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RAGBRAI & How Does Warm Weather Kill Off the Coronavirus?

I get the impression RAGBRAI has nothing to fear from the Coronavirus in that warm weather should spell the end of the outbreak according to some news outlets. But does someone know why warm weather will save RAGBRAI? Either that or the US will continue to keep it well under control so no one will even think about cancelling RAGBRAI.

There are lots of myths about this virus as a popular search right now is how Corona beer causes the Conronavirus. Not sure how that got started.

Interesting fact according to my doc, the flu this year has killed thousands more people then the Coronavirus. Much of the fear seems to be a bit of an over reaction.

Don’t want to see RAGBRAI fall to the fear like the UAE Tour did:

75 Replies

Mike Howe, February 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm

You got to be kidding me.


KenH, February 28, 2020 at 10:39 am

I don’t think that warm weather kills any virus. However people are not meeting in large groups in schools during the summer. People in the north are less likely to use mass transit when snow and ice are not around to make driving their personal cars more hazardous. A lot of people are not seen inside a church except for Christmas and Easter. Other social factors like that make virus transmission rates fall during the warmer months because people have less contact with strangers.

The fear over the coronavirus is largely due to the fact that it is an unknown. Several things, the flu for one, are much more likely to kill you throughout the year and at RAGBRAI, as far as we can tell right now. But there is always the chance that as more information becomes available the new virus will be found to be a very aggressive killer even though there seems to be no evidence of that yet. The fear is also due to popular movies and TV shows from years past and the news media habit of being alarmist about anything new because that boosts ratings.

I see no reason to be concerned about RAGBRAI and the virus right now. Even though we will be a large group there is plenty of time for the chain of transmission to have been broken by the change of peoples habits as the weather warms up. Add to that the fact that the virus seems to more new than dangerous and I think you have no reason for concern. And if I’m wrong about that there is plenty of time to cancel your plans. Losing money invested in RAGBRAI is a small price to pay for avoiding death, if that extremely unlikely situation should prove to develop.


mootsman, February 28, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Its not the Coronavirus that we should be concerned with. Its the fear of it. For RAGBRAI hopefully that fear will be gone before the RAGBRAI overlords at Gannet even consider cancelling RAGBRAI. But some group already cancelled the UAE Tour because of the fear.


KenH, February 28, 2020 at 3:55 pm

I would imagine that DD is having discussions with his management about this including what to do and when to do it and how to deal with the registration fees if, as no one expects, the event has to be canceled. I trust that it will not be canceled unless there is real reason to do so. The UAE cancellation came at a time when fear and uncertainty were at their peak, with some reason. There is no reason the cancel RAGBRAI at this point and by the time that decision would have to be made I am confident that there will no fear of letting the event go forward. The stock market will probably regain 2500 points next week or the week after….


Ben There, February 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm

The route is out, so the ride will happen, wether it’s officially cancelled or not.


Danny Edens, February 29, 2020 at 1:10 am

I Think with summer weather the risk may go away. With Ragbrai Yes, there’s many people, but How often are you contained with people in a enclosed space? and if so its usually preventable. More often you on your bike moving through the country air. I suppose the most risk could be seen at night when your in the camps packed like sardines but then again it would most likely be contained with end ones tent. I don’t fine it a risk. A much bigger risk is food borne illness and sanitation which Ragbrai is well aware of and has plans and procedures for, hence all the fees and inspections and shuts downs of 10 year olds lemonade stands.. You know cuz you’ll get salmonella from that Lemonade!


Mark Shupe, March 3, 2020 at 7:36 am

Bring fresh limes.


Richard Arnopolin, March 3, 2020 at 11:08 am

inquiring minds want to know; ask the president he seems to think it will all be over in April.
seriously, you are more likely to catch the flu in the flu season, ie winter. however, have you never been sick in summer?
a better boogey man to worry about would be the Norovirus. Water or food contamination are the causes.
REMOVE YOUR GLOVES around food and porta potties.
Carry hand sanitizer, believe it or not, you will come across many Kybobs that do not have any inside or out.


Mike Howe, March 3, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Coronavirus or not… its all the germs in kybos, on tables, food truck condiment containers, drink bins, etc where people are constantly touching and putting their hands on things you need to be worried about. Imagine all the dirty hands that dip into a large tub to grab bottled water, soda and beer. Then you put your mouth on lip of the can to take a drink without hesitation. That how disease and germs spread quickest I would imagine and why its always recomended to bring hand santizer.


Sandaltan ., March 3, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Richard Arnopolin is correct, norovirus is very dangerous. It is easily spread and would create massive medical and logistical problems for RAGBRAI. If you rode SAGBRAW in 2006 which began in La Crosse Wisconsin as we did you would appreciate the severity of the illness. The symptoms of a norovirus are diarrhea and vomiting, now imagine 1000 riders waking up to those symptoms.



Larry Klaaren, March 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm

All true. But the thing about Corona virus is that it is novel. That means there is no “herd immunity” or any immunity at all in the population so it can spread through large groups very quickly. It is yet to be seen if there is a mild or silent form that is not being detected, that is causing immunity in some people. It is true that more people have had and have died from flu. However, a higher percentage of the small number of American people who have contracted the Corona virus have died, compared to flu.


Ken Reed, March 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

From what I’ve been hearing, if you are healthy in general, you should be fine.


jeffreydennis, March 6, 2020 at 7:22 am

Bottom line, no one knows. It is not unreasonable to wonder about RAGBRAI’s response to this. You are talking about 7 days of people from around the country in a traveling Petri dish


mootsman, March 6, 2020 at 10:57 am

Mainly put this out to dispel irrational fear so RAGBRAI doesn’t jump the gun on cancellation. There are plenty of close spaces people enter on RAGBRAI. I got the flu in 2011 along with 1 other person who took our team bus. We both went home early. And most have been in one of the bars packed with riders.

The coronavirus death rate is exaggerated right now. Many that get the virus have symptoms so mild they don’t bother getting tested. So that death rate is far less then what is being reported once you consider all those who got it and were never tested.

With all the pro-tour events being cancelled right now though let’s hope RAGBRAI doesn’t jump the gun on this.


jdeutmeyer, March 7, 2020 at 8:34 pm

The death rate we are seeing in exposed populations is about 3 %. That means 97 % recover and survive. I agree with many others there are higher risk during RAGBRAI ( like wiping out on a road crack and hitting your head or food borne illness mentioned ).


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