RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Reflections of first Ragbrai

Just got home from my first Ragbrai and I wanted to extend a heart felt thank you to all the people who donated their time and to the vendors who made the great food and drinks available to the tired and thirsty riders.

There were many positive and sadly a few negatives for my wife and I on the ride, but I am sorry to say the negatives stand out in my mind. There was one situation that has left me disapointed in my fellow bikers and and people in general. As semi truck was caught in Coralville going against the flow of bikes and was trying to make a right turn. Anyone who has pulled a trailer knows that you must make a wide turn to keep from riding up on the curb.  As the trucker tried to ease his way around the corner a “race team, uniformed clad Lance wanabe” spat upon the driver and was congradulated by his fellow riders. When would it be OK to spit  on another person? We were later passed by the spitter as he was in a pace line.  Imagine that!  FYI ….he did not have a wrist band.

The other situation involved the double pace line on the oiled road leading into Davenport conducted by the Balance Studio team. We are experience riders and also enjoy the beneifits of a well run line, but it has its place.  The open road on Ragbrai is not the place and a conjested narrow road is stupid and shows self minded arrogance and complete disrespect for fellow riders.  

Sorry for the downer after a fun week.  We did it and sadly we won’t be back.  

49 Replies

DotComFactory, August 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

gingerjet said: What I didn’t find professional are … bikers lecturing other bikers.  

I became that person one day when 5:00 (car) traffic was developing.  I advised cyclists ahead that there were cars back, but the two or three of them paid no attention and held the entire lane.  They backed up cars dangerously deep for all the cyclists involved.  I griped when I finally got around them that they needed to tighten up their group when there is a “car back”.  Yes, I felt like the RAGBRAI police, but it was their safety in addition to mine that concerned me…

#23648

bartok, August 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

  This was my first RAGBRAI. I had a great time and definitely intend to do this again. Here are some of my favorite moments: the kids giving high fives, free bananas, or free pickles as you rode into towns; the families sitting out on front lawns to see bikers roll by, encourage folks, and ask where bikers are from; the great hospitality of small towns; the two ladies with pom-poms out on their front driveway encouraging folks; the singing nuns in the park; the free lemonade with the request that we write down where we are from as a geography lesson for the kids; the kind folks on a hot stretch before Coralville that gave bikers rags that had been soaked in ice water; the interesting riders from everywhere and the creative bike helmet decorations; the couple that had just gotten married; the young woman that brought her horn and played at different places; the high school pep bands; pie; the fact that I was able to support libraries, volunteer fire departments, churches, scholarship funds, vacation plans, animal shelters, veterans, and all kinds of other good causes throughout the state by eating and drinking; the folks in Davenport that shouted to us that there was only one more hill to go
Only inconvenience: the really loud music in Carson that could be heard 7 blocks away at the campground and continued until midnight; the shuttle in Davenport that confirmed my reservation by email, and then denied that I had a reservation (I thankfully was able to find alternative transportation)
Overall, a wonderful experience though!
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#23649

mcapps11, August 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

I had the unbelievable experience with my 15 yo grandson of riding in our first RAGBRAI. The good was great and the bad was bad. Really the only negative was the heat. It crushed me. I was so glad every over night town had a community pool and that they allowed us to use it.

Some of the greats: the people coming out at 7am on lawns to thank us for coming; the great hospitality of all the
towns; talking to riders from everywhere in the world; the creative bike helmet decorations and costumes; supporting volunteer fire departments &
churches; the organization of the ride; much much more.

The food was great, the RAGBRAI staff were ALL unbelievable, the friendliness of the town people was something a Philly boy was not used to.

The number one great was the bonding I got to do with my grandson while doing one of the things we both like to do! It was an experience that both of us will have for a life time!

With neither of us having ever ridden in a ride this large we both approached the ride with a go with the flow attitude. I think that made the experience so much easier to enjoy.

I would do RAGBRAI again in a heart beat….with a support RV w/AC or hotel reservations LOL. My hat is off to the RAGBRAI organizers and the people of Iowa! To a east coast big city boy you made the event very pleasurable!

#23650

mcpartla, December 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

If we look we’ll see many more things on RAGBRAI that are positive than negative … for every rude biker there are many thousands who are considerate & respectful bicyclists … for every person behaving badly there are many, many more people setting the standard of how to treat the people around them.  The key is are we doing what’s right and are we willing to take the lead in setting the standard?  The people of Iowa show us every day how to treat guests in their state and we repay them by learning from their examples.   

#23651

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