TIme to Make Peace and Come Back Together as 1 Ride

If the plans for Iowa’s Ride actually do not precede the whole King issue, I think there could be a chance of a reconciliation here if both sides would try. The Register has to reach out first, maybe through an arbitrator. The Register went too far trying to control the RAGBRAI director’s communications. And the director went too far getting the whole staff to walk and start their own ride the same week no less. And any lawsuit is not likely to go in Iowa’s Ride’s favor. So maybe agree mistakes were made on both sides (ignore who made the 1st one) and bring the entire staff back. It would be what is best for RAGBRAI and its riders.

If of course this was just an excuse to create their own ride, well, not a good thing. And the whole King deal has nothing to do with RAGBRAI. Which if I understand it correctly, was what TJ was trying to communicate but the PR firm thought ignoring the King issue was a good idea. That would not have happened, not in Iowa. Maybe on the east coast. Now, LET’S RIDE!

74 Replies

klkoopman, October 20, 2019 at 8:56 am

Why is only one ride in the best interest of all riders? Because the Iowa State Patrol cannot support both. Period. Their resources would be spread too thin, if you can’t do this safely then don’t do it. Believe it or not, the residents of Iowa have other law enforcement needs than providing traffic control for bicyclists. The State Patrol has already committed the institution they’ve supported over 45 years so guess who will be the loser in this debate? The only reason that this is a debate is because TJ threw down the gauntlet and created this whole mess. He unilaterally decided that RAGBRAI is dead, and all of us can follow his lead because he’s 1.) the only protector of “The peoples’s ride” and 2.) the only “genius” who can pull this off. Well, a lot of people know how to plan marathons, concerts, political rallies and conventions. He can easily be replaced.

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Sandaltan ., October 20, 2019 at 9:21 am

Klkoopman: It may not be the ISP that is critical to the new ride but instead county government.
The sheriff who is supreme in a county and the board of supervisors who have the authority to write ordinances enforceable by the sheriff. The ISP historically controls intersections with the route and US Highways plus serves as alcohol enforcement toward the end of the route. I don’t believe the ISP will say “no you can’t” to the new ride.

RIDE RIGHT

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mootsman, October 20, 2019 at 9:41 am

Klkoopman: It may not be the ISP that is critical to the new ride but instead county government.
The sheriff who is supreme in a county and the board of supervisors who have the authority to write ordinances enforceable by the sheriff. The ISP historically controls intersections with the route and US Highways plus serves as alcohol enforcement toward the end of the route. I don’t believe the ISP will say “no you can’t” to the new ride.

RIDE RIGHT

I thought recently the ISP said they can support both now. They didn;t say they can;t originally, just that no one from IR had reached out to them yet.

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klkoopman, October 20, 2019 at 9:42 am

The ISP has stated that they typically assign 18-20 officers to RAGBRAI, half paid by the by the taxpayers and half paid by RAGBRAI. It takes just as many officers for an 8,000 person ride as it does for an 18,000 person ride. Where is the ISP going to come up with 40 officers for two rides? Officers are just sitting in their patrol cars with nothing better to do? The only commitment the ISP has made to “the people’s ride” is “Well, we’ll talk to you about it”. Good luck getting back your $150 registration fee when it all falls apart due to safety issues.

Is there no forum for “Iowa’s Ride”?

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mootsman, October 20, 2019 at 9:51 am

Why is only one ride in the best interest of all riders? Would one flavor of ice cream, one brand of automobile, one flavor of beer be in the best interest of all? Some riders I have encouraged to try RAGBRAI have immediately dismissed the idea because of SIZE which matters greatly to them, far too many people, long lines, crowded roadways, noise, you have to move every day, “I want a loop ride” and believe it or not “you have to buy your own food”. I believe a second choice in this state will be good for riders, not bad. The slate is clean for Iowa’s Ride, there could be a loop day, start and or finish or both could be in the same town for both rides, as suggested by others the routes could cross and share an overnight town….many things are possible for IR. RAGBRAI could also change, must there be a route announcement party? Seems to me the route was announced in the Sunday Edition of the paper at one time. Must RAGBRAI always be the last full week in July? Change is afoot.

