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What is the purpose for wristbands?

I would like to participate in Ragbrai for the first time.  Are these wristbands mandatory? Why? If I must have one, could someone inform me on how to obtain one.

44 Replies

Bobthebiker, July 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

If no one paid the Registration fee, there would be no RAGBRAI.


tiki, July 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

There wasn’t a fee the first 10yrs or so…..


indianafrank, July 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Actually the fee was first introduced in year 12 when the ride grew to 7,500 riders. The early rides were smaller and almost spontaneous, and I’ve heard stories that hundreds of riders would roll into a town and strip the shelves of stores clean.
When you get to 12,000 riders or more, like they have today, you need planning. Actually, you need planning for a ride of a couple of hundred people.


turtlemom, July 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I dont see how anyone believes that an event the size of Ragbrai happens without anybody paying for it. And for what its worth, if someone has such a low opinion of Iowa, and feels we Ragbrai riders(those of us who pay anyway) are sheep and rubes, why would you come? 


indianafrank, July 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Look, this guy’s just shaking the bars on his  cage to try to get a rise out of someone. It would be more interesting to talk about those early years, years 1, 2, 3 and that, when there were just a few hundred riders and they came in almost unannounced looking for food and a place to sleep.


tiki, July 26, 2011 at 3:08 am

Sorry I came off so rudely. I have been on “spontaneous” rides of up to 2000 people, none of us paid a dime. It just happened. Of course it was but a one day thing, which goes to show if you take things one day at a time, life happens.

Thank you.


“Bicycle Bill”, July 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Personally, Indyfrank, I thought it was around year #10 when the fee first showed up.

However, even on the very first few rides you needed to have not necessarily a wristband but a baggage tag — this got your baggage hauled day by day by the Register’s trucks and made you a part of the fun.  Granted, they were free for the first few years, but you were still required to have one if you wanted to be part of the fun.  It was only later on, as people decided that they were too good to sleep in a tent or have to look through a pile of duffel bags for their gear, or perhaps get rained on, or have to put up with a hot muggy night, that the so-called “teams” came along with the camper vans, the RVs, and the school-bus/party-bus fleets and gave moochers like tiki the ability to poach Iowa on the last week of July.

I’m waiting for the day when some too-good-for-everyone-else snob comes to RAGBRAI and coasts along on the middle seat of a triplet, while his chauffeur and his butler do all the pedalling for him….then get met by an air-conditioned limo to be whisked off to a luxury motel somewhere far removed from the rest of us plebians.



iowaguy1, July 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Not to throw fuel on the fire here but it didn’t look like (in any of the pictures) that THE 7 time TdF millionaire cyclist everyone loves had a band.  Apparently he gets a free pass…?


tiki, July 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

And tomorrow it is all over, many have ridden without paying, and many stayed home not having hooked up with a wristband in time. In the end, it doesn’t matter a twit.

When people say it isn’t the $$, it is always the $$. Why else does the DMR screw people on refunds for those unable to attend. There is probably as many who paid and didn’t go than the dreaded “bandits”.  Hence, it all works out and matters not a twit.

Thank you.


“Bicycle Bill”, July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

I realize I’m probably just feeding a troll, but if you buy a pre-sell ticket or an admission to anything — an I-Cubs game, a concert, an airline flight, or the first public showing of the latest Harry Potter movie — and you can’t or don’t show up, are you going to get your money back?  Not too awful likely.

And by the same token …. if you *don’t* have the ticket, are you going to be able to tell the guy at the door that “there’s enough other people who already paid anyway” and just waltz in there?  Go ahead and try it — but you can guess what’s going to happen.

Someone wiser than I once said, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.  Tiki, please schedule an eye exam for yourself.



tiki, July 30, 2011 at 1:24 am

Mr. Bicycle Bill, if that indeed is your name…

The analogies are good, but not apples to apples. The seats in a theatre are limited and privately owned. The streets RAG uses are not, they are public. 

A couple years ago, the last day of the ride before the finish at Burlington I stopped at a gas station to buy something to drink (as no free water for $140 fee), and met 3 bicyclists drinking bloody marys, who offered me one but I already had a coffee. Anyways, they were “freeloading bandits”, in your opinion. Reality: they lived there and did their own “Bloody Mary Run” every Saturday morning as they worked 2nd shift and drank hard on Friday after work and then did Bloody Marys whilst on their bikes. This Saturday turned out to be RAG weekend. So were these bandits, or was RAG harshing their buzz mellow?

So while some things are black & white, sometimes, not so much.

thank you.



Anonymous, July 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Been on dozens of ragbrais..never paid for water ..always plenty of free wasser offered..re: registration fee..if you don’t have it, can’t afford it (this is, after all, omamaland for another 18 months) but still want to go on rag..well go. Thousands (who can afford it) pay to support rag and their charities..they don’t shell out the cash because they need support FROM Rag. 


Sandaltan ., July 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Z, that is a great dog photo.  What is his/her name?  Dogs are some of my favorite people.

RIDE RIGHT (Yep, every pass through town is required to have a water station for the riders)


Anonymous, July 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

her name is lacy bug..she is trained to attack on command…


SSC1, July 31, 2011 at 7:16 am

I’m always amazed at the people who take advantage of the routes set up by Ragbrai, the traffic coordinators, the cops who guide us and stop traffic on our behalf, the free bananas and free water, and the endless supply of food and drink along the way……and then claim they don’t get anything from registering.  They are taking advantage of what everyone else’s registration paid for.  Like it or not folks – these are the facts. 

If they weren’t doing that – they would have ridden a different week or month and would not have chosen to ride during Ragbrai.

I have one disclaimer – a person who rides a day or two without a wristband is not the kind of person I am referring to in this post.  It is the person who chooses to ride the entire event and take advantage of all the “fun” without contributing.  I don’t dislike this kind of person – but I don’t buy the explanation from this person either.

Just my 2 cents.


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