The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Parking in Indianola

A few of us are leaving Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, 1/2 ragbrai. We will be dropping cars off Friday beforehand to leave Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Any idea where is a good spot to park around Indianola 2 cars Friday for 4-5 days?

13 Replies

hnschipper, June 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

I would contact the Indianola RAGBRAI committee and ask.

#1304753

Mike L, July 9, 2019 at 10:41 am

They were not helpful. They basically told us to call the businesses themselves. They didn’t know. This is the same town that I think was going to charge application fees for camping for all riders, so deer in the headlights. Anybody else got anything yet?

#1307966

Tricia Martin, July 9, 2019 at 12:34 pm

There is not a set parking area established for long term parking. The city has a 72 hour parking limit on residential streets, so calling businesses would be the way to go to ensure your vehicle can be legally parked for the 4-5 days. As for businesses to call. I would try Fareway, Goodwill, HyVee, Theisens, WalMart – all have large lots.

This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Tricia Martin.

#1307982

cmparsley, July 9, 2019 at 10:46 pm

I spoke with the store manager at the Walmart and he said 24 hours is the max for parking in their lot. After that, they will tow. Not very friendly if you ask me.

#1308117

Mike L, July 10, 2019 at 6:39 am

Curious, when did you talk to them? I talked to a female manager at 2pm on tues 7/9 and they seemed fine about it. Said to park by the employee area.

#1308140

R-Daryl Daryl, July 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

I suggest getting a “permission” contact name when you get permission to park somewhere. Place a sign on your vehicle dashboard stating “RAGBRAI parking per (contact name)”.
Avoid picking a random lot. Years ago, friends parked in a lot that turned out to be part of the vendor area. When they returned to their car, they found it in the middle of a display of biking merchandise.

#1308151

cmparsley, July 11, 2019 at 12:08 am

I talked to the Walmart store manager, the top guy, on Monday, July 8th. I asked about RV parking and camping, as well as long term parking. They have a huge lot and I figured as long as you picked a spot as far from the entrance as possible, it wouldn’t be a problem. He said that after 24 hours, they may tow your vehicle. He said RV’s are welcome to camp in the lot and that they are also limited to 24 hours. He was rather short with me. I figured I was probably not the only one to call and ask that question and he was probably tired of getting those calls.

I would be suspect of any other person calling themselves manager. They might not have the authority to make those kind of calls.

#1308328

Mike L, July 11, 2019 at 7:21 am

The local group should have done this legwork and have 1 person ask, rather than having 30 random bikers all call and ask the same question.

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R-Daryl Daryl, July 11, 2019 at 7:45 am

It is very likely that there has not been significant demand for long term parking in towns other than the the beginning and end towns. RAGBRAI nation will need to suggest that each overnight town now arranges for long term parking with the corresponding parking fee.

#1308359

Heather, July 12, 2019 at 3:36 pm

I don’t think Indianola should do the leg work on this since they are not the starting town or ending town. There are not too many people that would need long term parking in the overnight towns. If you can’t do the whole ride, then you should be responsible for finding accommodations in my opinion. Plus you didn’t say whether you offered compensation for parking in their lot. I would be pretty annoyed too if I had someone asking to park on my business for awhile without giving me compensation.

#1308665

MK P, July 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm

This is a common question to towns on the route. When I have reached out with this question in other years, the communities always had a plan or worked with me to come up with one. Winterset has a designated place this year if Indianola isn’t able to accomodate….

#1308964

U Knee Cycle, July 14, 2019 at 10:48 pm

The three day on-street limit is usually so they can remove derelict/abandoned vehicles without waiting too long, but you never know for sure. Auto repair places and dealers usually have a day rate they charge insurers. Sometimes on-street cars near these or apartment buildings do not get bothered. Last year, I found the parking space I had scouted out on streetview would be in front of buildings with fresh code violation stickers on their doors. I fortunately had a few alternates. Hint-the satellite picture of a street is taken at a different time than the streetview one, so if on-street cars are common on both, it may be a good spot.

#1309016

Matt Konsor, July 15, 2019 at 11:50 am

I called Theisen’s and spoke to the Manager and said it would be fine if I parked there. They just asked that I email their management team and let them know the dates and times of dropping and picking up with the license plate number, and what kind of car I have.

#1309093

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