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RAGBRAI decision April 15

From today’s Register, a decision about RAGBRAI 2020 will be made April 15.

Also…Andrea Parrott is back.

95 Replies

mootsman, April 7, 2020 at 9:22 am

[quote quote=1317443]I wouldn’t put much thought into what is or isn’t on the website. Hell, TJ is still listed as the RAGBRAI director on the contacts link on the RAGBRAI app on my phone. It has never been updated since he left last fall.[/quote]

This is not the same as old stale information. The 2020 route link was there but recently removed. But we’ll know in a week.

Hopefully RAGBRAI officials will lead the way back and base the decision on the likely situation in July and not right now.

It’s good that Andrea is back.


Brady Bisgard, April 7, 2020 at 9:38 am

1) Always liked Andrea and happy she is back.
2) TJ definitely just used the King story as his excuse to leave.
3) RAGBRAI is definitely cancelled if they set 4/15 as a decision date.


Niles, April 7, 2020 at 10:20 am

Yeah, I agree the assessment hear that 4/15 decision date means very likely that this year’s RAGBRAI is going to be cancelled. Especially to consider that Iowa’s COVID-19 impact/reaction are behind of other states and major cities. The best hope is that the rest of country shows the pass of the pandemic apex and that gives Iowa some justification to delay decision to the 6/01 implied earlier.

Now, I have to see how I can deal with the cancelling flights talk with airlines. I believe it is going to be difficult because I think most traveling ban/limit should have lifted by mid-July.

On Andrea, I feel bad about her. Some may point fingers at her about not holding her stand. But it is hard to break away from a small and tightly hold group. Either way for her would be regarded as one kind of betray or the other. And be honest, I don’t think she could be sure she would still have position at the Register even if she stayed at the time. I’m glad that by taking her back, the Register proves itself not being an “evil corporation” (burning the bridge usually is regarded as a “right” macho move for both employer and employee, right?).


Logan Foltz, April 7, 2020 at 11:48 am

I wonder if the “soon-to-be-revived” JGB podcast will be the same format featuring IBC co-hosting with RAGBRAI. If memory serves, the last time we tuned in, Mark Wyatt and TJ were openly encouraging us to jump ship from RAGBRAI and sign up for this new vanity project which is soon to be bankrupt.

That was a respectable mea culpa from Andrea. I wonder if we’ll get one from the IBC.


KenH, April 8, 2020 at 9:56 am

Yeah, it seems impossible that they would announce on April 15 that the ride will go forward as planned. I would not expect them to be able to make that decision before mid May. It seems certain that they will announce that the end of July ride is off the table.

But we all like to have hope and any number of events have been delayed rather than canceled for the year. So there is hope still that they could be moving the ride to August or September instead of canceling it. If the funding model has been improved this year the towns along the route would certainly welcome an influx of cash when the economy gets going again. Moving the dates would diminish the size of the ride, I imagine. The Register article says “there will be a decision April 15 about whether the nation’s largest annual bike tour will happen as scheduled in mid-July.” which makes it sound more like a schedule decision than a go/no-go decision but of course the wording in an article in a newspaper isn’t necessarily as precise as a court filing or patent application. Still, there is some hope for those of us whose vacation plans can be adjusted.


mootsman, April 8, 2020 at 11:36 am

Kenh: A delay might be in the works although I doubt September would work as the schools many over nights RAGBRAI relays on to be available would not be.


cheymtn70, April 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Nobody knows for sure wth is going on with this virus. Maybe a second wave after some social mitigation restrictions are lifted. Maybe a return in the fall. We will not see a return to “festival” cycling until there is an effective vaccine. Count on it.


Jboz, April 8, 2020 at 3:16 pm

We are 1 week away from the decision date. Lots can happen in a week. Just look at the past 7 days.
* One week ago, most projections for US deaths were in the 200,000+ range…today the current projection has dropped to 60,000 (note: that is inside the range of a typical bad flu year).
* In the past week, a course of HCQ, Azithromycin and Zinc sulfate has surged to the top of physicians list of preferred treatment regimens with a very high success rate.
* One week ago, the new cases were showing day-over-day exponential growth…today, the day-over-day new cases are dropping.
* One week ago, NY was projecting a massive ICU bed and ventilator shortfall by now…as of today, there is excess capacity for both and Gov Cuomo has stated that the apex has passed.

