RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

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

Surlyman!, August 5, 2022 at 7:20 am

Joseph Schlau, great question.. I can’t, but I went out of my way to talk with several people that were riding them. All of them in a town so we were walking, usually on the way in. Some of the answers were, I didn’t train enough for the ride so I went with this, I want to ride at a constant pace ( seen this person going ~15mph up the last long hill on Saturday), It just seems like to much work, but the one that I really like was from a 15 year old when he said, “Fu%& that”. The one I wish I could have talked to was the person riding a fat tire recumbent trike.. Seen him walking around a bridge looking at the river. Then about 2 miles later heard the loud growling of knobby tires behind me, It was him. Watched him traveling about 20 mph from just behind me till I could not see him anymore (probably 1/2 mile on flat ground)… didn’t peddle once. Answer your question mister positive???


Niles, August 5, 2022 at 5:12 pm

Be a big boy at least and focus on enjoying your own ride. He didn’t drive an 18-wheel to crash you.

Did you feel to be diminishes by:
* the next guy with a 10K+ bike?
* the old guy with shabby bike to be your eyesore
* the 70-year old lady still rode faster than you
* the big guy with flash jersey
* the speedo guy without a sunburn
* and so on, so on……


Joseph Schlau, August 6, 2022 at 4:30 am


This is an interesting post. Even though I ride an ebike, I probably had no more than 4 conversations with other ebikers and centered around how they like their particular bike rather than an inquisition as to whether they are worthy of casting a shadow on the sacred highway.

It’s pretty apparent you are no fan of ebikes and are posting any negative comment you can and spending an inordinate amount of time delving into other people’s personal decision on which bike is appropriate for them.

That guy with the fat bike seems to particularly haunt your dreams. The loud growling of knobby tires approaching from the rear is truly the stuff Stephen King would include in one of his scariest novels. And the fact that you can see him not pedal once from a distance of 1/2 mile is amazing. I can barely see the turn from 1/2 mile away, you can see if he is pedaling.

Now I also own one of these fat tire ebikes. It is a class 2 bike meaning it has a throttle control like a motorcycle as well as pedal assist. Without using the pedals, the throttle only operation uses up a battery pretty quick. Unless he had a pannier full of batteries (at 8-10 pounds each), he would not be able to complete even the shortest day at 20 mph sustained speed. While I considered my fat tire bike for RAGBRAI, the limited range even when pedaling eliminated it.

What you described is more consistent with a local resident jumping on the route for awhile, especially if you saw no extra batteries being carried.

What is particularly concerning though is you approaching a 15 year old underage youth and questioning his use of an ebike. Was his answer “Fu%& that” or “Fu%& you”. The latter response would have been mine. You are in dangerous territory by engaging in unsolicited conversations with underage teens, especially when not done with the permission and oversight of a parent.

When the topic of e-bikes briefly reappeared in January, I posted a link to an article in the DesMoines Register reported on this on July 30th in 2021. Makes for informative reading if you were preparing for 2022.


Now I’m not sure how many on the forum took the time to read the article, on e-bikes especially if you have no interest in them.

However, as you read down the article, you come to a section that reports on an incident involving a 14 year old e bike rider accompanied by his mother, but not the type of incident one would expect. No this 14 year old boy was not terrorizing the uphill riders, riding recklessly, or otherwise doing anything more than standing with his mom in Sac City.

The register article continued,

Of course, in a large community like RAGBRAI, not everyone is supportive.
In a widely distributed one mother criticized what she said was a RAGBRAI rider who called her terminally ill son, who was riding an e-bike, a “cheater.”

The mother’s Facebook post explains what happened

Torrie Jennings Griffin July 26

To the RAGBRAI cyclist in Sac City who greeted my 14-year-old son who just finished 89 miles on an e assist bike with a snarl and the words “Cheater:” Know that this amazing young man who once at 11 years-old rode up Pikes Peak on a Unicycle is now in a 3 year battle with an incurable brain cancer and he is twice the man you’ll ever be. He was there to support my ride on our summer vacation and this ride could be one of our last. And to everyone who thinks ebikes are bad, my son deserves to keep riding but can’t now due to left foot and leg weakness after 6 brain surgeries and 48 days of radiation. My 97 year old blind grandma also still rides thanks to a recumbent tandem with electric assist too. They both still get out there and pedal! If you love biking you should keep riding until there are no more excuses not to, whether you’re impaired in some way or just old, so please be nice to ebikers and just everyone in general, you don’t know what big life stuff they might be dealing with and it’s not cool to put your bad attitude others and shame my son’s accomplishment. He’s not feeling well and not able to ride today, but if he can again, and you see him out there, I hope the rest of you will say hi and cheer him on. Note: RAGBRAI organizers are very supportive of my son and the welcoming towns and locals we’ve met on the route have been amazing!!! I told Daniel about my RAGBRAI experience in ‘99 and he wanted to come see the state and meet the people himself. Here’s Daniel’s story and video.

So when I read your post about confronting this 15 year old, this article came to mind.

You want to pick on adults, so be it. But the kids should be off limits, Ok?


