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STOLEN MITCHELVILLE SIGN

https://ragbrai.com/2011/08/15/%E2%80%9Cwelcome-to-mitchellville%E2%80%9D-sign-is-missing/comment-page-2/#comment-33609

Some morons stole the city’s welcome sign.  While morons does not express my true sentiments……..you get the idea.  After reading the entire thread I do not believe further speculation on “who done it and how” would be productive. 

I have mailed a ten dollar check to the city of Mitchelville and hope others will feel as strongly as I do. 

RIDE RIGHT

63 Replies

“Bicycle Bill”, August 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I finally watched the clip and found it highly interesting that the person they interviewed who “was not as forgiving” (to quote the newscaster) was a guy who owned one of the bars in town.  He probably had more business in his place that day than he could shake a stick at, so to follow gageplate or jimbo’s logic he should be more than willing to pay to replace it, right?

However, I’m still not going to let the haters get me down; life is too short for that.  My $10.00 donation has been sent.

I also sent an email to James Swierzbin (the WOI announcer who did the voiceover/had the byline on the article TJ linked us to) reminding him that the information did not hit the RAGBRAI website until the 15th and this thread did not get started until the 18th — the same day he filed his report — so of course only $5.00 had been received up to that point.  It takes time for the USPS to deliver the mail, after all, and I suggested that he might possibly wait a week or ten days then perhaps revisit the story and update the donation levels.

A similar note was included with the check I sent to the town administrator.  I’ll let you know if I get any response from either party.

-“BB”-

#24586

Chris Kane, August 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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#24587

Chris Kane, August 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

My post was this:

With the in-depth WOI report, the quick conclusion is clear: Ragbrai/bicyclists = vandals. Don’t wait for the follow-up story about how the sign was recovered or Ragbrai paying for the sign, that isn’t “news”. Fortunately, one of the minority who doesn’t blame Ragbrai is the Mitchellvile Administrator Kris May.

Nobody knows who stole the sign. We do know that the sign was not on the Ragbrai bicycle route nor on the Rabrai support vehicle route. That said, I-80 exit #149 was busy on July 28th, with service vehicles for beer, food, kybos, etc. So stealing the sign in broad daylight would be risky. Since Mitchellville was the 1st town of the day, most riders, service/support people were gone by nightfall.

While Iowa is largely a bicycle friendly state, there are still some Ragbrai/bicyclists haters who will use this incident as proof organized rides should be banned. Please recall Crawford County’s attempt to string together a line of counties to form a ‘blockade’ of Ragbrai and also Jackson County’s attempt to block the TOMRV ride of the Quad Cities Bicycle Club. The Tour De Cure in Cedar Rapids had to sidestep ‘unfriendly’ areas. Also recall Ragbrai 2008 when vandals sprinkled tacks on the route between Nevada and Colo? (Coincidentally, that is 30 miles straight north of the Mitchellville sign).

My town has been a pass thru and overnight stop for Ragbrai and we would like Ragbrai to come here every year. We’ve also hosted county fairs, concerts, fireman conventions, car cruises, Harley groups, high school playoff games, etc. We’ve had trees snapped off in parks, stop signs with arrows painted on them, etc. That is unfortunate. If we could PROVE the event was responsible we would not invite them back.

I feel that for Ragbrai and bicyclists to quickly accept responsibility for this vandalism is misguided and damaging to bicycle advocacy in the state. To pay for the sign is noble. It would be nice for Budweiser and Miller to contribute as well, I KNOW they made money in Mitchellville.

 

#24588

Michrider !!!, August 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

roadkillia said: To pay for the sign is noble. It would be nice for Budweiser and Miller to contribute as well, I KNOW they made money in Mitchellville.

 

 I  just sent my check on behalf of Budweiser, LOL!!!!!!

#24589

sunny7, August 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

The comment that the town made lots of money, let them pay for the sign, reveals a lack of understanding of how RAGBRAI works.  Anyone who has been involved in a pass-through or overnight town knows that it’s a gamble as to whether the town itself will end up in the black when it’s all said and done.   

The churches, the scouts, the school groups, they make money by selling their wares.  The town only makes money by charging vendors for permits, something they are often criticized for.  From that permit money, they pay for extra public safety, overtime for local firemen and cops; extra public safety from out of town; signs, kybos; trash containers and pick up, general clean up when it’s all over. 
I’d venture to say that most towns go into the event, hoping that their community groups make money for local projects and that the town itself doesn’t lose too much money. And, of course, everyone wants to show off their town and have a good time that day. 

#24590

Hillman, August 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

i have heard that there were a few team buses that were parked right out by the missing sign that day.  maybe a coincidence, maybe not.  i can see some bus inspections coming in the future to make sure this doesnt become a new practice. 