I don’t know whether or not this will be cancelled. But this is a rapidly evolving situation. To me, the smartest approach would be to play it by ear (which they appear to be doing). If a decision had already been made, I don’t see the point in setting a decision date into the future. They would simply decide and announce, then move on. So, it appears that they are waiting…and watching the data pouring in. And from what I can tell, the data coming in is actually improving every day. If this trend of improvement continues another week, it’s entirely possible that they will say something along the lines of “We are currently monitoring the situation closely, and for now have decided to move forward as planned (or nudged a week or two forward), but we will continue to monitor closely and may cancel as conditions dictate.”

But I have my summer tour “Plan B” in the works, so whether it’s Plan A (RAGBRAI) or Plan B, I will be riding and so I continue to get my miles in.


KenH, April 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm

I am guessing that if RAGBRAI were moved to September it would be more of a 5k than a 15k rider event and that would ease the logistics considerably. And I do not deny that the numbers in New York are starting to look better. But I believe they are still looking worse in Illinois. I’d be a lot more comfortable that a full speed ahead as planned decision could be made in mid May than in mid April when much of the country could still be on the up-side of the curve. As the Register article said there are a whole lot of things that have to fall into place to make RAGBRAI happen as scheduled. I think they well could be happening by mid May but I think that a mid April date suggests that a change is coming.

Of course the April 15 decision date that was published could have been a misprint….


KenH, April 8, 2020 at 8:50 pm

We started watching our collection of Monk episodes this week. If you are familiar with the show you know that current events make him seem like a man ahead of his time! Anyway, the one we just started playing tonight has Willie Nelson as a guest star. In the opening scene he and the band are playing through the sound check for a concert.

They played “On the Road Again”.

A good omen, perhaps?


bugs11, April 9, 2020 at 11:21 am

I can’t see anyway that RAGBRAI can happen this summer given the current circumstances. Picture the mob of bikers walking their bikes through a town shoulder to shoulder, just one infected person in the group or an infected local on the sidewalk and dozens of people could get infected. It’s like going through a crowed airport multiple times every day for a week.

It won’t just be RABGRAI, all organized bike rides will be cancelled this summer. I see a summer of solo/small group riding ahead. With the mobility of people now a days, the virus will keep reappearing until a vaccine is available or herd immunity occurs.


Jboz, April 9, 2020 at 1:26 pm

[quote quote=1317571]I can’t see anyway that RAGBRAI can happen this summer given the current circumstances.[/quote]

I agree…given the “current situation”. But RAGBRAI is not an April event…it’s a late July event. Current situation in this case is irrelevant. Future situation (hard data and educated projections by data scientists) is what decisions will likely be based upon. Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are likely to begin being peeled back within the next 2 or 3 weeks. Work from home orders will give way to “come back to the office” with the caveat to be mindful of precautions. Businesses will reopen, and group events will cautiously resume by June. By June 1, the prediction models (1) say this virus is way over. How the RAGBRAI organizers approach this is anyone’s guess right now…but I can assure you, what is occurring today is not what they will base their decision on.

(1) Source:


mootsman, April 9, 2020 at 1:35 pm

[quote quote=1317571]I can’t see anyway that RAGBRAI can happen this summer given the current circumstances.[/quote]

That’s the key phrase, “given the current circumstances”. Those are already changing for the better and RAGBRAI will decide based on what is likely in July. Imagine this July and a large share of CV cases in the past but no RAGBRAI because they decided based on April conditions. That would make no sense.

And to those bored riders who keep responding to posts like they respond to email. This forum is not personal and RAGBRAI officials are reading it. My responses are largely to give RAGBRAI officials more to think about then current conditions. That’s why I never read PMs through this site. Its not a back-and-forth conversation between 2 people. Its a forum for mass consumption.


Sandaltan ., April 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm

I am convinced that there will be no RAGBRAI this year. No doubt in my mind. Gannett will not take a risk that would surely be litigated very thoroughly. I believe the decision has already been made in McLean Virginia.



Uncle Kraig, April 9, 2020 at 2:31 pm

Sandaltan – I believe you are correct. For whatever it’s worth too, Le Mars had a town meeting scheduled for yesterday or day before to announce their theme, logo, give updates on planning, etc, etc. As you may know from years past, the announcement parties are always a big deal. This one was cancelled. Not moved on-line, not rescheduled, not postponed but cancelled :( Stay safe and healthy out there.


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