RIDE RIGHT

1 ride means we don’t have to split resources between 2 rides. Like the charters. Bubba’s committed to IR and PBV committed to RAGBRAI. So if you’re a fan of both Bubba’s & RAGBRAI or both PBV & IR, you’re just out of luck. And there lots of other vendors that will have to choose. Then we get into your RAGBRAI friends you see only during RAGBRAI. Some you may never see again. 1 ride is better then 2 even if 2 is not the end of the world. And teams could wind up fighting about which ride to go on, splitting up teams like family’s of divorce.

If the DMR & TJ both have the best interest of riders in mind, they’d be working together to come back together.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  mootsman.

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Sandaltan ., October 20, 2019 at 9:00 pm

If the DMR & TJ both have the best interest of riders in mind, they’d be working together to come back together.
Seems to me Mootsman that it was in the best interest of the Gannett organization that TJ was not permitted to answer the riders questions as to “where does my RAGBRAI dollar go?”
When Gannett offers their financial records to some curious bicyclists in Iowa …. pigs will fly.
Add to that, I just learned this recently:
“The latest statement of circulation required by the Post Office lists as publisher and as editor a man and a woman who work in Virginia.” Decisions of magnitude are not made in Des Moines but in McLean Virginia.

RIDE RIGHT

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Kevin Ross, October 21, 2019 at 9:55 am

I agree entirely with Mootsman’s original post. Well said.

From a distance, it appears that the Register inappropriately attempted to gag TJ’s opportunity to respond to the Register’s controversial handling of the Carson King tweeting episode, and that TJ inappropriately overreacted by breaking with the Register to create a competing ride. If both sides can see the chaos and harm a competing ride will potentially create and acknowledge that they could have handled things better, I bet a reasonable and skilled arbitrator could help them arrive at a conclusion that mends fences, rejoins the organizers to RAGBRAI, and establishes guidelines or rules for an improved relationship. This would also not only restore confidence in the overall organization but also would enhance it. But I bet that if something like this does not happen, RAGBRAI will loses some of its faithful followers, TJ will lose some of his faithful followers, and one or both of the competing rides will be a severely diminished version of the original, if not a total disaster. The stakes are high. Who will be responsible and make the first move?

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KenH, October 21, 2019 at 10:38 am

The Register’s attempt to “gag” TJ was not inappropriate. Given the result it may have been inadvisable but it is entirely appropriate. No one who works for a medium to large corporation ever speaks for the corporation. Not during ordinary times and certainly not during exceptional times like the King affair produced. The corporation must have a single voice if it is to manage the bad publicity that certain events produce.

But that did not leave TJ without options. He still had this forum filled with many voices that were quite willing to defend him and would so even now if he were to turn to a better course. We could have said what he wanted said. He could have given us his “talking points” and we would have communicated them to great effect. He would have had plausible deniability concerning our actions and would have remained in good graces with the corporation. His voice would have remained respected inside the corporation where it would be a voice for change in the future. Clearly the Register/Gannett need internal voices like his but he has now gagged himself permanently rather than remaining at his post where he could continue to defend us.

If he needed a few “hired goons” who would voice his opinions on this forum and then needed to throw under the bus to make peace with his superiors, I would have volunteered for that duty. I’d willingly “take a bullet” for the TJ that I thought I knew. But not this one….

But I think the TJ that I loved, respected, and occasionally disagreed with is still in there. I hold out hope that he will show up again before it is too late. I think there are a great many options that will either result in one ride again or at least an amiable, cooperative divorce that serves riders, vendors, and all of Iowa alike rather than this present civil war that serves none of us.

If nothing else is possible then the ISP or even the state legislature could force the two rides to share the same route and towns if they insist on running the same week. That would make the split palatable to everyone and indeed would make it almost transparent to most of us.

