The Results Are In…
Before we get too far down the road planning RAGBRAI XLV, lets take a quick look back at what a great time we all had in 2016! Here is a sampling of responses to our annual Rider and Support Driver surveys…
- 30% of respondents were first time riders.
- 73.5% rode the full 420 miles of the ride.
- Nearly 9% rode the Gravel Loop through Imogene.
- 25.5% rode the Karras Loop through the Honey Creek Resort.
- Nearly 53% used the bike license plate. 24.5% weren’t interested in using the license plate. The rest did not know what it was.
- 82% of respondents like to start their day between 6a.m-8a.m.
- Nearly 70% of riders spend $25-$50 per day on RAGBRAI.
- 37% prefer to eat breakfast in the first pass-through town, 28% eat on the route before the first pass-through town, 22% eat before leaving the overnight town, 11% eat after the pass-through town.
- 2% don’t realize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
- Almost 5% are vegetarian, about 3% eat only gluten-free foods.
- 40% might eat a vegetarian or gluten free meal option if offered; 51% would never consider it.
- Shade and being close to showers are the most important features of campgrounds.
- Training miles were across the board; ranging from 250-1000 miles. Over 32% of respondents said they put in over 1000 training miles before RAGBRAI XLIV.
- About 33% of riders used personal support vehicles to carry their bags, 28% used a RAGBRAI charter, 27% traveled with a large group, 11% used the RAGBRAI Baggage Truck and 1% carried their own bags.
- 68% of riders are male; 60% are between the ages of 45-65.
- 80% of riders had no trouble with the new online registration system. Less than 5% had difficulty with setting up their user account and registering online.
The top 3 most serious rider safety challenges identified in the survey are:
- Vehicle traffic on the route
- Erratic or unpredictable riding
- Communication or signaling intent
Several people commented on surface hazards such as cracks, potholes and rough railroad crossings. Another main concern was slower and inexperienced riders not riding to the right. Groups of 2-3 riding slow and abreast caused challenges for other riders trying to pass. Many riders also noted that riders with loud speakers caused safety concerns.
LIKES & DISLIKES
Riders particularly liked:
- The feel of small town, Iowa.
- Towns who fully committed to a theme.
- Having everything in close proximity (campgrounds, food, entertainment, showers).
- Riding shorter mileage on the last day.
Riders would like to see the following changes:
- Less vehicle traffic on the bike route- especially from vehicle support drivers.
- More kybos and showers.
- Less commercial food vendors and more local organizations/restaurants/businesses.
- More variety in music/entertainment in overnight towns; less 70’s-80’s rock.
- Healthier food options.
- More free water bottle filling stations or better signage to direct riders to free water filling stations.
- 43% were driving support for the first time.
- 65% prefer to leave between 6:00-8:00 A.M.
- 51% of support drivers spend on average $35-$75 per day including fuel and supplies.
- 41% prefer to purchase supplies in town once they arrive, 33% in a town along the route, and 26% before leaving town.
- 39% of respondents drove a personal vehicle. 22% of respondents drove a bus, RV, or pulled a camper.
- 45% of drivers are from the state of Iowa.
- 52% of respondents are male.
- 39% of respondents are 55-64 years old; 22% were over 65 years old.
Respondents would like the following additional information to be covered in the driver safety meeting:
- A booklet of each overnight town’s town map distributed at the meeting.
- Safety meeting to start later or to publish a video online for those doing partial week.
Support drivers would like to see these changes implemented in the meeting towns:
- Have clearer instructions (more signage) on where the route goes in and out of town, as well as more directions on to where to park once in town.
- Place parking near the downtown area of the meeting towns.
- Communicate with businesses in meeting towns to expect busier traffic due to both cyclist and support drivers/vehicles.
Feedback on route maps and signs:
- Maps were helpful, but green signs were hard to see.
- Drivers sometimes had a hard time leaving the town and getting on the support driver route without crossing cyclists route on their way through/out of town.
- Some respondents suggested that more arrow signs before the turn would have been helpful.
- Overlay the rider route and the support driver route on one map.
Thank you all for making RAGBRAI the great event that it is. We hope to see you July 23-29 for RAGBRAI XLV. Here are some other important dates to remember:
- Registration opens November 15, 2016
- RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party and Iowa Bike Expo is January 21, 2017
- Weeklong Rider Registration closes April 1, 2017
- PIGTAILS Ride is May 20, 2017
- BACoon Ride Four is June 17, 2017
- 2017 RAGBRAI Expo is July 22, 2017