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?


This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by "Bicycle Bill".

41 Replies

Sunflower, July 31, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Our 17 year-old virgin SAG driver managed to get a 32 foot RV across the bridge to Wisconsin after breaking camp and leaving at 10am. We hit Lansing at 3, dipped and rode across the bridge to find him parked on a wide paved shoulder. Smooth.


Gallagher, July 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm

I had no trouble getting into Lansing, nor finding my charter a mile or so down the road in a park. And the buses had no trouble getting out. Overall, for a small town, Lansing did great!!! There are always going to be little annoyances when you have that many people and vehicles involved.


Rodcrosgrove, July 31, 2017 at 5:14 pm

We use the RAGBRAI baggage truck. I don’t know why they don’t drop bags at the long term parking, but that’s another story.

We were parked in long term parking, so needed a shuttle to get our bags there. We didn’t see a sign for the shuttles but found volunteers to show us the way. The shuttle driver missed my wife’s stop so it took extra time for this.

We arrived in town around 1100, drove back to waukon for our trip back east. So all in all it wasn’t that bad, but I do prefer someplace with easier access to the interstate. This was my 5th ride so I have some experience with this.


Alan_50501, July 31, 2017 at 6:43 pm

WAS a great ragbrai minus the hills on last day…Was neat to see the air force cycling team at lansing AS bikers arrived this was just my 2nd year


Bob Kidd, July 31, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Had no problems in Lansing. Wife and daughter got there about an hour before me. Dipped my tire and was out at long term parking within 45 minutes to get my stuff from BBC. My first RAGBRAI and I’m starting to plan for next year!


Sexton, July 31, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Just my opinion, both Harpers and Lansing did a great job. Into Lansing just after 1000, waited maybe 3-4 minutes at dip site 3, claimed my gear at the Ragbrai truck, found Send-My-Bikes area, broke down and boxed my bike, walked over to the high school, got a shower, located my charter bus, dropped my bag there, and by 1200 was wandering around snapping pic’s and consuming mass quantities. Bike Illinois had sent me maps and cue sheets which I verified by asking the most helpful Lansing citizens. We left town just before 1600, and had no trouble getting onto the bridge. I thought there would be some excitement when one of the freight trains went through town, but am not aware of any problems with them.


jake d, July 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Lansing was GREAT. I appreciate that TJ has made the ride easier since taking over, but the challenge doesn’t always end when you get off the bike. You get up each morning, get on your bike, ride across Iowa, and embrace the idea that you can have a good time no matter what the ride throws at you. That’s what RAGBRAI is all about. Is always going to be easy, NO. So you deal with and move on.


Mike Murphy, July 31, 2017 at 9:26 pm

No problem for me, I got to Lansing at 9:30 and dipped my tire. Got to long term parking and took a left and went back to Waukon and then headed south. Cost me about 20 minutes not being able to head south right out of Lansing but it was a nice drive and saw a couple of new towns. I expected it to be a real problem doing anything in Lansing. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to dip and get a picture but things went smooth for me

This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Mike Murphy.


KenH, August 1, 2017 at 8:23 am

Yes, I know that one could get to Wisconsin by driving back to Waukon and then south and east, crossing the river at Dog Prairie because that is in fact what we did! The biggest traffic snafu we faced on the way home was not in Lansing but at a stoplight in Waukon that had traffic backed up for quite a ways. I also know that smaller vehicles would have had no trouble navigating through the streets of Lansing to get to the eastbound bridge there and I suspect my rig could have made it easily too but I was told by both a local policeman and a volunteer “security” worker that it could not so rather than cause a scene with people who were clearly doing their best to make that all work for all of us, I followed their directions.

The thing is that I am an engineer. It’s a disease really, we can never stop looking for ways to improve things, even things that worked quite well. Looking at how they laid out the vendors, etc, for the event I can see ways they easily could have accommodated my desire to head east over the bridge and in fact I am not surprised at all to hear that those of you with similar vehicles who arrived at different times and interacted with different people directing traffic were able to do that even with the layout as it was. If they had left me with a way and a plan to get east I would have been home significantly quicker and those of us heading that way would not have contributed to the backups in Waukon. A good situation would have been even gooder!! Making things better is my life’s work, so don’t be offended if I tell you that you could have done better, especially when I’ve already told you that you did a good job.

Yeah, seeing the Air Force arrive in Lansing, that was awesome!


bak99504@gmail.com, August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Arrived in Lansing late morning. Took some pictures and cheered on the Air Force when they arrived. What a tremendous group of people to be on RAGBRAI!!!!! Had received a text earlier in the day telling us where to meet our support. Biked through downtown west to support ride, loaded up and we were on the road by 1:10. Lansing did fine as far as I am concerned. If riders cannot handle small town, rural, short-term problems they need to reconsider their participation in RAGBRAI. That is part of it!!!!!!


hnschipper, August 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

We had no issues in Lansing. Our team planned to meet at the Red Barn Resort 2 miles west of the dip site. We know going in to the day we would have to ride 2 miles after dipping our tires. Made it to the campground just fine on our bikes, showered and caught our bus home. No issues whatsoever.


Brian Pentony, August 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Biggest problem getting out of Lansing was that, once I got back to my car in long term, I had to work around many bicyclists who were still riding 4 abreast as they rode back to their campers on the road westbound out of Lansing. This practice backed up cars for a long way and made it difficult to move cars, vans and RV’s to clear the roads and open up a way out of town. We went well over 2 miles at 5 mph, unable to safely pass and keep the traffic moving. The ride was over and riders need to understand that they should to proceed single file as they would on any other roadway.

Otherwise, the ride into Lansing provided some of the best and memorable views of the week, and provided a dramatic finish to an excellent series of rides. I was able to get something to drink and get out of the center of town with little problem (I finished pretty early) and get back to my car in long term parking without delay.


Bernard Schwartze, August 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

I had a great time with the ride on Saturday. Harpers Ferry was a very well done stop and Lansing was very easy to deal with. I was too tired to fully appreciate Lansing but I liked what I saw. We exited town over the bridge and entered Iowa again at McGreggor. No hassles.


jwsknk, August 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm

That and we really didn’t have to go into town. we loaded up the bus and trucks at the boatlaunch just south of town on Harper Lansing Road. Most rolled in between 1:30 and 2:00 after the noon meet and dip in Harpers Ferry.


RagbraiJim, August 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Nobody on our team had an issue. We found a nice spot just down the rode from dipping site 1 and we were able to get out of town easily. I took folks to the lacrosse airport at 4pm and crossed the bridge with no wait. I was back in Lansing at 6 pm and the town was relatively vacant.


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