The former RAGBRAI organizers who’ve been planning a competing event have changed the dates of their week-long bike ride across the state so that it no longer happens at the same time as RAGBRAI. Former RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz says the timing of “Iowa’s Ride” was changed after some bike teams told him their members were divided over which ride to support.
“It was the overwhelming biggest concern of all the riders,” he says, “so we decided to make a change.” A month ago Juskiewicz and the full-time RAGBRAI planning team quit after Juskiewicz criticized The Des Moines Register’s handling of reporting about Carson King. The group immiedately announced it would be planning its own bike ride at exactly the same time as RAGBRAI.
The first-ever “Iowa’s Ride” will now start on July 12th, one week before RAGBRAI. It will also go the opposite direction, starting on the Mississippi River and riding to the west. Juskiewicz says he plans to announce the final route through northern Iowa later this month.
“We’ve got a blank slate as we plan this route and in talking to the different towns, they’re totally excited about the flip,” Juskiewicz says. Juskiewicz says he hopes the smaller ride can visit towns that can’t manage an event the size of RAGBRAI.