We can skip Kossuth county from now on.

My trip through Kossuth has been fine but they denied all alcholh licences from people like the craft beer tent and beer bus. I’m not a get drunk kind of RAGBRAI’er but i enjoy those stops and Kossuth county can puss off.

36 Replies

Melinda Blankenhorn, July 31, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Wow! That’s crazy. RAGBRAI should’ve made us aware of this ahead of time so we could plan ahead.

#1275521

Sunflower, July 31, 2017 at 9:41 pm

I’d like to expand on my earlier post. I’m sure that these vendors were blindsided by politicians that belong in Portlandia. This is a “give and take” sort of negotiation that occurs when people are left to their own devices. These county supervisors can be forgiven for thinking that they can extract dollars for their purposes from RAGBRAI because that’s what’s left of our politics.

The next round is the reaction.

This is actually good fun.

The Des Moines Register has a little say in what happens next. They have some competing interests to balance but no doubt understand that letting RAGBRAI devolve into a cash grab for the politically connected (at the county level) isn’t in the Ride’s best interests.

Beer drinking riders have some say as well. It’s not all that hard to imagine a team handing out flyers exposing the various ne’er-do-wells along the way if it becomes a serious issue. It’s not that hard to imagine, after repeated assaults on the Ride’s traditions, that a county’s beer vendors get left sitting on a large portion of their inventory. Word will spread that you don’t fack with a good Iowa craft brew and a Brewer’s sausage.

Drinking good beer while riding across Iowa is a value-added moment courtesy of The Register and a long tradition. If county politicians seek to reduce the value of that proposition they will suffer consequences courtesy of thousands of small decisions.

DXXkheads are going to DXXkhead. It doesn’t work out well for them in the end.

#1275524

Sexton, August 6, 2017 at 8:39 am

It wasn’t just about Kossuth county or alcohol. Lots of different entities in play here, and it all boiled down to one thing. Money. Whether it was a town, city, or county shutting down the locals or little guys so some corporate monster can sell swamp water (as much as 5 bucks for a can/bottle, when you could still go to Hy-Vee and spend ten for six!) to a church charging $18.00 for supper (I hope that comes with a glass of Dom or 12 year old scotch) or a pass through town selling T-shirts to raise money and wanting $30.00 each. That’s what it has become, the fleecing of the riders. It was quite palpable this year. It was inevitable, I’ve seen it in other sports I’ve been involved with and tell you will only get worse.

#1275681

Toddles, August 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm

For anybody that wants to read the Allamakee county law that was written and took effect on May 30th with a deadline for a permit by June 15th. To me, this law just feels hostile.

#1276329

Ken Reed, August 24, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this but I felt as if the local authorities were a little more hostile to the riders up until Clear Lake. After Clear Lake, I didn’t see any issues. Perhaps it’s a NW Iowa thing. I won’t say that RAGBRAI will boycott Kossuth County, but I will say that it will be a long time before they go back there. I read earlier in this thread that it will be harder to go to Clear Lake if Kossuth County is boycotted. I disagree. You can always go through Humboldt the night before and shoot up north. Just sayin’.

#1276332

Ken Reed, August 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm

You are on point, Sunflower. These little towns lobby to be selected on the route and when they get selected, they know that it’s like winning the lottery. There would be too much money left on the table for these small towns. They will rise up and have a say too.

#1276333

TJ Juskiewicz, August 25, 2017 at 6:17 am

ok, time to wonder into this conversation as well and bring some facts to light.. RAGBRAI thinks Kossuth County did a great job and would gladly return if they would want to host RAGBRAI again.

My trip through Kossuth has been fine but they denied all alcholh licences from people like the craft beer tent and beer bus. I’m not a get drunk kind of RAGBRAI’er but i enjoy those stops and Kossuth county can puss off.

As a RAGBRAI participant, I was truly disappointed that Kossuth County was allowed to ban liquor sales by craft beer trucks along the route.

