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Ragbrai 2022 Favorites

All right Ragbrai veterans, newbies, day riders, townsfolk and campers. This one is for you. Lets hear your favorites from this years ride, most favorite and/or least favorite. Remember that the Ragbrai organizers read these forums too. I’ll start: Most favorite was the weather. I guess when 18000 or so bikers ask for good weather and a tailwind they sometimes get it! We sure got it this year. I also think the pass through towns did a great job, and the music was fun and there was a nice variety. I loved talking to all the newbies and asking how the was going. There was a lot of angst before the 100 mile day but I saw many smiles and hugs and high fives at the end of it. Speaking of the 100 mile day, I would say the organizers really lucked out with the cool temps and that mighty tail wind. A hot headwind would have made Wednesday a disaster. Another favorite was the peach cobbler just past West Union. And the goulash in I think it was Lawler. I really enjoy finding local food on the ride. During the ride I appreciated the amount of good will and good manners I witnessed. It was fun watching the guy who would yell “car up!” from the far left lane and then stay in the far left lane as the car approached. On the list of least favorite things, I would have to pick the horrible center crack coming into Emmetsburg on Tuesday. I would think the pre-ride group would have picked up on that killer. It should have been marked with cones or filled or something. Also as always there were the pace lines demanding that everyone move over and let them impressively fly by. I’ll end with one more favorite, and that is the feeling of accomplishment one would experience at the end of a long day, and a long week on the bike. That one is hard to beat.

29 Replies

Robert, July 31, 2022 at 6:31 pm

One of the better things about this RAGBRAI was the polka band in Pocahontas. It was nice to see a town choose music that reflected the history of the original settlers, in this case Czech. On the downside: the people in charge of the sound system way over amplified much of the live performers. We had to move a block or two away from the band to hear it at a reasonable level. This was also true in Mason City. The booming amplification made it hard to enjoy Don Felder’s performance. We moved to the far end of the park and even there it was painful to listen to. But overall the ride was a great celebration of Iowa and bicycling.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Robert.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Robert.

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Niles, July 31, 2022 at 7:34 pm

Weather! definitely!
After 5.5 hour weather delay to get Sergeant Bluff and then to use my body weight to hold my tent from blowing away by the hot, strong wind, how can I expect all week cool weather especially during all nights.

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Gallagher, July 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

The pass throughs and overnights were awesome, as was the weather. The natural northeast beauty on the final day was awesome!

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debistevenson, July 31, 2022 at 10:44 pm

Best was the assistance people gave when needed: that “killer” center line is an example: I took a nasty spill there and people immediately came over to help, called the EMS who were there within a couple minutes, and replaced my inner tube. Worst was, of course, that killer center line.

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Ben Okiyama, August 1, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Weather was great…!! Couldnt have asked for better weather for this time of the year..!!
I rode last year, where the weather was hot, which made the rides slightly more challenging.

I cant imagine what the century day would’ve been like if we had 90+ temps that day.

All the pass through towns were awesome..!! I feel for the towns on the last day, because I know most of us are flying through to get to the end to catch a shuttle or a flight.

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HughAinATX, August 1, 2022 at 1:16 pm

First time to Iowa. I was really impressed with how beautiful the state is.
There were tasty hills and tastier descents. As a non-Iowan, who knew?!?
Strawberry rhubarb pie oh my!
Pocahontas really impressed because they are such a small town.
Complaints? Nah, I had a blast!
Our Texas Friendly is falling behind Iowa Nice. We need to step it up!

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Surlyman!, August 1, 2022 at 2:43 pm

Things I liked:
Weather
Food… Especially the Lutheran Church in Mason city. Porkchop was delightful
Tailwind for the 100 mile day (would have been hard without it)
Smooth roads. (mostly)
Good ride with good people.
Dislikes/ Disappointments:
E-bikes being ridden by people who could have but chose not to. I seen a lot going up hills and were not pedaling kind of makes a mockery of all of the hard work we put into the ride. (I know some people need them, I am not talking about them!)
Why were there not any fire departments serving breakfast?? I miss that!!
I thought it was tough to find local meals.
I didn’t see a lot of 4H, FFA, Boy Scouts out this year. Again, missed that.
Amish Pies, where did you go??? No gooseberry pie this year…
Farm Kids, miss those crepes.

