Rock Rapids, Iowa — A bicycle ride that had its beginnings in a dispute at the Des Moines Register is still on as of right now, but as of now the future is uncertain.
It all started in 2019. TJ Juskiewicz was the director of RAGBRAI until 2019, when the newspaper ran a story about beer-drinker-turned philanthropist Carson King. The story mentioned some racist Tweets that King had made when he was just 16. King said he deeply regretted the tweets. But that wasn’t enough. The beer company that had partnered with him severed ties with King, and pulled the plug to match his donation to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Juskiewicz and the entire RAGBRAI staff walked out because the newspaper was not allowing them to comment on the situation.
Juskiewicz and his staff decided to start a competing ride, and called it “Iowa’s Ride.” Iowa’s Ride 2020 had been scheduled for an overnight stop in Sheldon on Friday, July 17th, and would have ended in Rock Rapids on Saturday, July 18th, 2020. But then the world changed when the COVID pandemic struck and the ride had to be canceled. Then Juskiewicz decided to move to Tuscon, Arizona to help run bike rides there, which introduced more uncertainty into the mix.
We talked to Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase, who is helping to organize that community’s efforts for Iowa’s Ride and he tells us the status of the ride as far as he knows.
But he says the future of the ride is VERY uncertain.
He tells us how they are proceeding in Rock Rapids.
Mayor Chase says five hundred to a thousand people is a nice big afternoon, but not quite what they expected.
Iowa’s Ride will be from Dubuque to Rock Rapids on July 18-24, 2021. Sheldon will be the overnight town on Friday, July 23rd, with the ride ending the next day in Rock Rapids. He says some people may make the short trip to Le Mars for the start of RAGBRAI, which starts the next day, Sunday, July 25th.