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Note to RAGBRAI Nation from Matt Phippen after a week on the job

  • 14 January, 2022


I wanted to reach out after my first week as RAGBRAI director. I have been overwhelmed with all the amazing messages, phone calls, and emails from RAGBRAI nation welcoming me.

Phippen on the Karras Loop (with John Karras) during the Route Inspection Ride in 2018.

With any new opportunity there is always a little fear of the unknown and especially after leaving a company I loved for 23 years. After my first week in Des Moines, I have zero fear and I’m so ready to take on this challenge. I am surrounded by an incredible team. Anne has been amazing. She’s put me in positions this week to be successful and meet with some great people. Andrea has done a great job helping all of you meet and see me online. Suzanne is so talented in the design world. Nic and Madison have been great keeping their finger on registration, merchandise, customer service emails. All have been working hard on other projects as well. I have to say I am truly blessed to have this team around me. Our number one goal is growing the legacy of RAGBRAI, bringing value to the state, our residents, and to the riders who visit our great state every year.

After hitting the ground running with the team, I wanted to connect with as many leaders in the RAGBRAI Community as possible. I had great meetings with the Iowa State Patrol, 2022 communities, CARE Ambulance, Senator Adrian Dickey, the Des Moines Register, Dream Team, Pork Belly Ventures, BIKEIOWA.com, Mark Wyatt, and so many RAGBRAI crew and family past and present.

I want you to know that I am listening and reading all the comments. The one concern that I’ve heard over and over again are your frustrations around the shut down times from town to town. I want you to know that it was a topic of discussion during my first meeting with the Iowa State Patrol and we are both committed to working together to improve this for the riders and the communities with safety as our number one priority. I will share our plans as we get closer to the ride.

I am looking forward to meeting you all and hope that will be at our Route Announcement Party on Friday, January 28th at Hy-Vee Hall.

Matt Phippen
Director of Operations, RAGBRAI

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