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Randi Rogers, October 23, 2019 at 9:54 am

“If nothing else is possible then the ISP or even the state legislature could force the two rides to share the same route and towns if they insist on running the same week. That would make the split palatable to everyone and indeed would make it almost transparent to most of us.”

Yikes. When the state legislature tells me where and when I can ride, it’s time to find a new state to call home. Buck up, Snowflake. Some of us are capable of cycling without a police escort.

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klkoopman, October 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

The Iowa State Legislature or the Iowa State Patrol or the County dogcatcher could care less about when or where you ride. If you are riding with 15,000 other people on the same day, then they care.

In the six days you’ve been a participant in the RAGBRAI forum, you may not have picked up on it, but it’s not nice to call people names.

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David C., October 23, 2019 at 1:10 pm

“Buck up, Snowflake. Some of us are capable of cycling without a police escort.

I see KenH as more of an ice storm, than a snowflake, but I don’t want to disparage any actual snowflakes. All kidding aside, I respectfully submit that the “cycling without a police escort” argument is a straw man, easily set up to topple and then claim victory. The actual argument is that the two competing events will require significant logistical traffic control, as klkoopman points out.

To borrow your snowflake analogy, no one is concerned with one little itty bitty snowflake, but when they get together, they are more of a problem.

As for klkoopman’s criticism that RR has been here six days, thus sit down and let the grown ups talk, (the implication being), well, it’s as ad hominem as calling KenH a snowflake, though he might rather like the moniker. But it has been five days, not six.

As an aside, I respectfully think RR has it wrong given his/her other posts on the RAGBRAI site. I don’t think this internal power struggle at Gannett leading to a handful of staff departing, which is how I see it, is actually a red-blue divide. I’m not a snowflake or a Bernie Bro, or other labels that you have ascribed to RAGBRAI supporters versus the presumably more robust and pragmatic minded IR supporters.

Instead, and this may blow your mind– I believe in intellectual property rights, the tradition of RAGBRAI as fostered by the Register and its parent organization, and I don’t think those rights belong to TJ or some nebulous rider collective. Sounds like hippie talk! 😉

I think it’s okay RAGBRAI is a business, not a not-for-profit, if it is indeed a for-profit company. And I don’t mind them making a buck or two. It helped pay TJ for 16 years and he obviously didn’t have a problem with it or the purportedly corporate nature of it.

I just encourage you, RR, to think about this false dichotomy that appears to have taken shape that everyone who supports RAGBRAI is a liberal and everyone who supports IR is a free thinking conservative. I just don’t think it’s that simple. I mean no disrespect, however, and I believe you are welcome to your views. I do think, as I have stated elsewhere on this board, that IR should have its own web forum where, as you have indicated, it is or will be “all smiles.”

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Mark Walker, October 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Hopefully this quote today shows we can maybe reach a solution and put this behind us.

“Juskiewicz said a third party since has reached out to him to facilitate conversations between him and the Register.

“Who knows what will happen in the long run, but it would be a disservice to the riders who are relying on me to put on this event if I didn’t listen to the conversation,” he said.”

From the Cedar Rapids gazette.

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Kyle Torfin, October 23, 2019 at 5:03 pm

I am sick of TJ’s double-talk. He did a disservice to the riders when he scheduled his ride the same week as RAGBRAI.

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KenH, October 24, 2019 at 9:10 am

Is it important to have only one ride? Yes and no. Two large rides in Iowa (and I assume that both will be “large”, it could be that neither will be after all this) in one week is a problem. Forcing them to both take the same route and use the same towns solves multiple problems that are created by two rides competing for services and loyalties.

If the two rides run during different weeks then it is not important that there be only one ride across Iowa. In fact two rides during different weeks could have important advantages for everyone.

As for being a snowflake, well, my political affiliations are not those normally associated with snowflake-ism and I object to the use of that term because it is an example of the divisive bigotry that is all too commonplace in our society today. If my opinions occasionally match those of people with different political persuasions from my own that is because great minds think alike and real men and women try do do what is right rather than following a political herd.

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