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Random acts of kindness on RAGBRAI

Over the yars, we’ve seen many random acts of kindness on RAGBRAI. We stayed at the fairgrounds in Marshalltown. It was so hot, we decided to go to a movie after we showered and ate. We left our tents to air out in the shade – without the rain flies on. We even had a conversation while we were eating, debating if we needed to go back and put them on before we went to the movie. After looking at the sky, we decided it wasn’t going to rain. You all know how well that prediction worked out!

My brother, our support driver, left partway through the movie when we heard the rain pounding on the roof, to do what he could for our tents, which were surely soaked by then. He got back to the fairgrounds….and discovered that someone had put our rain flies on our tents for us! We later found out it was the group camping next to us. I don’t know their names or where they are from, but whoever you are, thank you again!!!!! They were driving a black Mercedes van (like a Dodge Sprinter-type van.)

In the end, the stuff in our tent was a little soggy, but weathered the storm well. It surely wouldn’t have if our nice neighbor’s had not put our rain fly on for us. My brother’s tent, however, broke a pole in that strong wind and punctured the rain fly, leaving them with a very flooded tent.

What random acts of kindness did you see on RAGBRAI?

32 Replies

David Elkow, August 1, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I totally messed up navigating to my team’s campsite in Cedar Rapids. I was looking for help with directions. A contractor in a pickup truck, his name is Ken I believe, gave me directions to my camp. I was more than a few miles off course. He started to pull away, then stopped again and asked, “do you want a ride?” I put my bike in the back of the truck and he drove me right to my campsite! THANK YOU!!

#270215

longrider42, August 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I was lucky in the respect that two people helped me out. One in Marshalltown. I was lost and alone, in the rain, and this young mother carrying her daughter, came out and offered me a dry place to sleep, then she helped me recover my baggage and get me some dinner, her name was Jackie and I thank her. The second was in Vinton when I got lost and was about to head to Ceadar Rapids on a four lane. A man in a tow truck, stopped, asked me if I was lost, when I said yes, he led me back to the route, and boy how I had missed a turn some where. Anyway, I made a off the cuff remark about if he only had a pickup truck, and 25-30 minutes later a white pickup truck came up to me, hanked twice and sure enough there he was. Turns out he was the tow truck driver for the race track in Shellsburg. And he hauled me to with in 5 miles of Cedar Rapids. I was very grateful. So there you go.

#270225

mjd1221, August 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

This wasn’t exactly random, but it certainly was kindness: The Webster City Middle School was absolutely fantastic to the group camped on their lawn on Day 2. Because of the extreme heat, they kept their facility open to us all night, allowing those who chose to find a spot indoors to sleep on the floor. Not only that, but they kept the concessions available all night, had pie for sale and kept staff on hand to assist with other needs. For a person in our group with a minor medical issue, they arranged a place for a quiet sleeping area. I’m sure they had not counted on the added costs to their budget for all of these things, and I have sent them a small donation. What really made it great was that their personnel were so cheerful and helpful on such a blistering hot day. Many, many thanks for their good-neighborliness. It made me feel very welcome.

#270516

Thoreau, August 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

There are so many people to thank for kindness–the folks who sprayed us down as we came down the road into Marshalltown, the bike repair guys who replaced my shifter on day five, the people who operated the stops during the last twenty miles on Wednesday when it was so hot, and the people who applauded the riders in Stratford and in Clinton.

#270589

Michrider !!!, August 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Many thanks to Tammy and Pete (PBV), their staff and customers for helping me through my most difficult RAGBRAI!!! It will get better next year!!!!!

#270593

zinzen1, August 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

A doctor, fellow-riders, quick-acting RAGBRAI Ambulance team…

Help Wanted!Fallen rider would like to sat “THANK YOU!”

Did anyone notice a crash on Friday, July 27 on the road between Springville and Viola?

I believe it occurred at the bottom of a hill, almost exactly half-way between these two little towns and the ambulance was on the scene in just a matter of minutes. In fact, the ambulance was at the top of the same hill and received notice of the accident from an alert (and very caring) RAGBRAI rider who circled back before the ambulance had even received the 911 call.

Thankfully, the fallen rider also received immediate aid and comfort from a medical professional (M.D.)…she was a fellow RAGBRAIr, possibly from Colorado, who stopped to lend a hand.

The crash occurred at the 30.1 mile mark of this 40 mile day, probably sometime in the late morning.

One gentleman was thrown from his bike and left in the ambulance for St. Luke’s hospital in Cedar Rapids. He was wearing a white helmet, Pearl-Izumi bike shorts, a RAGBRAI XL 40th Jersey, sunglasses, and black compression stockings.

We would appreciate any information as to what actually happened, but believe a rider or riders may have either collided and gone down in front of him or possibly re-entered the right lane suddenly and unannounced.

The rider is fine, but would like very much to know what actually set this accident into motion so as to avoid its happening ever again.

Thank you!

Best…and safe rides!
Will
Miami Beach

#271747

Anonymous, August 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Perhaps the injured gentleman did not have the required ability necessary to participate on a bike ride with 10,000 other cyclists..Maybe his bike was not mechanically sound..Is it possible a bug flew into his eye? That happened to me once.. MAy I suggest he acquire better bike handling skills or stay at home next year in the interest of safety for all involved.

#272867

jenbikes68, August 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm

On Saturday morning, the final day, I woke up nauseous. No way I was quitting after what I’d already endured with the heat on my first RAGBRAI. So I mounted up and said to myself, “Suck it up chick!”

