Notes from Iowa’s Ride & RAGBRAI presentations

01/06/2020 – John’s Notes
Scott Garner – Assistant Director of Iowa’s Ride.  Has held many jobs, eventually was sick of the corporate BS so took a pay cut to become Assistant Director for RAGBRAI.  Said it was the greatest job, but former director Jim Greene had told him if it wasn’t fun, he shouldn’t do it.  As of last year’s ride, it was no longer fun…due to many issues, but the corporate structure was a huge one.

  • Iowa’s Ride is set up as a non-profit, net proceeds will go back into the towns and charities.  According to, independent board is being set up to review financials and where the $$ actually goes.
  •  1 or 2 campgrounds within easy walking distance of festivities.
  • Will have sag wagons, similar to RAGBRAI.
  • Medical team will same as before.
  • Security will be provided at intersections by Iowa Highway Patrol, local Sheriffs, etc.
  • Prices are $150 thru 1/31, $175 after till 5000 cap hit.  Minor registration (under 18) $100 till 1/31, then $125.  Vehicle passes $50.
  • Full route announced late-March/early April.
  • Under 1000 registrations so far, but about what they figured to this point.
  • Housing requests will be taken via a form on, no guarantees of placement, but will have one form to check all towns you need.
  • Towns will likely provide their own food vendors (churches, bars, etc).  Outside vendors will likely be welcome if the towns allow. 
  • Emphasis will be on local vendors.
  • Overnights will have beverage gardens, with likely scaled down (cheaper) entertainment. 
  • No towns being shut down on the route.  They will encourage riders to police themselves and keep moving, but will only shut down sag support thru the towns.  Up to town to shut down when they want.
  • No gravel loop.  No century loop. 
  • Vendor fees in town will be set by the towns.
  • Will be an expo in Dubuque.
  •  Bike shops will be in towns and pass thru towns.
  • Will have a vehicle support route, but no designated meeting town.  You will be allowed to meet in any town, as long as there is a decent route in/out.
  • Future Iowa’s Rides may be something totally different, may be earlier in the year.

Anne Lowry – Assistant Director / Dieter Drake – Director of RAGBRAI

  • 2 years ago, RAGBRAI was moved to a branch that was created by Gannett’s merger with Gatehouse.  Gatehouse has now moved RAGBRAI to Gatehouse Rugged to organize it.
  • Seems to have several layers of resources at their disposal.  But, also sounds very expensive.
  • Most everything will remain the same.
  • They freely admit that the $$ that was earmarked for charities in the past did not make it there.  They have been and continue to conduct investigations, but still not sure where the $$ went?  Stated that since 2015, donated over 5 million to charity, but nothing on paper to back it up.
  • They had been charging towns $8500 in the past.
  • Working on plans for this year and beyond to address issues, particularly with the $$.
  • Admit that the reason these changes came about was because of the leadership shakeup.

These are only my interpretations of what was said, and the notes I took. That being said, I feel my decision to go with Iowa’s Ride has been even more reinforced.

Rose’s Notes

  • 1-2 campgrounds per town & planning will be easier & smaller scale.
  • Limiting to 5k, will have sag wagons, medical team, security at all major intersections.
  • Pass through towns & route now going out to all the countries.
  • Tent camping, RV’s & available hotels.
  • A few charters have signed on if you want to use that service.
  • $150 til Jan 31 then goes to $75
  • Full route coming out in March.
  • Day pass $25 per day. Upto another 1k for day passes.
  • Less than 1000 right now with registration.
  • Housing will be available through a sign up form and we can circulate on our own.
  • Will be utilizing the small town food vendors, most of the towns will be using their own resources, churches and non-profits. Focus on local vendors and the town benefits from it.
  • On the road vendors may see more professional vendors.
  • There will be beer, entertainment every night. Entertainment will wrap up around 11.
  • IA Beer Bus, craft beer and tents will be welcome on the road and welcome to work with the towns.
  • There will not be a state trooper pushing cut off times & ask folks honor shutdown times, if you’re in town after that you’re on your own. It will be managed by the pass through towns. Riders running behind will be able to get food & beverages.
  • Will there be gravel? Ride of silence? No century day. Sag wagon pick up spots are typically in towns at fire stations and will run the route throughout the day.
  • Vendor fees will be set by the towns themselves but encouraging the towns to set those lower to allow maximum participation.
  • Will there be an EXPO, yes at the start town in Dubuque.
  • Bike shops will be in the towns for repairs during the day.
    Vehicle pass $50. Support drivers get a non rider pass. Vehicle maps & routes will be published and vehicles will be allowed to meet your team in any town you want to.
  • Registration can be as a group but you will get your own registration via mail. It may be a packet pick up.