Lets get the facts straight. Kossuth County granted alcohol licenses, they just wanted them in in the many towns that they had through the county. Kossuth County did a great job hosting 2 days of a great RAGBRAI and we would gladly go back there tomorrow. If you want to bash away at towns and counties, they will not line up in the future to host this great event. It is so sad to read people people accusing them of a “cash grab” or being “barney fife”. These are good people that volunteer to host RAGBRAI and you rip them to shreds?

The county that hosts the overnight towns are pretty much overwhelmed and their law enforcement and public safety officials are certainly overwhelmed. Kossuth is also the largest county in land mass in our state, double the size of most counties. RAGBRAI was hosted, I believe in 5 towns plus the Karras Loop, in their county. They need to bring in outside officers to handle the traffic loads and keep guests and residents safe.

For safety reasons, some of the overnight counties would like to see additional vendors of alcohol sales in the towns instead of the rural stretches. Kossuth towns were spread out about every 8-10 miles. So licenses were granted to entities like the Fire Department in Whittemore and the local bars greatly expanded their serving area, so additional licenses were not banned by any stretch. (I would hope that RAGBRAIers would support these non-profits like the Whittemore Fire Dept and the local mom and pop establishments, as that is what RAGBRAI is all about) Any of these beer vendors could have been set up in these many towns in Kossuth County. If there are existing businesses that sold food and/or alcohol, they can open business as usual with no extra permits or fees, and just have a great day.

The beer vendors had notification last fall that they should try to avoid the last few miles of the RAGBRAI day, especially the overnight town’s county as law enforcement is overwhelmed, and to attempt to work with the cities.

As far as the last day of RAGBRAI, the county wanted vendors set up in the communities (like Waterville, Harpers Ferry or Lansing) the cost was something like $300-$350 (this is the standard in most counties) for vendors to set up in these towns and about $100 for non-profits. With very few roads and the narrow roads with hills on the final day, it would have been dangerous to have vendors scattered throughout the rural stretches. Many, many vendors set up in the communities on Saturday and had a great day.

Before people start accusing towns and counties of doing RAGBRAI for the money, you should know that most towns are happy to break even and cover their expenses. When they do turn a profit those funds are put to good use in a community project like a new fire truck, help for their swimming pool, etc. This is one of the things that makes RAGBRAI great. This tradition has been going on for 45 years, please appreciate what these towns and counties do for your summer instead of lighting them up and calling for RAGBRAI to boycott them on message boards with heresy and bad rumors. We would like to do RAGBRAI for at least 45 more years and would like to welcomed back to all 99 counties and the cities within those counties.

Thanks for listening…

#1276344

KenH, August 25, 2017 at 10:50 am

Thanks for the information, TJ. Like I said in the beginning, nothing I have ever seen, heard, or done in Iowa during RAGBRAI will deter me from visiting any part of the state in the future during the ride or family vacations. Quite the opposite. We now spend considerable amounts of our free time in Iowa, a state I had driven through and made a handful of business trips to but had never stayed in voluntarily prior to trying that silly thing the locals call RAGBRAI in 2012. And I love having the opportunity to share some of God’s financial blessings on our family with the worthy towns and organizations of rural Iowa.

Sorry to have offended you with the Barney Fife reference. You should understand this about Barney however: while he can be guilty of being more concerned about the letter of the law than the spirit that drove its adoption, at the end of the day he’s a pretty fine fellow and you’d miss him dearly if he weren’t there. Whenever I use the term Barney Fife I have all aspects of his character in mind. One thing I will never understand about him however is why he can sing like a nightingale in some episodes but can’t carry a tune in a bucket in others….