Thom M, August 6, 2022 at 10:26 am

An earlier poster asked – the delicious punch was called Sama Punch. It was from Palm’s Caribean Cuisine in Des Moines. I rank it up there with pickle juice in importance. Had one every day. So tasty. Other favorites – The Wesley Fire Department had an amazing thick cut pork chop. All the towns were amazing but I really liked Postville – the Samosas (basically a beef pie) were so, so good. The Band in Anthon as you left town was lovely. So many good pies in so many towns. Loved how many people came out to great us in Mason City – felt like being in a parade. You really felt the love and excitement. Definite energy boost.

My only real dislikes were the lack of food options in the 1st few towns on Century Day. The lines were insanely long and it wasn’t until Wesley that we were able to get food.

Truly an amazing week. I expect all future RAGBRAIs to have weather just as good.


Michelle Hook, August 6, 2022 at 5:32 pm

my second full RAGBRAI
1.riding slower with a group of newbies for much of the week on purpose; sometimes doing last 50% of ride without them, at my own speed. With them, pretty relaxing actually.
2.I paid my penance (in butt pain) in 2019 and much of the hardship I went thru that year following Coach Ertl’s advice really did carry over to 2022. You DO NOT have to start over.
3.then having ability/freedom last 2 days and fortitude to ride “alone” (obviously, not alone, just w/o my group) to realize the full potential of my road bike (Canyon endurance). I live in IL. Nicknamed flatlands. Hard to enjoy good road bikes for hills here. Riding Iowa, is way more fun.
4. The foggy morning leaving ?Emmetsville?. I forget which one it was.
5. The feel of cold morning air on my skin. Addicting. Makes me wanna ride earlier at home now. Forget 8am starts! 6am!!!
6.The truly Heavenly view approaching Mississippi River, early morning, last day. When it was far off in horizon, covered with fog, Sun rising just above. Stuff worthy of tears; so beautiful. Only thing ever gotten close for me was the Hawaiian helicopter ride into canyon filled with countless waterfalls.
7. Mr. Porkchop. Missed that in 2019.
8. Amish strawberry rhubarb pie, to die for, on the last day by the church, nearish the end. Truly delectable.
9. The free sweet corn from Iowa corn trailer! Oh my. I looked for it everyday but couldn’t find after midway thru.
10. That you can pretty much strike up convo with any rider on RAGBRAI. Glad I remembered to try to encourage people. You never know. That one thing you say can be exactly what they needed to keep on going (as happened for me in 2019).

11. The variety of bikes in Ragbrai. All bikes. At least every single person is not home sitting on their couch getting lazy. I don’t care what people use. Glad all are allowed.

12. The course seemed extremely clean. Seemed like lots less flat tires than 2019. Supreme conditions.

13. Large presence for the bike fixing shops. Didn’t need it but was reassuring to see much access to that if needed.

Least Favorite:

Lines for food first couple days was a downer and I just skipped it and relied on what we brought in RV. Was a downer because I wanted to “eat my way across Iowa” with all the special things. I missed pancakes, and a church inside meal this time around. I saw pancakes. But those Noshi bowls were freakin amazing. So other things took dominance with the choices given.

A couple medical things: 1.Contracting photosensitivity to mineral sunscreen on Day 4 that emerged in full hives day 6. Rare apparently. 2.Depletion of system electrolytes from 105mile day carried over in to next day (only known by weird body cramps). Rested more on short day on purpose; fully recovered by day 6 from that.

3. The snarls you hear people giving as you pass them on up and down hills in far left. Seriously! I want to ride my bike fast and push myself, people. This should mean nothing to you. I LOVE my bike and want to use it to its potential; which is riding fast. People need to keep their mouths shut about the people riding fast OR slow. Mind your own business in that category and we will all get along swimmingly.

4. Smell of pig poo. A couple times wanted to vomit. I was like, well, there are 49 other states I can ride my bike thru, I do not need to keep smelling the poo, across a whole state.

5. Not sure if there would be a fix, but the stress of trying to find where our RV parked at the ending town each day was not fun. Sometimes had zero connection with our driver. Survival sense kicked in with one of our members so we self learned to find public library and use their wifi. Literally, enough of a phone connection there that could get one sentence across before getting cut off (like crossroad of where to find RV). So yeah, we barely could find our RV end of each day because of cell towers overloaded and phone/internet unusable. It was exacerbated because RV driver meets us each day in the central meeting town too. So the RV sometimes has lateish arrival to end town too because of logistics to get there. To sum it up, a bunch of stress I would rather not have at the end of hot biking day. Not sure, the RAGBRAI sticker for support vehicle and RV parking is even useful. Most of the “main” anything for RVs we could not utilize and talk about day prior because all were unavailable by time RV got there. Kind of a shit show then. One of the workers at one of the end towns informational booth, literally told me “good luck” (with bad body language). Yeah super helpful to try to identify where RVs were parked. I was explaining about the sticker. The 4 people were almost no help. I ended up finding RV by 1, finding a group member, 2, locating general RV area (not always the situation), 3, biking there, 4) becoming friendly with an RV randomly parked (how did they do it?) 5) flagging down an RV driver to ask procedure they took to get in to that road 6) waiting with group from #5 til our RV made it in and parked a couple more blocks away from us.7) seeing their location on “Find My” app. Thank God.