#24591

Amanda, August 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

My mother was born and raised in Mitchellville and I still have several relatives living there. I am disappointed to think anyone is stupid enough to vandalize a sign. (Okay, when I was young and stupid, I tried to take a sign that said AMANDA STREET. I couldn’t reach it so I gave up. I guess I’m glad I am short.) Anyway, my check is in the mail and if the guilty party is caught, I asked the City Administrator to forward my check to the Library.  :)

#24592

Tony, August 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

The city replied it was a coincident this happened the last time the ride was there. The city did not comment how the previous investigation went. This could easily been a local trying to discredit RAGBRAI. It could have been a prank gone wrong. No one knows for sure but the thief/s. I’m sure many riders will pony up to help Michellville. Its what RAGBRAI riders do best, help others. I don’t think WOI will do a follow up. Unless the sign is paid in full by donations or they catch the thief. I was very curious there was no interview with local law enforcement. Or questions about the previous theft. No interviews with RAGBRAI or riders. No information about when riders started donations. Or even where to send donations. Just one disgruntle tavern owner biting the hand that feeds him. That was a pour  example of investigative journalism. They got a couple of SOT’s and a VO to fill some air time and moved onto the next “story”. Murrow material I think not…. I’ll still send Michellville a check. Just to prove 10,000+ riders are not the bad guys. It was an unknown thief.

#24593

gageplate, August 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Sigh:<

#24594

“Bicycle Bill”, August 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

roadkillia said: Nobody knows who stole the sign. We do know that the sign was not on the Ragbrai bicycle route nor on the Rabrai support vehicle route. ……
While Iowa is largely a bicycle friendly state, there are still some Ragbrai/bicyclists haters who will use this incident as proof organized rides should be banned. ……..Also recall Ragbrai 2008 when vandals sprinkled tacks on the route between Nevada and Colo?……….I feel that for Ragbrai and bicyclists to quickly accept responsibility for this vandalism is misguided and damaging to bicycle advocacy in the state.

Couple of points here, roadkillia.
1) The sign was more-or-less on the vehicle route into town.  The official vehicle route for that day called for vehicles to go north out of Altoona on US 65 and connect with I-80; and as has already been pointed out, the sign is on County Road S27 — which is the Mitchellville exit from I-80.  I think it’s safe to say any team vehicles/support vehicles/etc that came into Mitchellville took this route.

2) No argument on the bicycle haters; and they’re not confined strictly to Iowa or to just hating RAGBRAI  As for the tacks on the road, we’ve had to put up with that, seemingly at least once a year, since the middle 1980s.  Don’t know if it’s bicycle haters specifically, or just a bunch of vandals who think it’s cool to spoil someone else’s fun.  Look at the number of people who spray graffiti or smash car mirrors just for the pure hеll of it.

3) As Tony pointed out in a post after yours, this is something RAGBRAI does best…helping people.  I recall one year when a large number of riders pulled off the road to help walk shoulder-to-shoulder through a cornfield to try to find a lost child; and I don’t think anybody can begin to tally up the amount of money that RAGBRAI riders have donated over the last 40 years in support of various church, civic, and student groups at the various stands and other activities.  Sure, we were probably getting something like a can of pop or a porkburger or a pancake breakfast, but these people were still raising some money to fix the roof on the church, or new uniforms for the peewee hockey team, or to send a scout to camp.  And that’s why a lot of the old-timers like myself are willing to toss a couple bucks into the kitty.

The other thing is, there’s a difference between not being a bad guy and truly being a good guy.  I didn’t take the sign, so I can walk with a clear conscience and my head up high, knowing that I’m not a bad guy .  But just like after I’ve donated a pint of blood to the Red Cross, now I’m also walking with a warm spot in my heart as well because I know that I’ve done something to give something back, to help someone else, with no strings attached.  And I contend that *THAT* is what makes someone a good guy.

And if hillman is correct, there were some team buses parked out by that spot.  While ripping off a sign in broad daylight is kinda ballsy, if someone had parked a bus so as to partially obscure the sign it might not have been that risky after all.  So I’ll close this post with a gentle warning to any and all teams out there…..if I would ever happen to see the Mitchellville sign in or around your bus, whether it’s on RAGBRAI or somewhere else, I’ll rat you out in a heartbeat.  And that’s not a threat; that’s a promise.

-“BB”-

#24595

RedRdr, August 23, 2011 at 7:14 am

Check sent………..

#24596

jwsknk, August 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

Team Skunk is also sending a check. Hopefully they find a way to secure it better this time. or put up a big brother camera, just tell people it’s part of the prison security measures :-)

#24597

Scott, August 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

anybody know if they set up dwolla and/or paypal accounts??  Writing checks and buying stamps is against my religion.

#24598

gregonline, August 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

TJ:  please give us an update later this week as to how much they have recieved.

#24599

gageplate, August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Sigh

#24600

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