self-sustained ride

Perhaps with all the concern about virus spread…Ragbrai should plan for more of a self-sustained ride and keep people away from the towns and general population? This would of course greatly change the entire Ragbrai experience but, things could be done to make it a fun event nonetheless. Local folks would probably appreciate the efforts to ensure their safety and the ride could go on. Thoughts? Ideas?

15 Replies

David, March 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm

How would that work? Even ignoring the actual ride part, where are people staying at night? We take over every town except for a few of the largest in the state.

If it was “self-sustained”, would you stop in at grocery/convenience stores for supplies? How can you travel without going through the towns or congregating mass numbers of people?


Thomas Tye, March 30, 2020 at 5:56 pm

Lol…”If you build it…they will come” Sorry, couldn’t resist!! There would still have to be some aid available in the field. And tent camping would be the hard and fast rule. It would take some creativity no doubt.


klkoopman, March 30, 2020 at 7:57 pm

For food, everyone just eats at Casey’s every day. Morning, noon & night, across the entire state.


David, March 30, 2020 at 8:09 pm

These are facetious suggestions, right? You would end up with people crammed into even more limited and small spaces.

The problem isn’t that too many riders will be concerned and ragbrai will be canceled. The problem is the towns, local/state authorities and DMR can’t take the risk on what is a purely entertainment/recreational event. Or by the time the social distancing is over and recovery from that starts there won’t be enough time to plan and prepare.

“If you build it.. they will come”, that is the problem not the solution. There isn’t any way to have a small ragbrai. If they host any sort of ride a ton of people will show up.


Jboz, March 30, 2020 at 8:42 pm

If RAGBRAI is cancelled, and I still think it’s an “if”, I will probably still do a weeklong self-supported ride across Iowa. I’m perfectly fine making my own route, camping along the way and just taking my time and enjoying the Iowa hospitality. Might even post my route here to see if anyone wants to join. I would guess that if RAGBRAI is cancelled, you will see quite a few smaller groups or teams making their own routes and just going for it off and on throughout the summer. Five or ten or so people riding through a small town and spending a little cash will not upset anyone. No vendors, craft beer tents or Hairball, but lots of Caseys, small towns and the open road. JAGBRAI – Jboz’s Awesomely Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. I can handle that. It actually might be kind of nice.


Amanda, March 31, 2020 at 8:29 am

If we are still doing the stay at home and social distancing thing, I think it is not a wise idea. Practice social distancing now and maybe we will have a real RAGBRAI in July


mootsman, March 31, 2020 at 11:28 am

Actually the whole social distancing thing I thought was to flatten out the curve which I think makes it a longer time line so more likely to conflict with RAGBRAI. Not suggesting though we should get it all over now in 1 big lump.

As far as heat killing the virus Florida has lots of cases that sort of dispel the notion heat will fix this. Florida is also the favorite place for New Yorkers to get away to though. Some other southern areas like Mexico haven’t had a big spike (yet).

On another thread there was a suggestion for postponement until fall. Also a non-starter with the schools so often used by RABGAI and charters in session.

I can’t see a full RAGBRAI working without towns. Farmers won’t let RAGBRAI trample their crops to camp as an example. The lack of a town doesn’t mean there are vasts areas of unoccupied space in the rural areas.


Iowa_Born Eastern_River, April 12, 2020 at 10:25 am

[quote quote=1317114]If RAGBRAI is cancelled, and I still think it’s an “if”, I will probably still do a weeklong self-supported ride across Iowa.[/quote]

Come to think of it, there are several trails I’d like to string together. I’ve seen the Cedar Valley Nature Trail extensively, but have not seen the Raccoon River, Wabash Trace, Sauk Rail, …


Amanda, April 12, 2020 at 11:31 am

I decided to take the week of RAGBRAI off even if it gets cancelled. I will ride around my town and circle back to my house everyday. Then I will put up my tent in my yard and wait to use the shower. I will ask the neighbors to shoot off fireworks after I am in my tent sleeping. While riding, I will lay down in someone’s yard and take a nap. Then in the morning, will take down my tent and throw it in my support vehicle and do it again!


DenBiker, April 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm

PERFECT! Now that is how you RAGBRAI!


KenH, April 12, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Just remember it isn’t RAGBRAI unless the railroad runs right next to your campground!

I’m expecting a cancelation come Wednesday, a postponement at best. If there’s no RAGBRAI I’ll look for some smaller ride late in the season that might be able to run as planned. I would love to do Will to Ben but I don’t know, can an old guy tent camp in early October?


jelly0317, April 12, 2020 at 3:39 pm

I wouldn’t call a fall RAGBRAI a “non-starter”; schools could certainly take an early “snow day”.


Uncle Kraig, April 12, 2020 at 3:48 pm

I’m with you Ken. I think a cancellation or “postponement” until July of 2021 is all but done. Till then, you folks stay safe and healthy and I sure hope to see some of your familiar names about this time next year :)


Amanda, April 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm

[quote quote=1317676]Just remember it isn’t RAGBRAI unless the railroad runs right next to your campground!
Got that taken care of. We live a block from train tracks! LOL


Bernard Schwartze, April 13, 2020 at 1:50 pm

[quote quote=1317679]

Just remember it isn’t RAGBRAI unless the railroad runs right next to your campground!

Got that taken care of. We live a block from train tracks! LOL[/quote]

That sounds good, I had that concern too. Now let us know where you are getting your pie!


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