#1276350

Carl Anderson, August 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I agree with TJ on all what he said. I would like if possible some day to be put on the fourm how much it cost to put on Ragbrai each year. And the average cost for the overnight towns and pass through towns. Because I live in the Area I know the local Ems services were stretched to their limits. And the local Fire Departments also. Unlike the bigger cities.The population in these towns are quite small but they still need to update their equipment.So letting these small towns make a small amount of money to help them get the equipment a little quicker is greatly appreciated.
Here is another thought for those that don’t like how some of what happened in the pass through towns .Some towns don’t want Ragbrai coming into their towns because of the pass. While most riders show respect to the residents a small portion think they can do as they want and the residents should kiss their behinds. I also know this as that just about had me not do Ragbrai. I am glad I did as this was my 2nd RAGBRAI and a met a lot of Great people. So just remember you are also being looked at through their eyes as to if they want you back and if the efforts and hard work was worth it, and I don’t mean in terms of money.

#1276358

Cory Rood, August 26, 2017 at 10:33 am

[quote quote=1276344]ok, time to wonder into this conversation as well and bring some facts to light.. RAGBRAI thinks Kossuth County did a great job and would gladly return if they would want to host RAGBRAI again.

My trip through Kossuth has been fine but they denied all alcholh licences from people like the craft beer tent and beer bus. I’m not a get drunk kind of RAGBRAI’er but i enjoy those stops and Kossuth county can puss off.

As a RAGBRAI participant, I was truly disappointed that Kossuth County was allowed to ban liquor sales by craft beer trucks along the route.

Lets get the facts straight. Kossuth County granted alcohol licenses, they just wanted them in in the many towns that they had through the county. Kossuth County did a great job hosting 2 days of a great RAGBRAI and we would gladly go back there tomorrow. If you want to bash away at towns and counties, they will not line up in the future to host this great event. It is so sad to read people people accusing them of a “cash grab” or being “barney fife”. These are good people that volunteer to host RAGBRAI and you rip them to shreds?

The county that hosts the overnight towns are pretty much overwhelmed and their law enforcement and public safety officials are certainly overwhelmed. Kossuth is also the largest county in land mass in our state, double the size of most counties. RAGBRAI was hosted, I believe in 5 towns plus the Karras Loop, in their county. They need to bring in outside officers to handle the traffic loads and keep guests and residents safe.

For safety reasons, some of the overnight counties would like to see additional vendors of alcohol sales in the towns instead of the rural stretches. Kossuth towns were spread out about every 8-10 miles. So licenses were granted to entities like the Fire Department in Whittemore and the local bars greatly expanded their serving area, so additional licenses were not banned by any stretch. (I would hope that RAGBRAIers would support these non-profits like the Whittemore Fire Dept and the local mom and pop establishments, as that is what RAGBRAI is all about) Any of these beer vendors could have been set up in these many towns in Kossuth County. If there are existing businesses that sold food and/or alcohol, they can open business as usual with no extra permits or fees, and just have a great day.

The beer vendors had notification last fall that they should try to avoid the last few miles of the RAGBRAI day, especially the overnight town’s county as law enforcement is overwhelmed, and to attempt to work with the cities.

As far as the last day of RAGBRAI, the county wanted vendors set up in the communities (like Waterville, Harpers Ferry or Lansing) the cost was something like $300-$350 (this is the standard in most counties) for vendors to set up in these towns and about $100 for non-profits. With very few roads and the narrow roads with hills on the final day, it would have been dangerous to have vendors scattered throughout the rural stretches. Many, many vendors set up in the communities on Saturday and had a great day.

Before people start accusing towns and counties of doing RAGBRAI for the money, you should know that most towns are happy to break even and cover their expenses. When they do turn a profit those funds are put to good use in a community project like a new fire truck, help for their swimming pool, etc. This is one of the things that makes RAGBRAI great. This tradition has been going on for 45 years, please appreciate what these towns and counties do for your summer instead of lighting them up and calling for RAGBRAI to boycott them on message boards with heresy and bad rumors. We would like to do RAGBRAI for at least 45 more years and would like to welcomed back to all 99 counties and the cities within those counties.

