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.