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Sides are being taken

So Pork Belly is staying and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition is apparently leaving. This is bad.

The Register has been stupid and tone deaf. TJ looks shortsighted and spiteful. Something great is being ruined and may never be whole again. I don’t know who to blame, but I suspect the answer is Shakespearean – “A pox on both your houses.”

11 Replies

Sandaltan ., October 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

Yes, we can chose between a ride for profit and a ride for charity. Choose wisely.



Larry Klaaren, October 18, 2019 at 9:11 am

Does the Register make a profit? I was under the understanding that after expenses they turn the moneys back to the towns. And another valid question, what is the income that TJ and staff will be taking, and how does it compare to the income they had from RAGBRAI? Ain’t nothing simple about this.


RDaryl Daryl, October 18, 2019 at 9:17 am

Listen to the full kxno.iheart sports radio interview as mentioned with link in the “Time to Make Peace . . . . ” forum thread


Ken Reed, October 18, 2019 at 9:39 am

[quote quote=1312031]Listen to the full kxno.iheart sports radio interview as mentioned with link in the “Time to Make Peace . . . . ” forum thread[/quote]

It was bad for TJ, IMO. He didn’t give me any straight answers. It actually swayed me against the new ride.


mootsman, October 18, 2019 at 9:48 am

Agree reedkennethia/R-Daryl Daryl. He did come across as very speculative on all the things that “might” go wrong because of not being able to say that RAGBRAI is a separate deal from the DMR. In as much a sports team owner is a separate deal from the team, reality is one belongs to the other. Just like so many of us work for corporations we report to and are limited by what we can say.

I really doubt the King deal would half the number of riders or anything close to that. Most people separate vacation from issues at 1 newspaper in Iowa. We can separate the 2.


BarryTantlinger, October 18, 2019 at 11:05 am

As soon as someone says “ALL PROCEEDS” from an event are going to charity, they are being disingenuous. He means net income, which if you have spent any time working with charities and non-profits can be a slippery thing, But I don’t see anywhere that TJ is running a charity or forming a 510 c3,so I assume he’s running a business. I also assuming charters, bike shops, and vendors are only going to show up to make a profit.

Ragbrai brings lots of charitable money to the communities it visits and to the state, whether it is donated by DMR/Ragbrai or is directly provided by riders to charities. To set this up as for profit vs charity is a false dichotomy.

I tried to make my statement neutral – both sides have been bad players and I’m afraid Ragbrai is going to be ruined.


KenH, October 18, 2019 at 12:27 pm

In that interview TJ says his ride will give more to charity than RAGBRAI did. I assume he means a larger percentage not more actual dollars since at this point he can’t know how much he will take in. That is good and noble but unless we are to go back to believing in Santa Claus the money to pay him and his staff and the ride expenses has to come from rider registration fees and sponsors and business registration fees BEFORE any charitable donations are made. His goal is to outgive RAGBRAI but it could take a few years to get to that point and the Register is free to up their game too. The difference between the two may not be as stark as he makes it out to be and he may even lose that race to the Register.


klkoopman, October 20, 2019 at 10:23 am

KenH is absolutely right, like all startups, it could take a while to show a “profit” that can be donated to charity. I think it would be wise for TJ to convey just what sort of dollars we are talking about. For example, if RAGBRAI’s current budget is $2.5 million does a typical year show an $85K surplus after expenses or a $1 million surplus? Have some years shown a $20,000 loss? I would suspect the “profit” is the more modest number but to release that does not fit TJ’s narrative that “corporate greed” is sucking RAGBRAI dry. Other than advertising and goodwill, this cannot be a huge moneymaker for the Register. The Register has those numbers, they could also release this information also.


BarryTantlinger, October 20, 2019 at 11:13 am

I see Bubba’s is going with IR – “Bubba is excited to be part of this event which will bring back the charm of small-town America which has slipped away over the years from RAGBRAI.”

There are towns smaller than some of the ones I’ve been to on Ragbrai in recent years?


“Bicycle Bill”, October 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm

I remember when we overnighted in Fayette in 1996.  The normal population of the town (until we got there!) was probably less than the number of pampered pedallers on Bubba’s charter.

I also remember itty-bitty Cooper (population 51!) in 1980, the best little pass-through town ever!


Gypsy Rose, October 20, 2019 at 6:32 pm

[quote quote=1312162]I also remember itty-bitty Cooper (population 51!) in 1980, the best little pass-through town ever![/quote]

I remember Cooper! It remains one of my favorite RAGBRAI memories. I still have the button they were handing out.

I remember rolling into town with large speakers belting out Woody Guthrie’s “This land is your land. . . ”

Ah, those were the days, eh?

~ Kevin


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