I heaved all the way to Hale, 14.7 miles. I was shaky, couldn’t stomach the thought of Gatorade or food, and not sure how I was going to make it. It was the first time on the entire thing where I thought my ride was over. I pulled in to Hale and the food vendors were on the left of the road… to the right was a farmhouse where a lady stood on the porch with a huge grin watching everyone ride through her town. I stumbled to her porch, in tears, and asked if I could buy some Tums from her. She yelled, “MOM!” and her mother came running out of the house. She told her mom to quick, get the Tums and before long, I was holding a container of antacid. I chowed down 4 of them and asked what I owed them. They wouldn’t hear of it (which, being a girl, made me cry more… oy!). I thanked them profusely and continued my ride. It was mile 43 before they kicked in and I got over whatever the issue was. I completed the ride with my friends and was able to dip my tire.

I contacted the organizer of RAGBRAI who got me an address to Hale Tap Supper Club, where I have mailed a thank you card in the hopes it will reach that farmhouse. I don’t know those kind lady’s names, but they will forever be a big part of successfully completing my first RAGBRAI.

#272890

Davy Sprocket, August 6, 2012 at 6:15 am

Our support vehicle was pulling a trailer on it’s way to Webster City traveling on a 4-lane highway when the tongue of the trailer broke. Thankfully, the trailer slide harmlessly to the shoulder and stopped without damage or injury to anyone. A man who witnessed the event didn’t think the bus driver knew he lost the trailer so he stopped and stood guard over our trailer until the bus returned. He then made some phone calls and had a welder at our location within an hour fixing our trailer. To top it all off, the welder would not take a dime for his services.
Thank you Iowa.

Davy

#272912

bruceday, August 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

The Iowa custom of Pay It Forward. Several times people mentioned to me that when they went to pay a restaurant bill, they found a stranger had already paid it and left without saying anything. Its an Iowa custom. How nice, thoughtful and kind is that!

#272920

Ragbrai Nation, August 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

A gentleman relinquished his small container of mercurochrome w/anesthetic from his bike bag to a young gal who had dumped her bike north of Sac City, having several large patches of road rash on her leg, arm & shoulder. With that and some farmstead shade & cold drink she was ready to roll. 8-)

#272925

HillsAngels1, August 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

I lost my wallet in Kamrar at the local Lions. Noticed it was missing in Jewell. Called back to the Lions club they said someone found it and turned it into the sag people and it would be in Marshalltown it was with all intact. THANKS to whoever found it and turned it in.

#272947

dalebob, August 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm

As a first time rider, and riding “alone” most of the time as my team rode faster than me, it was very heartwarming to hear “are you alright?” or “got what you need?” directed to anyone who was stopped along the road. Almost always the answer was “fine thanks” or some variation. The very first time I ventured to ask, the two who were stopped yelled out that they had a flat and weren’t sure what to do. They had a tube, I had some tools, someone else showed up with a good pump, and soon they were back on the road. I imagine that scenario played out countless times during the week.

#279099

WrightBrother, August 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I went to a local organic food grocery in Cherokee & browsed around for something I could buy for $4 or under. Having found my choice of energy bar (Yummy!) I went to the cashier. I easily found the three one-dollar bills in my pack, but spent 4 minutes rummaging around without finding my other bill (yeah, I had more $$ in my wallet, but hadn’t brought it with me downtown). A rider from Quad Cities Bicycle Club gave me the other 29 cents needed to pay my tab. MUCH THANKS!

#279100

tjdale, August 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

hnschipper:
Over the yars, we’ve seen many random acts of kindness on RAGBRAI.We stayed at the fairgrounds in Marshalltown.It was so hot, we decided to go to a movie after we showered and ate.We left our tents to air out in the shade – without the rain flies on.We even had a conversation while we were eating, debating if we needed to go back and put them on before we went to the movie.After looking at the sky, we decided it wasn’t going to rain.You all know how well that prediction worked out!

My brother, our support driver, left partway through the movie when we heard the rain pounding on the roof, to do what he could for our tents, which were surely soaked by then.He got back to the fairgrounds….and discovered that someone had put our rain flies on our tents for us!We later found out it was the group camping next to us.I don’t know their names or where they are from, but whoever you are, thank you again!!!!!They were driving a black Mercedes van (like a Dodge Sprinter-type van.)

In the end, the stuff in our tent was a little soggy, but weathered the storm well.It surely wouldn’t have if our nice neighbor’s had not put our rain fly on for us.My brother’s tent, however, broke a pole in that strong wind and punctured the rain fly, leaving them with a very flooded tent.

What random acts of kindness did you see on RAGBRAI?

If that was a very long, black Mercedes, with 3 rows of benches inside and a huge storage area in the rear……..Those same folks helped my sister and I get to our initial camp site in Sioux Center. We travel from Maryland by car and take the Brancel shuttle to the start where we meet up with Rockford Cycling. Rockford is not always near the spot Brancel drops us off, in fact they are usually several miles away. Last year I carried our gear 3 miles in 100 degree heat. This year the folks in the black Mercedes gave us a ride to the southwest end of town, about 2 1/2 miles out. I did not get names or the name of the group. Some were from Kentucky and some from Tennessee, I believe. They happened to be picking up someone in their group who also took Brancel and were kind enough to help us out also. Thanks guys!

#279236

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