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Dueywife, August 1, 2022 at 2:47 pm

My favorites were sharing the 47 mile day from Mason City to Charles City with my 11-yo daughter and her delight with riding the highways like an adult. She loved searching for fossils and all the good food. Also sharing Friday with my 16-yo son and his pure delight doing his own thing, jumping from bridges, live bands, and playing human foosball. And the steel-drum band in New Hampton, IA was a musical treat for the ears.

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CTRolling, August 1, 2022 at 8:12 pm

Faves: Weather, Gravel Day and trail! Patch collection. My charter and other guests on the charter (B2U). Riders were generally fun and friendly. Medical/First Aid. Air Force support. Grilled PB&Js.

Yucks: 60+ mile with highest climb on Day 7, huh? Food options for vegetarians, limited and redundant meals.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by CTRolling.

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CTRolling, August 1, 2022 at 8:39 pm

I forgot a big Yuck: Internet access

Fave: local libraries for AC, Wifi (maybe), Charles City library also had a cool art exhibit.

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Rob Fuller, August 2, 2022 at 5:40 pm

I agree – the local foods were hard to find. But, they were there with smaller modest (humble?) tables among the crowds.

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Altidude, August 2, 2022 at 7:04 pm

The weather was awesome. The routes were pretty good, especially the gravel route and the last day. I think eventually we need a RAGGRAI, all gravel. The food was there if you looked for it. The Cubano sandwiches at the latin food trailer were the perfect tasty calorie bomb. The punch at the Caribbean trailer was out of this world, anyone remember the name of that punch?

The downs: some people in our camp and in food lines were obviously sick. There are now many reported COVID cases being reported among riders, including several people I rode with. I don’t know what can be done about it, if someone is healthy going in, and they start coughing on say, Thursday, how do you get out of that part of Iowa? COVID sucks, I guess we just have to live with it as best we can.

To the person complaining about ebikes, get over yourself. RAGBRAI isn’t really a “bike event”, it is a bunch of people riding whatever bikes they feel like on whatever days they fee like riding. It ain’t Ride The Rockies. I personally love that people who would never have ridden are now being given the confidence to ride, by a little battery and an even smaller motor.

My bold prediction: in 20 years, over 50% of the bikes on RAGBRAI LXIX will be ebikes of some sort. Probably sooner than that. Trek just announced their new electric mountain bike that is virtually indistinguishable from a non-ebike from 10 feet away. They will soon have road and gravel versions as well. By the time LXIX rolls around, there will no longer be ebikes/non-bikes. You will just opt for the motor and battery if you want it, and they will be easily removable. Some of these already exist, the tech will only get better. You want to ride your bike without the motor on days 1-3, but would like some assistance on day 4? There you go. Slap the motor and battery in on day 4.

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HughAinATX, August 3, 2022 at 11:40 am

I’m a cycling purist to the extent I rode a single speed. I used to get annoyed at e-bikes, especially out on the singletrack trails.

I never gave e-bikes much of a thought on RAGBRAI. It didn’t affect me or the enjoyment I got from being here.

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Gregory Akers, August 4, 2022 at 5:26 pm

The good: Obviously the weather was awesome. The gravel route was a ton of fun for those of us who chose to do it. I appreciated that they must have recently graded the gravel roads. We had hosts in every overnight town and everyone was wonderful. Iowa Nice is real! For the most part, the roads were really good. I enjoyed the challenge of the 105 mile day. I love the friendliness, helpfulness and attitudes of my fellow RAGBRAI riders!

The less good: I wish we could have had the beer tents on Sunday but that wasn’t an option in Woodbury county. The patch distributions for the gravel and century rides were less than ideal. Friday night, it seemed like a lot of food vendors had folded up their operations and gone home. There weren’t a lot of options that night and that resulted in long lines. Overall though, not much to complain about.

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Joseph Schlau, August 4, 2022 at 6:25 pm

E-bikes being ridden by people who could have but chose not to. I seen a lot going up hills and were not pedaling kind of makes a mockery of all of the hard work we put into the ride.

How is it that you can determine with a single 10-30 seconds of observation who is and is not capable of riding a standard bike.

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