Crawford County bans bikes & Ragbrai

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Crawford County goes big.

RAGBRAI has been banned from rolling through Crawford County.

Stinging from a $350,000 settlement paid to the widow of a RAGBRAI rider who died in Crawford County, the board of supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution that prohibits the bicycle ride or “any event of like kind and nature.”

Crawford County officials say their roads are not designed for bicycle travel, so they are too risky for use by participants in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. (Source:

The shitty roads aren’t the problem. It’s the damn bikes.

Congrats Crawford. This one’s for you:

Good times.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

17 Replies to “Crawford County bans bikes & Ragbrai”

  1. If that’s for me…piss off.

    Honest question. I don’t even know what RAGBRAI is. Don’t care enough to Google it either. Could be a bunch of boozed up morons riding home-made bikes with more wheels than brain cells.

    I saw that kind of idiocy in Hudson NY years back. Some things don’t belong on the road.

  2. straight outta the “Guns don’t kill people, people do” file.

    i love the “…and trucks.” fuck trucks.

    J, now i got a stupid sinus infection too, and the doc didn’t give me the oomph he gave you. now i get to try to race the State RR on amoxicillin.


  3. RAGBRAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. 99% of the riders are riding “normal” bicycles. Crawford County by paying this suit admits their roads are not maintained to a standard that allows safe bicycle travel. I say sue the people in ths county government that have allowed the roads to get in that condition.

    We have a road near my home that nobody will take responsibility for that has heavy gravel trucks driving on it almost daily (the gravel pit is closed on Sundays). I last rode my bike on that stretch of road 2 years ago, and there were 3″ wide cracks in the road surface back then. Others that live nearer to the road tell me some of the cracks are 4 to 5″ now and that small cars are getting their tires ripped to shreds when their oilpans aren’t getting crushed by the ridge running down the center of the lanes. Because nobody will take responsibility for maintaining the road, pretty soon there won’t be a road. There are 2 cities that changed their borders to exclude that road, and the county won’t accept responsibility either. It used to be a pretty nice road to ride a bike on on Sundays, but after 2 fatalities and countless serious injuries, nobody rides there any more. I quit going to the races because the road is so bad and I would have had to ride home in the dark. I may be crazy, but there are limits.

    Now as to the other factor that groups of bicycles are banned but not groups of cars, well that’s just bovine byproduct. Apparently the county execs have been “checking out” Iowa’s answer to the energy crisis, ethanol. It may not be toxic in small amounts but ingesting too much has been shown to cause loss of brain cells. And yes I do see the irony of disparaging excessive alcohol consumption on a web site named “Drunk Cyclist”.

  4. Whenever you think you’ve heard all the stupidest shit in the world, something like this always comes along. We now know where the center of stupid in the universe is. Not safe for bikes then how could it possibly be safe for any vehicle bigger and faster than a bike? Sound like they’re begging to get sued by more people with the admission that their shit ain’t safe.

  5. Crawford County’s admission that their road is not safe for bicycles is an admission to a failure of duty of care. Anyone who has ever been in any sort of bicycle accident while on a road in Crawford County should get together and start your class suit now. The money is there for the taking.

  6. It’s a gesture. I don’t think it’s going to hold up against any challenge based on the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution).

  7. As a road cyclist in the lower rust belt, I have an expectation of imperfect roadways and if I ride into a roadway defect, I generally consider it my fault. Everyone is Iowa has over-reacted, but then why should they be any different than the rest of America? The county probably should not have been sued. The deceased’s wife probably should not have won and the county probably should not have enacted the ban. The guy crashed his bike because he did not avoid a hazard. It’s unfortunate that he died, but ultimately, where is the responsibility? I think that RAGBRAI is great, but anyone who has been around the event knows that the terms “common sense” and “RAGBRAI” aren’t considered synonyms. This is just bad from any angle.

  8. I was on RAGBRAI the year this guy bought the ranch … in fact, we were stopped about 1/2 mile away while he was helicoptered out.
    The problem was that the road had a wide seam in the center where the two concrete halves of the roadway … failed to meet. It was on a downhill, and this guy apparently planted his front wheel in the seam and launched himself.
    It was also the second crash at that location that morning.
    Since then, other counties have taken care to patch/seal their roads to try to prevent accidents like this.
    Seems like a better approach than outlawing RAGBRAI.
    As for Crawford County, they’ll be happy to do without the revenue RAGBRAI provides, and we’ll be happy to do without them.

  9. $350,000 is pretty cheap for a man’s life.

    The fact is bicycles existed before cars and roads are not built exclusively for automobiles. Freeways are exclusively for motor vehicle travel but surface streets and county highways are subject to travel by the public in various means of conveyance.

    Sure, a one inch wide defect is not something to upset a motor vehicle but didn’t most cities retrofit iron drain grates with parallel openings to another design to prevent bicycle tires from dropping in causing death and injury?

    Litigation is what it is. Reasonable people can consider facts and find remedies. I hope the $350,000 helps the poor widow. I would have supported the claim if I sat on a jury in the case.

  10. Score one for the “bikes don’t belong on the road” crowd. I don’t know about Iowa, but in every state I’ve ridden in it’s against the law to ride a bike over the center line. Mostly because it’s a stupid and dangerous thing to do. I’ve seen people ride over the center line under exactly two circumstances; to avoid an obstacle or to pull a “watch me pass everyone on the downhill because I’m a fat bastard” move. The article mentioned a downhill, but not another crash or stopped vehicle. When some dumbass offs himself rolling his car off of a blind corner doing thirty over the speed limit does the county get sued? Do public officials try to ban cars from the road because they’re not intended for that kind of reckless driving? No, because all road users have a responsibility to behave in a safe manner. The county’s liability should end at posting speed limits, maintaining pavement in the travel lane, and painting those big bright yellow lines down the middle of the road to remind people which side they belong on.

  11. I agree. How did thousands of other people ride over the same road without any problem. It just shows that whenever there is someone to sue people will do it.

  12. Banned Crawford County Bike Ride is posted on bikeiowa. My whole team is going and alot of the Thursday Night Taco Ride gang are planning on going. How many other teams are going. I need to pass the word on to the Taco Ride guys that planned this ride so they can plan the bands and route. Please pass the links on bike iowa along to all the bikers you know. Greg