dmrdc5-5q7m16xswpy76abr99f_originalRAGBRAI would like to thank all of the participants that took the time to complete the surveys after RAGBRAI XXXVII. 

4,152 online surveys were completed (an impressive 40% response rate), producing valuable information that will help make RAGBRAI a safer and more enjoyable ride. 

We thank you for your feedback that will help make RAGBRAI safer and more enjoyable for all!     


  • 78% of respondents ride every mile of RAGBRAI (70% in 2008)
  • 77% of respondents preferred starting time is 6:00 am to 7:00 am
  • 72% of respondents prefer to ride 11-20 miles between stops
  • 86% of respondents prefer to stop in most or all towns
  • 13% of respondents prefer to stop in every town
  • 33% of respondents rode the Karras Loop (25% in 2008) 


  • 56% of respondents rate the signage for the 2009 route excellent or above average (3% rated below average)
  • 79% of respondents rate their overall RAGBRAI experience excellent or above average (2% rated below average)


  • 92% of respondents registered for RAGBRAI online
  • 83% of online applicants rated RAGBRAI’s online application procedure excellent or above average
  • 77% of respondents felt the registration fees are set just right
  • 73% of respondents visited the RAGBRAI online store
  • 71% of visitors rate RAGBRAI’s Web site excellent or above average

 AGE OF RIDERSdmrdc5-5q8oj3u546p1m0wvpo1m_original

  • Under 19       6.8%
  • Ages 20-24    5.3%
  • Ages 25-34    13.8%
  • Ages 35-44    18.4%
  • Ages 45-54    28.6%
  • Ages 55-64    20.8%
  • Ages 65+      6.3%
  • Average age of this year’s RAGBRAI participants is 44.4 years.


  • Males            65%
  • Females        35%


  • 75% of respondents used personal/rented vehicles to transport baggage
  • For 35% of respondents, this was their first RAGBRAI
  • 70% of respondents first heard about RAGBRAI from friends or family
  • 59 riders come from 17 foreign countries
  • Only 33% of riders are from Iowa


  • 80.8% of riders use a road bike
  • 10.3% hybrids
  • 2.4% tandems
  • 2.7% mountain bikes
  • 2.1% recumbents
  • and less than 2% all others


  • Erratic or unpredictable riding
  • Riding left of center
  • Communication and signaling intent
  • New rider education
  • Pace lines
  • Riding in a large group
  • Cell Phone / Head Phone Use
  • Helmet use
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Large bicycles (quads, tandems, etc.)
  • Early and late starts or finishes

We thank you again for your feedback that will help make RAGBRAI safer and more enjoyable for all, and we hope to see you July 25-31, 2009 for RAGBRAI XXXVIII!

 The Des Moines Register conducted these surveys from August 5-20, 2009.


Margaret, Oct 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I was a RAGBRAI virgin AND worked my fanny off, and even cried at the end of the next-to-last day from the hills but mostly the head winds! Still: Loved It All!

Darren Beachy, Oct 17, 2009 at 5:32 am

This was my first time and I loved it. I did the Karras Loop and was surprised to learn only a third of the riders did it.
My only criticism–it would have been nice to have more variety in the overnight towns instead of the ubiquitious beer garden and loud music. After a few nights, the towns all looked the same.

The RAGBRAI web site has been most helpful.

Wayne, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I didn’t ride in 2009 but the safety challenge survey results look suspiciously like results from the 12 years that I did ride. Unfortunately, there’s little that anybody can do to surmount the challenges as you just “can’t legislate stupidity.”

Signal your intentions and keep your eyes open for the riders swerving into your path.

gary neal, Nov 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Forty percent of the registered riders responded to your survey. So that’s what; one third of the actual number of participants, and your patting yourself on the back!

Instead of relying on an online survey that only reaches riders who “Geek” RAGBRAI, why don’t you try hitting the pavement, or in this case the campgrounds, and find out what the majority of riders actually feel about the ride.

Todd Roecker, Nov 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Ragbrai Rocks and it always has! Just remember, it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity! It’s a tough day when you get all 4 of the H’s together — Heat, Humidity, Hills, & Headwind!

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