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RAGBRAI® TRANSPORTATION

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RAGBRAI® TRANSPORTATION
Updates

General Company Wide Updates

RAGBRAI Transportation Service Specific Updates for the 2023 Season

11/15/22

  • We are now accepting registrations on an initial deposit basis before our full price schedule is announced so you can be guaranteed a spot on our transportation service and guarantee your personal plans as appropriate. Click Here to register!
    • After our full price schedule is announced, all participants who registered on an initial deposit basis must also provide additional information about their Personal Travel and Lodging plans. Click Here for more information.
  • One moving truck will now depart Chicago on the Friday evening after our pre-event bicycle and baggage drop off, transporting all the bikes we received that day. If you drop off your bike with us on Friday your bike will be waiting for you ready to pick up immediately when you arrive at the RAGBRAI starting town! Click Here for more information.
    • This moving truck will only transport your bikes and not your baggage.
  • We can now also accept baggage as part of our pre-event bicycle (and now baggage also) drop off!
  • We now have a Post-Event Bicycle and Baggage Pick Up at our main transportation staging point in Chicago where you can pick up your bicycle and baggage on the Sunday or Monday after the end of RAGBRAI! Click Here for more information.
    • These bikes will be identified with a pink wristband.
  • We will be offering registration discounts to participants who drop off their bikes in Chicago on Friday instead of Saturday morning before the start of RAGBRAI in Chicago, and pick them up in Chicago on Sunday or Monday instead of Saturday evening after the end of RAGBRAI. Click Here for more information.

11/14/22

  • Web site updated with 2023 dates and information.
    • Our transportation service from Chicago to the start of RAGBRAI will occur on Sat. July 22nd, 2023.
    • Our transportation service from the end of RAGBRAI to Chicago will occur on Sat. July 29th, 2023.
  • Registration deadlines updated. Click Here for more information.
  • Information about the specific locations in the starting and ending towns updated to general information. The RAGBRAI starting and ending towns will inform us of these specific locations around May 1st and we will develop the specific routes and provide more information about them after this time.
  • Registrations are now being accepted on an initial deposit basis in order to guarantee a spot on our RAGBRAI Transportation Service and guarantee your personal plans as appropriate. Click Here to register!
  • We have added "e-bike" as an additional option for the type of bike you will be transporting. There will be an additional $30.00 fee to transport e-bikes each way. This is because e-bikes generally require special handling and care since they are are typically heavier and/or take up more room in our vehicles than standard upright bicycles and therefore cannot be transported on any outside roof racks and must be transported inside a support vehicle.
  • The pick up time for bikes from the Chicago hotel (and consequently the parking garage pick up time) on the Saturday before the start of RAGBRAI has been moved 30 minutes earlier to 6:30 am.
  • Saturday Chicago local public transportation schedules updated. Click Here for more information.
  • The fee for bicycles that require special handling and care (recumbents, e-bikes, tandems, etc.) has increased $5.00 to $30.00 each way.
  • The late fee has increased $5.00 to $30.00 each way.
  • Unfortunately we can no longer offer the RAGBRAI: America's Favorite Bicycle Ride book for sale due to supply chain issues.
  • The price of all Bicycle Illinois merchandise has increased
    • The price of Bicycle Illinois jerseys has increased by $10.00 from $79.99 to $89.99 ea.
    • The price of Bicycle Illinois Water Bottles has increased by $2.00 from $9.99 to $11.99 ea.
    • The price of Bicycle Illinois Baseball Hats has increased by $2.00 from $15.99 to $17.99 ea.
    • The price of Extra Bicycle Illinois T-Shirts has increased by $2.00 from $14.99 to $16.99 ea.
      • The additional price of oversized t-shirts (size XXL and XXXL) are still $2.00 extra.
    • The price of Bicycle Illinois Polo Shirts has increased by $2.00 from $23.99 to $25.99 ea.
      • The additional price of oversized polo shirts (size XXL and XXXL) has increased by $0.50 from $2.50 to $3.00 extra.

