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You must arrive at the main transportation staging point in Chicago by 8:00 am
unless you are staying at the Chicago hotel the previous night, parking your car in Chicago during the week of RAGBRAI, or arriving on several specific Metra train lines (see below)

Main Transportation Staging Point
All participants must arrive at the main transportation staging point by 8:00 am unless you are staying at the Chicago hotel the previous night without your own transportation, parking your car in Chicago during the week of RAGBRAI, or arriving on several specific Metra train lines (see below)

  • Click Here for more information about the Main Transportation Staging Point.

We will not have a set departure time from Chicago. Instead, we have a set arrival time by which all participants must have arrived at the main transportation staging point in Chicago. If you have not arrived in Chicago by the time we are ready to leave (as quickly or as long as that is after the arrival time) we cannot wait for you.

Arrival Using Local Public Transportation
You will be able to arrive at the main transportation staging point before the check in time (including the walking time to the main transportation staging point from the train station) if you take any CTA L trains or busses.

If you will be arriving in Chicago on most (but not all) Metra trains, you will be able to arrive at the main transportation staging point before our staging time (including the walking time from the train station). However, some Metra trains could or definitely will arrive in Chicago after our staging time.

We can still accommodate you if you will be arriving on some of these train lines since we will still be busy checking people in and loading their bikes and baggage, but you must inform us you will be doing so when you register so that we will expecting you to arrive late. If you do not specifically inform us that you will be arriving on one of these trains we will not wait for you.

  • Click Here for the earliest arrival and latest departure times in downtown Chicago for all CTA L and Metra train lines.

Chicago Hotel and Parking Garage Transportation Staging Points
We will pick up your bicycle directly at the Chicago hotel and parking garage because they are too far to quickly, easily, or safely transport both your bicycle and baggage to the main transportation staging point yourself. You must pre-register to have us do this otherwise you must transport your bike to the main transportation staging point yourself. We will pick up bikes at these locations before the main transportation staging point since this spreads out the work to be done and ensures the fastest and most efficient departure time from Chicago and arrival time at the start of RAGBRAI.

  • Click Here for more information about the Chicago Hotel
  • Click Here for more information about the Chicago Parking Garage

We will pick up bikes at the Chicago hotel promptly at 6:30 am then immediately come over to the parking garage to pick up bikes there.

We will only pick up your bicycle and not your baggage or any participants. We will not transport any baggage because we will quickly become extremely busy after we arrive at the main transportation staging site and won't be able to adequately watch your baggage after we unload it from our truck. Having you carry your own baggage yourself ensures that your baggage remains within your control and secure at all times and that it also gets properly loaded onto the coach bus. We also won't be able to transport any participants themselves because we won't have enough seats for everyone in our moving truck. We also don't want to use the coach bus to pick up participants because it would then sit empty longer at the main transportation staging point, increasing the congestion there as well as the cost for every participant.

You will still need to transport yourself and your baggage to the main transportation staging point after we pick up your bicycle and there are plenty of options to do so quickly and easily. By far the best option is to split a taxicab with your fellow participants and we estimate this would cost approximately $12.00 (plus $1.50 per additional passenger) and is only about a 10 minute ride. Otherwise you could also take a Green Line CTA L train from the hotel or a #20 Madison CTA bus part of the way from the parking garage.

  • Click Here for more information about the CTA L Train Stations serving the Chicago Hotel and Main Transportation Point.
  • Click Here for more information about Local Bus Service in Chicago.

Bicycle and Baggage Staging and Loading
We will stage and load bikes and baggage in Chicago together as one group so that we can quickly and easily unload them together at the following drop-off locations in the RAGBRAI starting town (not necessarily in this order):

  • RAGBRAI Main Campground
  • Pork Belly Ventures camping location

Pre-Event Bicycle and Baggage Drop Off
We will be accepting bicycles and baggage at the main transportation staging point in Chicago from 11:00 am - 7:00 pm on the Friday before the start of RAGBRAI. There are many advantages to drop off your bicycle and baggage early with us, and the vast majority of participants choose to do so on Friday instead of Saturday morning.

Dropping off your bike and bagagge with us on Friday will be much more convenient and much less hectic than Saturday morning. We will have much more time to check you in, make sure your bicycle is ready for transportation, and adress your questions or concerns rather than being under pressure Saturday morning from all of the other participants eager to leave. It will also be a LOT easier to travel on Saturday morning without the hassle of transporting your bike and all your baggage all at the same time, and it may be much easier to have friends or family to give you a ride, arrive via public transportation, or drop off earlier if you work downtown.

Also - if you drop off your bike with us on Friday it will be waiting for you ready to pick up immediately when you arrive at the start of RAGBRAI! This is because we will have two separate moving trucks travel from Chicago to the RAGBRAI starting town. The first truck will depart on Friday evening after we finish loading all the bikes we received that day and drive through the night (the other moving truck will transport all the bikes we receive Saturday morning). After the first moving truck arrives in the RAGBRAI starting town we will unload all of the bikes from the first moving truck on our bike racks at your desired drop off location as appropriate (the RAGBRAI main campground or Pork Belly Ventures campground) and they will be waiting there until the coach busses arrive!

Please note that we will only transport bicycles and not any baggage to the RAGBRAI starting town. This is because there is only enough room on our moving truck to transport bicycles only and not any additional baggage. All baggage must be transported in the compartments underneath the coach busses, and you will still be responsble for loading it into the coach busses yourself on Saturday morning.

We strongly, strongly prefer that you drop off at least your bicycle with us on Friday instead of Saturday morning. If you can only drop off either your bike or your bagggage early it is significantly, by far better to drop off your bicycle with us instead of your baggage. Doing so helps assure a much, much quicker departure time for everyone from Chicago on Saturday morning by significantly shifting and spreading out the time it takes to check you in and prepare and load your bicycle which helps to assure timely arrival and departure times, minimizes staff wear and tear, and allows significantly more time to overcome any problems that might come up on the road. Accordingly, we will be offering a registration discount to participants who drop off at least their bikes on Friday instead of Saturday morning.

  • Click Here for more information about the Main Transportation Staging Point.

There are a few limitations to this service:

  • Bicycles and baggage can only be dropped off during the hours listed above.
  • We can only handle a limited number of bicycles and baggage and pre-registration is required. This way we know who to expect, we can load bikes in the proper order in Chicago for unloading in the RAGBRAI starting town, and won't overbook or miss anyone who is depending on us.
  • We may not be able to handle all bicycles that require special handling and care (recumbents, e-bikes, tandems, etc.)
  • You can only drop off your bicycle and baggage at our main transportation staging point and not at any other location such as the parking garage or supported hotel.

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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