A big Thank You to all the riders, support personnel, and volunteers who made RAGBRAI XLIII such a huge success.  We had 4735 respond to our online surveys providing a great review of the ride.  Thank you for taking the time to provide that feedback.

Here is a quick summary of responses to the survey:


  • 33% were first time riders (down just a bit from last year)
  • 22% rode just part of the week (also down just a bit from last year)
  • 5½% rode the Gravel Loop through Pomeroy
  • 34% rode the Karras Loop through Radcliffe
  • Over 80% of riders like to start their day between 6:00-8:00 AM
  • 70% spend $25-$50 per day on RAGBRAI
  • 50% of registered riders used the bike license plate we provided with the ride credentials
    33% aren’t interested in using the bike license plate
    The rest didn’t know that’s what it was
  • 41% prefer to eat breakfast in the first pass-thru town
    20% eat before leaving the overnight town
    20% eat after the first pass-thru town
    Just over 2% don’t realize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  • 4½% are vegetarian, and not quite 3% eat only Gluten free foods
    Just like last year, 43% might eat a vegetarian meal if offered, and 50% never would
  • 51% of riders used a personal support vehicle to carry their bags, 33% used a charter, and 11% used the RAGBRAI Baggage Truck – all very similar to years past
  • Shade and being close to the showers are the most important features of a campground
  • Respondents were all across the board for total training miles
    Over 27% said they trained more than 1000 miles for RAGBRAI XLIII
  • 69% of those responding were male, and 60% are between the ages of 45-65


The top 3 most serious rider safety challenges identified in the survey are:

  1. Erratic or unpredictable riding
  2. Communication and signaling intent
  3. Riding left of center or riding in a large group

The excessive use of alcohol ranked close to the bottom.  Several commented on the large amount of vehicle traffic on the route this year, and how slower riders should stay more to the right side of the road so others don’t have to cross the center line to pass, or pass on the right.  Another issue mentioned often in the comments was the large number of riders with loud sound systems on their bikes.


Riders particularly liked:

  • Human Foosball
  • Efficient shuttles
  • Having everything in close proximity to each other (camp, food, showers, entertainment)
  • Camping by the lake in Storm Lake
  • The feel of small town Iowa

Riders would like to see the following changes:

  • More information on town maps showing where the food is located
  • Better signage for where the baggage truck is located
  • Shorter mileage for the last day
  • Free water bottle filling stations in the campground and pass-thru towns
  • More convenient shuttle stops, and don’t like having to pay for shuttles
  • Provide more showers so you don’t have to wait in line for 2 hours


  • 44% were driving support for the first time on RAGBRAI
  • 63% like to leave town before 8:00 AM
  • 38% purchase supplies once they arrive in town
    33% along the way
    29% before leaving town
  • 47% are from the state of Iowa
  • 50% drove a personal vehicle
    38% drove an RV or pulled a camper
  • 58% were male
  • 38% were between the age of 55-64

Thank you again for making RAGBRAI the great event that it is.  We hope to see you July 24-30, 2016 for RAGBRAI XLIV.  Here are some other important dates to remember:

  • Registration for RAGBRAI XLIVopens November 15, 2015
  • RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party and Iowa Bike Expo is January 23, 2016
  • Weeklong Rider Registration closes April 1, 2016
  • BACoon Ride Three is June 18, 2016
  • 2016 RAGBRAI Expo is July 23, 2016iPhone photos 08292015 023 iPhone photos 08292015 035 iPhone photos 08292015 039 iPhone photos 08292015 042

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