Going thru preplanning of contacting RV host places for parking each day would somehow be far less stressful on our entire group once we hit RABRAI week. Then everyone knows exactly where to meet. We could actually ride to route end each day and receive all the townspeople fanfare (really fun for the beginners). Then know exactly where RV is parked and how far more to bike to it. Everyone has to understand a cell phone will not work for communication for much of a day; not matter how you slice it.


jpclark7, August 7, 2022 at 6:21 pm


I agree with you on the e-bikes– most people need to keep that cheating’ device AT HOME. Someone posted that 50% will be e-bikes…I bet! People are not being accountable for their actions, so, they end up gaining a shit ton of weight and end up being fat ass pigs.


Joseph Schlau, August 7, 2022 at 6:39 pm

Someone posted that 50% will be e-bikes…I bet!

Now that’s evidence. Do you also think it is ok to harass 15 year olds as well?

You are also the guy who looks forward to seeing people struggling up the hills.

Admit it, ebikes make you look bad and you can’t handle it.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Joseph Schlau.


debistevenson, August 7, 2022 at 8:56 pm

Out of context and without knowing a person’s circumstance, it’s easy to judge. Can we just appreciate that some people wouldn’t be exercising at all if it weren’t without some assistance? Let’s stay in the spirit of RAGBRAI.


Surlyman!, August 8, 2022 at 7:26 am

Joseph Schlau,
“You are in dangerous territory by engaging in unsolicited conversations with underage teens, especially when not done with the permission and oversight of a parent.”
Funny how a conversation turns into harassments. Are you saying you never talk to a kid on Ragbrai?? Do you ask permission first from their parents? Does anyone talk to you on the ride?? Have you ever been on Ragbrai??
But now I know why you are so hurt over this topic…. you ride an e-bike too. Got it… you take this topic to heart…. I’m thinking your pride is one that takes the abuse when comments are made about those who can but don’t… Are you one???

I know of the story that you speak of with the 14 year old… I totally support him and ANYONE that is riding an e-bike who, without it, would not be to ride. Those people, are NOT the ones riding up the hills at 20mph, encouraging all that,” Your doing great, Keep up the great work, You can do it”. Those people are the ones that, hit a nerve.. And no, it isn’t about my pride, it’s disappointment on how people look for the easy way out. And how they may never know the true sense of pride they will feel if they just pit in the work.

BTW, thanks for proving my point… AGAIN.


Rob Fuller, August 8, 2022 at 8:23 am

Two music favorites: 1) The “music man” (sorry didn’t get a name) – the guy with curly hair and red Converse All Stars pulling the trailer beating out a wonderful mix of jazz, blues, and more. 2) Loud Mouth Brass – at a roadside stop was so peppy I didn’t want to leave.

Oh yes, and a runner-up, the bag pipes trolling the Main Campground in Emmetsburg.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Rob Fuller.


Niles, August 8, 2022 at 9:51 am

@Rob, yeah, the bag piper. I think he must be the same guy who stole the show previous evening at Pocahontas Golf Course.
BTW, the music group playing at the golf course club house is also very entertaining with plenty of seats to sit down. Along with the short-to-none waiting line for food, it makes one of the best mass overnight sites.


Altidude, August 8, 2022 at 10:49 am

Well Surlyman!, you sound like someone who sucks as a rider and is secretly wanting an ebike, but you are afraid to try one. You clearly have never ridden a good Class 1 ebike, because if you had, you would know it is possible to set the assist at *any* level you want. You could be using more power to ride an ebike than a regular bike, if you wanted.

I am one of those people passing you “ON YOUR LEFT!” in the left lane, on my “analog” bike. But I have not one, not two, but three ebikes in my arsenal of bikes at home and they are 100% awesome. They are honestly more fun than a non-ebike.

I looked up the definition of “butthurt” and your picture popped up. Get used to the pain, yes, eventually at least 50% if not more of RAGBRAI riders will be on some kind of assisted ride. Sucks to be you.


Joseph Schlau, August 8, 2022 at 11:09 am

Altitude and Niles, I was going to once again answer Mr. Surly, but between the both of you and the 15 year old who told him “Fu%& that” or “Fu%& you”, I think it covers it nicely.


Surlyman!, August 8, 2022 at 11:48 am

Why not an e-bike on Ragbrai?? They are much better!!!!
BTW, I have ridden one, I don’t want one.
Suck as a rider?? Why would you say that about me?? I rode a steal Surly across Iowa. Not carbon fiber, not electrified, not a race bike.
I have completed 4 trips across Iowa on my own. Didn’t need one on any of them, completely satisfied with myself, my bike and my ride. Don’t worry, I will eventually stop riding Ragbrai when it becomes over electrified. It will, and THAT, will probably kill this ride..


Viewing 14 replies - 16 through 29 (of 29 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


RAGBRAI L – 2023




Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI