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Thanks T.J. and crew for another fun year.

As I read through the many petty complaints about the ride on this forum from people who don’t know how to have fun unless handed to them. Just wanted to say THANKS to you, your staff, the Members of the Iowa Highway Patrol, the many volunteers, the vendors, the communities and others behind the scenes that work long hours to make this annual event possible. I enjoyed my 15th Ragbrai and already can’t wait for next year.

Putting on an event like this takes a lot of hard work and coordination. To top it off, its mobile. Its not stuck in one place for 8 days. The logistics involved are beyond imagine. Coming up with a new route each year and all the many moving parts that go into it. It’s not like something that was really cool like the IOWA AG OASIS magically appears, calls and emails have to be made. Just with our small team it takes a year and we are only talking 20 riders and you are dealing with 20,000 plus riders and support. Looking back at my emails, I had 26 emails alone back and forth with our jersey company for one item.

The communities worked hard, they don’t do this annually, for some, it’s the first time they have to plan for Ragbrai or it hasn’t come through their area in a long, long time. They may not get it right but I am sure there is the effort to do the best they can with limited resources.

Folks, find the fun in the ride. The ride is different for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all. If there is a stretch of 18 miles with no town, pull into Casey’s and grab some roadies and plan a stop in the shade down the road to break it up. It’s even better when some other riders or folks from the town join you in those impromptu stops. Enjoy Iowa, its much prettier on two wheels. Don’t be in such a hurry to get back to camp.

Sure we encountered some hardships, rain, that e-bike cruising up a hill when I all I have left is a granny gear, bikes breaking down, maps not quite right and yet another hill when you think your done for the day, but these are the stories you tell down the road. Honestly, if things went right, I couldn’t tell you what where and when it was. Its not like they go out and make movies about Apollo 12 or the Seattle Pop Festival of 1969 (Look it up, happened the month before Woodstock and everything went right, nobody remembers it).

So THANKS again, TJ, CREW and others. I had another fun Ragbrai.

P.S. If replying to this thread. Leave gratitude for the ones who worked hard this year for you or your fun stories…If I want to hear complaining, I’ll just listen to people at work.

15 Replies

Niles, July 31, 2019 at 12:18 pm

totally agree with you. I guess I’m a glass-half-full guy?

lot of people complained Geode State Park. But no enjoy of the curly, up-and-down road in the shade after seeing corn field under the open sky for majority time of the ride?


Larry Klaaren, July 31, 2019 at 1:13 pm

I agree. It is what it is. If they never tried anything different, it would get boring, and people would be complaining about that.


Sandaltan ., July 31, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Agree. An awesome event done right year after year. Thanks to all involved.



Larry Klaaren, July 31, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Another thought. They announced the route in January, then four months later there was unusual and prolonged flooding on both border rivers that involved three of the towns, and interior river flooding all over the state. I do not know, but route selection and camp sites were probably in a complete state of flux until much later than usual in the planning stage. I am sure planning and organizing RAGBRAI went down in priority in at least those three overnight towns, and likely some of the towns and counties we passed through when they were dealing with the floods.


KenH, July 31, 2019 at 2:41 pm

I had another grand week in Iowa thanks to TJ, his team, and everyone else along the route who contributed to the planning and execution of this ride. My team’s battle plan for the week did not survive entirely intact. The official RAGBRAI battle plan for the week also showed signs of strain. Military professionals will tell you that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy so there is nothing unusual about any of that. All the plans were good plans, all the elements were executed well, none of it was perfect and that is what makes it memorable. Great job to all who participated, riders included!!


wrj, July 31, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Just wanted to say thanks to T.J. and the crew as well. Can’t wait until next year!


RDaryl Daryl, July 31, 2019 at 5:19 pm

BEST forum post this year !!!


SFC JKL 2, July 31, 2019 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for another great year. Remember that everyday is hug a cop day for the ISP. They’re the best.


Geoff Butland, August 1, 2019 at 1:50 pm

YES!!! This is the best post of 2019. You hit the nail on the head…’s a miracle it goes as well as it does, and that miracle comes in the form of hundreds or thousands of folks working behind the scenes. I had a blast again this year. Thanks to TJ, everyone in the towns that hosted us, and to all those riders who forgave the mistakes I made on the ride. All the best!


francoisvanzyl, August 1, 2019 at 3:03 pm

And we got all of that for only $175.00. Amazing value. Now TJ, don’t get any ideas


SFC JKL 2, August 1, 2019 at 9:12 pm

Is there a loyalty rewards program? Can we lock in our price?


lm m, August 2, 2019 at 7:25 am

Very well said!! Thanks to all involved to provide us with a week of enjoyment and safety. See ya in 2020


CyclingCyclone, August 2, 2019 at 9:27 am

Its not like they go out and make movies about Apollo 12 or the Seattle Pop Festival of 1969 (Look it up, happened the month before Woodstock and everything went right, nobody remembers it).

So THANKS again, TJ, CREW and others. I had another fun Ragbrai.

I love the Apollo 12 reference! Actually, not a movie, but part of a Mini-series:

Well said in your post. Yes, thanks to the RAGBRAI staff for another wonderful ride across my beautiful home state. After 36 of these adventures, I still can’t wait for the next one.


dalebob, August 3, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Another example of plans not always going how you think: one of the back pocket stops was at a farm with almost no shade. Sat down with a fellow from Boston in the partial shade of a machine shed and overheard him mention the poor choice of location etc. I told him this farm was probably beautifully shaded when it was scouted out, but unfortunately every tree was an ash and already infected with emerald ash borer. By the time RAGBRAI rolled around the trees had lost 3/4 of their leaves and in bad shape. So yeah, planning out something as massive as RAGBRAI and something going not quite as planned? If I believed in miracles I would say we all just witnessed #XLVII. Thanks T.J and all.


Mark Bundick, August 5, 2019 at 7:11 am

I had a good time as well, but TJ. That last hill less than 2 miles from the dip site was an especially cruel thing to do. ;-)


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