Thanks for listening…

[/quote]

I’m happy to support the nonprofits and mom and pops along the way(Billie Jo’s in Algona was awesome, Mabe’s in Cresco was great aswell) but when I’m along the ride and want a beer I don’t want ABinBev or the like. I want to support local Iowa breweries.

I want to make clear that I do not expect RAGBRAI to solve this or have any part in this as it’s not RAGBRAI’s problem per say. I just disagree with government(local, county, state, or federal) making decisions for me. If it was truly a safety issue instead of limiting licenses to local vendors they would have had a set number of licenses. or restricted the sales all together. I also did not mean to imply the county was trying to make money, they were attempting to force ME to spend MY money at places the supervisors deemed worthy. That was my issue.

#1276367

JLVanPelt, August 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

My own comments were not directed at any of the towns, pass thru or overnight, civic organizations, etc. In fact, despite my charter often placing us away from town, we make a concerted effort to get to the town to spend money with the local businesses and 501c3’s that rely on our dollars. My comments are specifically directed toward a government entity with overreach.
Because alcohol has a polarizing effect in this discussion, let’s try another example:
In the spirit of American Entrepreneurship, let us imagine you have a farm and you raise hogs. Let us imagine that in the spirit of ingenuity which we embrace in this country, you have a brainstorm. You decide you’ll sell pork chops along side of the road. Knowing you need to maximize your profit, you realize that a no-frills distribution method will keep you on the plus side because you’ll be able to have the top through-put—–no buns, no condiments, no flatware…just chops in a paper towel. Let us also say that you realize you need marketing. Again, you don’t want to do a print campaign or a fancy radio ads. Boom! That old bus can be painted pink. It will stand out among the corn, house our big grill, be completely self -contained and portable.
We love this story. It embodies everything that is good about this country. Ideas turn in to action. We find a way to make a buck doing something we love. It’s symbolic of the Midwest: hard work and living off the land result in a service loved by all far and wide.
But…..wait, all of a sudden someone doesn’t like the competition. That someone has two choices: build a better/cheaper/more attractive product OR use politics to squash the competition. One requires effort, blood sweat and tears. The other? We can only guess. The angle will be easy: We’ll attack safety. Who can argues with safety?
After all, there are 10,000 cases of pork related illness annually. And bees—if our EMS is stretched thin and needs to be in the towns, bee related deaths outpace shark attacks, dog bites and alligators COMBINED. We can’t have people eating pork that may be tainted in fields laden with bees away from our EMS centers. We’ll have to get food inspectors, fire marshalls, extra paramedics and a bunch of extra hands if we allow this crazy pork chop vendor to just hang out along side the road and vend the other white meat.
So, the county says we won’t grant a food license or temporary vendor permit or whatever these places need. Now, how do you feel? Take a minute. RAGBRAI with no porkchops.
I have zero issues with valid arguments, logical discourse and rational debate. And yes, in my limited experience, it is unjust to discount doing business with an entire county based on what likely is the action of one or two people.
Now, with all respect to the all those towns and businesses that had zero culpability in this process, we aren’t blanketing an attack.
This is about a frightening trend in this country to allow scope creep all with rather suspect rationalization. This is about seeing a slippery slope and knowing to get back on top of the hill.
Granted, I am not on the planning committee or anything of influence with the ride but from the casual observer’s view, I think the reaction seen is understandable.

