What happens after the last days ride

Hi there,
Needless to say this is my first time riding. I am really looking forward to it. So the questoin I have is what happens after the ride on Saturday. Do people stay in town or do most end the ride and head back to the start or else where? Is there big party and concert?

Trying to make plans, any help very much appreciated

Hillary

13 Replies

Cory Rood, May 6, 2019 at 7:35 pm

a small percentage will stay Saturday night. a small percentage will head back to the start town. the majority will embark on their travels to get home. there won’t be activities into the night like the rest of the overnight towns.

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Bob Seiple, May 6, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Largely depends on where you have left your car. If you’ve left a vehicle in Council Bluffs, than Sat afternoon is spent on the bus back to Council Bluffs. If you have your vehicle in Keokuk, there are lots of options, but I don’t think there is the big party like the other overnights.

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T. Gap Woo, May 6, 2019 at 9:53 pm

Good evening, Ms Hall, and welcome to the party!

Mrs Woo is my support driver, so we always have the car at the end of the ride.

Since Davenport and I-80 are our entry/exit points coming from the east, we always book a motel room in advance somewhere in metropolitan Davenport. A hot shower and a good night’s sleep sure make a positive difference.

When we finished in Davenport last year, we walked around the downtown and riverfront area, pigging out at the farmers market and visiting the little shops in the former railroad warehouse. Unfortunately, this area is currently flooded 😢.

We found an ice cream parlor in East Davenport that featured buttered-corn—flavored ice cream! It was TDF!

Then we drove upriver to LeClaire. Visits to the Wide River Winery shop, the popcorn store and the candy store are a tradition with us, as is a trip to Antique Archaeology to check out the rusty gold.

Don’t miss dinner at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant. Their pork chops are reminiscent of Mr Pork Chop! If you leave there still hungry, it’s your own darn fault.

If I was riding this year, I’d explore the greater Keokuk area. Who knows what hidden gems await?? O well, we’ll have to explore Keokuk another time.

My advice to you, Ms Hall, is quite simple. Unless you’re in a rush to get back to the real world and civilization, take time to explore and enjoy all that Iowa has to offer.

Have a good ride! Be sure to stop and smell the roses.

See you along the I-O-Way in 2020.

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jwsknk, May 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm

In my 37 times stayed in the last town twice. We usually load up the bus and be out if there by 4 or 5. Stopping halfway back to Anes to eat. If you want to do like Woo head up the Illinois side to Navoo and Oquawka Norma Jean Ekephant gravesite.

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RDaryl Daryl, May 7, 2019 at 7:05 am

Also note that support services end at 4 PM (rather than 6 PM) on Saturday.
The last day is more like a race compared to the prior 6 day experience.

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Chris, May 7, 2019 at 7:39 am

Welcome to the zoo! 🙂

….the last real night of RAGBRAI is, indeed, Friday night, and often the last larger pass-though town is the biggest party of Saturday. While there is some stuff that goes on in the ending town, like everyone else said, it’s mostly a pack-up-and-get-on-the-road affair.

A few thoughts on that, too:
– If you can find a hotel in the immediate area, as T. Gap said, it’s fantastic to end the ride, pack up, go just up the road to a hotel, and call it a day. Explore the local area, talk to people, and just enjoy. That bed feels just divine that night, too 🙂
– If that’s not your style: what we’ve done in recent years is to get a shower in the end town (they will have a high school or the like open for showers, same as most nights), get on the road, and drive until we’re tired of driving, then snag a hotel on the highway. No reservation problems like in the immediate area around the end town, and the traffic dies off quickly as it’s Saturday afternoon. It gets us 3 or 4 hours down the road, and with a 15+ hour drive home, it helps a lot for the next two days.

See you in July!
-Chris

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Luv 2 Ski, May 7, 2019 at 8:35 am

As everyone said most people leave on Saturday sometime in the afternoon.

My recommendation is to get to that start town Friday night as opposed to staying Saturday night in the end town. I have done both but now I always get to the start town on Friday.

When you do that you get to see the build-up of the event. There are always people there Friday with some vendors rolling in, and local establishments gearing up. On Saturday is when the majority of both riders and vendors roll into town and watching the build-up is great IMO. You definitely feel the energy build as the day rolls on Saturday. A great way to start the week.

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KenH, May 7, 2019 at 11:19 am

The end towns do their best to put on a show for us and tempt us to stay a while. Most people head out as soon as they can however. If you stay a while or overnight in the end town you will earn their eternal gratitude. I would do that if I could but like most folks, I guess, I have people at home who would prefer that I return sooner rather than later. The details of what Keokuk plans to do should start going up on their website soon so check that out, perhaps something they plan will interest you.

I’ve been advocating for visiting two towns on the Mississippi for years so that the end towns can reap the rewards that the overnight towns get once in a while. I am glad to see that plan being adopted this year. Burlington gets the chance to host us overnight this year, perhaps in some future year we will overnight in Keokuk and finish in Burlington.

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Brian Wallenburg, May 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Most everyone heads for home or back to the start town to retrieve their vehicle. It can be quite congested. I have always found a high school or college to shower before you head out. RAGBRAI vendors are packed up and gone. Fewer choices of food. There are less Roadside vendors on the last day as well. The party seems 90% over by the time you head out on day 7. Have a great virgin RAGBRAI. Don’t forget to bring a black sharpie to put a big V on your calves.

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Hillary Hall, May 7, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Oh my gosh thank you all for your responses. So very helpful. Now I just need to figure out what I want to do…. very tempting to stay and explore a bit. Have to see if I can convince a few of my team to stay too.

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GeorgeKline, May 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Last year was my sixth RAGBRAI, first time I spent the night in the overnight town, met some friendly people had a few beers and a good rest before heading back to PA on Sunday, with a stop off At O’hare to drop friends off. I felt more alert on the ride back and felt a lot safer than leaving Saturday when I”m tired. I have the time off work I plan to stay Saturday night again, keeping the highways safe!

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LawnchairMan, May 7, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Hi Hillary,
This year I will be staying overnight; camping near the YMCA. I’m confident that I will be able to get a shower there after the ride and again Sunday morning.

I’m usually in and out of the end town as quickly as I can. But I will be meeting my sister that Sunday. So, I have the evening to kill and watch the crowds swell an ebb. Should be fun to relax and take my time.

One tradition of mine is to go up river a few miles to get Muscatine melons. They are known in the area as the sweetest watermelons. I agree. I brought back five or six of them last year. For me it is well worth the time. Oh, don’t forget the corn of course! I get that too.

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Amanda, May 8, 2019 at 7:19 am

We started to stay overnight in the in town about three years ago. It does make driving home the next day more relaxing. We live in Northwest Iowa so it’s quite a jaunt. Two years ago though, I broke my ankle in the end town after we had dipped our tires and we were just hanging out. I hope we don’t have a repeat of that ever again!

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