An Open Letter to RAGBRAI Riders: Keep Iowa Beautiful
Aaaand they're off! Another year of RAGBRAI has begun. And, with a 2020 edition not happening, it makes this (hot) year more important than ever: a return to normal. I want to express my opinion on one thing, however.
Oh, and, no this is not some anti-RAGBRAI/bike piece. Not at all. I love the concept and Iowa-centric nature of RAGBRAI. I have friends who ride in RAGBRAI. I even know RAGBRAI stands for "Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa" without Googling. I just have one gripe about the event: the minority of riders who ruin the experience for locals and leave a sour taste in the mouths of those left behind.
Dear RAGBRAI riders: Don't trash our town(s)
This year RAGBRAI rolls through, among many other cities, Waterloo. As the folks at Experience Waterloo foamed at the mouth and bent over backwards to make the experience enjoyable for the folks who will call Waterloo home for... 14 hours, they hopefully aren't just flushin' away tax dollars on entertainment and security. Hopefully, they have a sanitation company on standby. After all, there is one sad reality RAGBRAI riders (not all, but some) bring when they hit a new town: they treat it like a garbage can.
RAGBRAI riders will come, see, stay, drink... drink... drink... leave. And, in doing so, they often leave a mess. In their defense, from what I've seen, there isn't adequate sanitation provided. Perhaps Waterloo will provide riders with what's needed to keep the city clean-ish. In any event, please try to keep things clean. You are guests in the towns you roll through. Many RAGBRAI participants aren't even from the state or country. Have fun, enjoy the view and the Prince tribute band (is this RAGBRAMN now?) and please try to leave our towns in the shape you found them in.