As Emmetsburg prepares to host RAGBRAI for an overnight stay July 21, here are some thoughts about the annual event, compiled by veteran riders Greg and Steven Hoyman.These "RAGBRAI?Moments" are intended to give people some insight into RAGBRAI and what goes on behind the scenes.
All people are equal on RAGBRAI. While some people will travel with a RV and people looking after them, once they are out on that bike they are all equal. Some are rich, some are poor, some in great shape and some not so much so. Some are young and some are old. One year we had Dr. Joel Gordon and his wife Dr. Gay Rasmussen and a doctor from Sioux Falls, South Dakota riding in our group. One evening, a number of us were sitting around talking (the amount of free time is a big surprise to many) an 18 year old that was riding with us from a different town realized that Dr. Rasmussen was a doctor from the conversation. This kid was shocked that we had doctors in our group; and really we had three and he did not realize it.
Diane and the guy from New York
One year while Diane was waiting along the route a biker asked her when the SAG wagon would be by. She said not for a long time. She offered the biker a ride to town since she was about ready to leave the meeting town. The guy said, "you do not know me," she said, "that is ok" then he said, "I am from New York", She said, "that is ok". He took the ride. The next day he stopped and talked to Diane and thanked her for the help. This is part of what makes RAGBRAI Work and Such a success. This is normal Iowa Hospitality.
There are 12 charters. (Groups that haul bikers for hire)
They vary in size from 60 to over a thousand
They vary in what they charge from about $150 to $1000
They vary from what they provide, a ride across state, support for bike and luggage, to renting and setting up your tent, chef preparing a meal, all the beer you can drink, and showers.
For sum this is a business and for many it is just a way to support friends and family to go on RAGBRAI.
Much like charters but usually less commercial and more local.