You don’t have to pedal a bike to participate in RAGBRAI. The hosting committee for the overnight stop in Iowa City is looking for volunteers willing to open their homes — or at least, their backyards — to riders when they roll into town on Friday, July 27.
“There will be a campground, and that will house riders in groups of over 15,” said Clarissa Kane of Iowa City RAGBRAI housing committee. “The housing committee deals with groups of 15 or less.”
“[Hosts] aren’t expected to provide food or transportation, just space,” Kane said. That space can be indoors or just room in a yard for overnight camping.
“The groups [of riders] will pretty much do their own thing,” Kane explained. “It’s up to a group how engaged with a host they want to be — they could spend a lot time there or they could just go there to sleep.”
Anyone interested in volunteering as a host should fill out the form on the Iowa City RAGBRAI site. Forms must be submitted by July 1.
“We’re certainly seeing more rider requests than host submissions, so there’s room for more open houses,” Kane said.
Volunteers will have an opportunity in July to contact the group of rider they are matched with before RAGBRAI hits town.
“We’ve heard lots of good stories about people really enjoying their group, and asking for the same one back [the next time RAGBRAI came through town],” Kane said.
Presumably, none of those stories come from Iowa City, or if they did, they came from people with excellent memories. It’s been 42 years since Iowa City was an overnight stop for RAGBRAI.