodge”.

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cyduke, July 31, 2017 at 8:49 am

I didn’t have any problems in Lansing, but Skunks did queue up in Harpers Ferry for our dip, and then rode to Lansing so we missed most of the traffic that day into Lansing. The ride was so spectacular, hopefully it won’t be another 40 years before we end in that part of the state.

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Shawn Loughren, July 31, 2017 at 9:05 am

We didn’t start riding until later Saturday morning so that we could miss the mad rush in Lansing. By the time we arrived around 2:00 it was pretty easy to get out. The ride that day was absolutely amazing. I hope we get back to that part of the state soon.

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Cory Rood, July 31, 2017 at 9:07 am

Lansing was fine. Anyone complaining just doesn’t get small towns. If you needed to get to Wisconsin all you had to do was go back to waukon and down to Marquette or up to Minnesota. If you knew the town you would understand why the bridge in Lansing was not an option. I didn’t see any issue with the team’s lining the highway out of town either. The shoulder was plenty large for them. I wish everyone understood the saying ‘RAGBRAI don’t care’ stop whining and just roll with it. If you needed out of town asap then maybe you should have just skipped the last day. Rant over. Sorry but I got sick of hearing people complain the last 2 days.

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Niles, July 31, 2017 at 10:36 am

I think Lansing did a good job and definitely doesn’t deserve any profane word considering all the physical limitations. I arrived in down 11:30 and left 12:30. I dipped my tires and had food without long wait in down. It is not too crowded. There are volunteers in street to tell me directions. Our bus parked 1.8 miles west of down on Highway 9 and I didn’t exhaust because of the extra distance. I had to share the road with the buses but it’s doable and I did.

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mdsnowman, July 31, 2017 at 10:46 am

I really enjoyed the ride from Harpers Ferry to Lansing, beautiful scenery and some good climbs. I didn’t have any issues getting in (about 1130) or out of Lansing (about 2:15 pm). I had lunch in Lansing after the ride and then rode my bike to long term parking. Yes, the road shoulders were lined with vehicles but no issues getting to long term parking. Grabbed my bags and vehicle and headed east back into Lansing. Very little traffic going that way. Took the alley ways to get to the bridge to WI and it went pretty quickly. They had a lot of volunteers directing traffic. Not sure what those complaining about a cluster f**k experienced, but I thought they handled the crowds and traffic very well while I was there and getting out.

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Bachetta rider, July 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

We hit Lansing at around noon and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of in town traffic. We had a very easy time dipping our tires and getting our picture taken by committee members. I didn’t witness the traffic entering and exiting Lansing so can’t critique. Our team biked across the Mississippi River bridge and six miles over to Desoto, Wisconsin where we saw very few bikers. There was very little traffic on the bridge and turned out to be a fun six mile ride to Desoto. we crossed back into Iowa down at Prairie du Chien and encountered very little traffic. Good job Ragbrai and Lansing!!!! Most of our team bailed in Waukon (or took the 16 mile shortcut to Lansing) and missed a good day of biking. I ended up with 49 miles for the day.

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Sarah Bunch, July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am

It was awful and even the Lansing volunteers that I talked to agreed that it was a “s**t show” (their words, not mine).

I was driving a support vehicle for my team with two others; I was towing a flatbed trailer and the two other drivers were towing campers. We sat in traffic for awhile and then about 2 miles out of town we were told that we either needed to pull off on the side of the highway or turn around. Cue the chaos. We decided to pull off on the shoulder of Gruber Ridge Road in the shade, but saw countless vehicles jack-knife or block the road trying to turn around and get out of town while maneuvering around riders and other vehicles parked on both sides of the road.

While I was waiting on the side of Gruber Ridge, a local drove by in his pick-up and purposefully sprayed me with gravel while I was trying to latch something down on my trailer. So much for a warm welcome…

I don’t why RAGBRAI insists on making thousands of riders (and their support) meet in a town that cannot possibly support the influx (remembering Guttenberg a few years ago…). There either needs to be a lot more organization about how people get into town and queue while waiting for their riders, or there needs to be a shuttle for riders to get out of town and meet with their rides. Preferably in a larger town with several routes in and out of town…

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Luv 2 Ski, July 31, 2017 at 11:30 am

No problems here with Lansing. Our team arrived in town at about 10:30 and our bus was at Church and 5th and got there with no problems. My son and I dipped our tires, took some pictures, and then headed to the bus to get our stuff. We then rode the Hosmer Hill challenge before I headed to long term parking to get our car. We took a shower at the high school, had some food in town, and was out of town at 1:30. No hassles at all and everything went pretty smooth. After dipping our tires I did ask a policeman how to get out of town going over the bridge to Wisconsin. His directions were pretty clear and right on. When we were in line to get out someone coming the other way said it would take over an hour to get out. Not close to being true. We were in Wisconsin in about 10 minutes.

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igor, July 31, 2017 at 11:41 am

Our group had zero issues getting out of Lansing. The RV was parked on the shoulder of Highway 9 about a mile west of town. We rolled out for home about 3:30. I think I rode into the dip site about 12:30 or 1 and it was busy but not packed. As expected it was tighter quarters there but I had no trouble dipping the tire and getting some photos. It was fun spending a couple of hours in town seeing the band, eating some food and sitting in the shade. It was great seeing the Air Force crew roll into town and everyone cheering wildly. That was an awesome moment.

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