#1276369

Cory Rood, August 26, 2017 at 2:57 pm

[quote quote=1276369]My own comments were not directed at any of the towns, pass thru or overnight, civic organizations, etc. In fact, despite my charter often placing us away from town, we make a concerted effort to get to the town to spend money with the local businesses and 501c3’s that rely on our dollars. My comments are specifically directed toward a government entity with overreach.
Because alcohol has a polarizing effect in this discussion, let’s try another example:
In the spirit of American Entrepreneurship, let us imagine you have a farm and you raise hogs. Let us imagine that in the spirit of ingenuity which we embrace in this country, you have a brainstorm. You decide you’ll sell pork chops along side of the road. Knowing you need to maximize your profit, you realize that a no-frills distribution method will keep you on the plus side because you’ll be able to have the top through-put—–no buns, no condiments, no flatware…just chops in a paper towel. Let us also say that you realize you need marketing. Again, you don’t want to do a print campaign or a fancy radio ads. Boom! That old bus can be painted pink. It will stand out among the corn, house our big grill, be completely self -contained and portable.
We love this story. It embodies everything that is good about this country. Ideas turn in to action. We find a way to make a buck doing something we love. It’s symbolic of the Midwest: hard work and living off the land result in a service loved by all far and wide.
But…..wait, all of a sudden someone doesn’t like the competition. That someone has two choices: build a better/cheaper/more attractive product OR use politics to squash the competition. One requires effort, blood sweat and tears. The other? We can only guess. The angle will be easy: We’ll attack safety. Who can argues with safety?
After all, there are 10,000 cases of pork related illness annually. And bees—if our EMS is stretched thin and needs to be in the towns, bee related deaths outpace shark attacks, dog bites and alligators COMBINED. We can’t have people eating pork that may be tainted in fields laden with bees away from our EMS centers. We’ll have to get food inspectors, fire marshalls, extra paramedics and a bunch of extra hands if we allow this crazy pork chop vendor to just hang out along side the road and vend the other white meat.
So, the county says we won’t grant a food license or temporary vendor permit or whatever these places need. Now, how do you feel? Take a minute. RAGBRAI with no porkchops.
I have zero issues with valid arguments, logical discourse and rational debate. And yes, in my limited experience, it is unjust to discount doing business with an entire county based on what likely is the action of one or two people.
Now, with all respect to the all those towns and businesses that had zero culpability in this process, we aren’t blanketing an attack.
This is about a frightening trend in this country to allow scope creep all with rather suspect rationalization. This is about seeing a slippery slope and knowing to get back on top of the hill.
Granted, I am not on the planning committee or anything of influence with the ride but from the casual observer’s view, I think the reaction seen is understandable.

[/quote]

Way to put it. I wish I could put my thoughts to words aswell as you just did!

#1276370

Bob Kidd, August 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Going off subject. JLVanPelt what charter did you use? Just asking for future reference when picking one.

#1276372

JLVanPelt, August 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

Hi Bob–before anyone thinks I’m disparaging my charter. I’m not. We’ll likely be back for a 3rd year with Pork Belly. They are frequently away from the towns as a result of their sheer size and needing to find a space for the number of tents, shower trucks, gear trucks, etc. While some like the self contained nature of their camp grounds with craft beer, meals on site and entertainment, we love to check out the towns and spend our money on these local places which have turned themselves inside out to host us. We couldn’t wait to put our feet in the water at Clear Lake. In fact, we were a little disappointed–was it Cresco?–where the local pubs and restaurants were mostly closed.
Also, PBV DOES use local vendors for those meals in a majority of the cases–they do try and shop local. Plus, they are large enough to attract shuttle service in most cases. I would not dissuade anyone from using this charter based on proximity to town. I was only referencing that my husband and I go out of our way to spend money with local establishments when given the opportunity and not use the larger chain establishments for food & beverage lest anyone reading my comments thinks I didn’t understand the importance of the revenue for the towns who spend an entire year getting ready for us.

#1276374

Bob Kidd, August 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for the reply JLVanPelt. I fully understand about the size of that group. I rode by a few times and it looked like an army had setup camp. LOL I’m also with you when it comes to spending money with the locals. Trying to get a few family members and friends to go with me next year but if I end up alone I’ll be signing up with a charter again. Made it a lot easier for me anyway.

#1276378

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