Major Previous RAGBRAI Transportation Service Specific Updates

Arrival In and Departure From Chicago

  • Due to conflicts with Lollapalooza we have changed our supported hotel to the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop from the Congress Plaza Hotel. Click Here for more information.
  • The check in time in Chicago before the start of RAGBRAI is now 8:00 am (30 minutes later) in order to better accomodate participants arriving on several Metra train lines. Accordingly, we will now pick up bikes at the Chicago hotel at 7:00 am and immediately come over to the parking garage to pick up bikes there.
  • Pre-Event Bicycle and Baggage Drop Off in Chicago
    • We will now only be accepting and pre-loading bicycles only onto our moving truck on the Friday before the start of RAGBRAI. We will no longer also accept and pre-load bicycles also on the Thursday before the start of RAGBRAI. Click Here for more information.
    • We can now accept any bicycles that require special handling and care (recumbents, e-bikes, tandems, etc.)
    • This opportunity is now available to all participants and no longer limited to the first 26 people. Click Here for more information.
  • We are extremely excited to announce that our new main transportation staging point will now be the Goose Island Brewery and Taproom in Chicago!
    • Sadly, the Live Grit triathlon shop went out of business and we are no longer able to use them as our main transportation staging point or bike shop in Chicago. Goose Island is close enough though that we are still able to use many of the same facilities and services.
      • We will still use the same supported hotel in Chicago and pick up and drop off bicycles directly there. Click Here for more information.
      • We will still use the same parking garage in Chicago because of its fantastic rates, but it is now too far from the main transportation staging point to quickly, easily, or safely transport both your bicycle and baggage there yourself. As a result, we will now pick up and drop off bicycles directly at the parking garage. Click Here for more information.
    • Goose Island is still easily amenable to the CTA L Green and Pink line trains but is now further from the downtown Metra train stations. If you will be travelling using Metra, it may be significantly easier and faster to travel from the Metra train station to the main transportation staging point using a CTA L train or taxicab instead of walking the entire way with your bike and/or baggage. We also strongly recommend dropping off your bicycle and baggage before the start of RAGBRAI as part of our Pre-Event Bicycle and Baggage Drop Off and picking up your bicycle and baggage after the end of RAGBRAI as part of our Post-Event Bicycle and Baggage Pick Up to make your commute even easier.
      • Click Here for more information about walking and travelling using a CTA L train of taxicab from the Metra Train Stations to the Main Transportation Staging Point.
      • Click Here for more information our Pre-Event Bicycle and Baggage Drop Off.
      • Click Here for more information our Post-Event Bicycle and Baggage Pick Up.
    • We will only be providing routes to the Chicago hotel for the long distance public transportation carriers (Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus) because you should not plan on arriving/departing on a long distance public transportation carrier immediately before or after the event.
  • We will be offering a free pre-event bicycle and baggage drop off service in Chicago on the Friday before the start of RAGBRAI! Click Here for more information.
  • The Chicago hotel is too far from the main transportation staging point to quickly, easily, or safely transport both your bike and baggage between them yourself, so we will have an additional transportation staging point directly at the hotel if you DO NOT have your own car or alternate means of transportation.
    • Before the start of RAGBRAI we will pick up your bicycle and baggage directly at the hotel at 6:30 am Saturday morning. You will still need to transport yourself to the main transportation staging point after we pick up your bicycle and baggage. Click Here for more information.
  • Parking in Chicago
    • If you are planning on parking your car in Chicago long term you should purchase your parking reservation online before you arrive. Doing this is actually less expensive than the posted rates at the garage and significantly helps assure a timely departure from Chicago. Click Here for more information.
    • If you want to pay directly at the Chicago parking garage, the kiosk there now automatically calculates and charges you the total amount owed after you leave based on the ticket you received when you entered. It no longer only issues tickets for the current day one at a time. You no longer need to purchase enough single day tickets that total to the correct amount due for the total amount of time you will leave your car parked there in advance or leave all the tickets clearly displayed on your dashboard so the garage staff knows you have paid. Click Here for more information.
  • The Metra Electric District (MED) trains to 93rd St. and Blue Island now depart downtown after our latest possible arrival time in Chicago after the end of RAGBRAI. You will not need to make alternate transportation arrangements if you were planning on taking these trains.
  • We will determine the order in which we load bicycles in Chicago depending on what makes the most sense based on where our drop off locations in the RAGBRAI starting town end up being.

Bicycle and Baggage Transportation

  • We will now use different colored identification tags to quickly and easily identify and properly stage and load bikes and baggage to be delivered to the different drop off locations at the start of RAGBRAI and in Chicago after the end of RAGBRAI. Bicycle Illinois specific identification tags must be attached to your bicycle to be transported, but people themselves and their baggage do not need an identification tag. Click Here for more information.
  • Not including carry on items, the size of each participant's baggage must be limited to 5 square feet so all baggage can fit in the baggage compartments underneath the coach bus. Click Here for more information.
  • We will now give you two separate color coded identification tags to put on your bicycle that indicate where your bicycle should be dropped off in the RAGBRAI starting town and after the end in Chicago. We will not require you to put identification tags on your baggage or yourself. We will load all baggage going to the same drop off location as one group in separate bus compartments so that we can quickly and easily unload them together. We will also have signs posted on each coach bus baggage compartment door so you know the appropriate place to stow your baggage and these signs will also be color coded to match the color of the identification tags on your bicycle. Click Here for more information.

Travel Times

  • The duration of our mid-route stop and lunch from Chicago to the start of RAGBRAI has increased to one hour from 45 minutes. Click Here for more information.
  • All actual and estimated travel times have been updated based on previous experience. Click Here for more information about the travel time from Chicago to the start of RAGBRAI. Click Here for more information about the travel time from the end of RAGBRAI to Chicago.

Arrival at the RAGBRAI Starting Town

  • We no longer need to provide a route for you to follow from our transportation staging point to the Pork Belly Ventures camping location during the week of RAGBRAI since we will have a drop off location directly there.

Departure from the RAGBRAI Ending Town

  • We will now have baggage pick up locations at the RAGBRAI baggage truck and also at the Pork Belly Ventures camping location in the stopping town before the ending town on the Saturday morning at the end of RAGBRAI. Depending on your personal plans it may be much, much easier for you to deliver your baggage to us at one of those locations rather than transporting it yourself in the ending town, particularly if our transportation staging point is significantly far away from the RAGBRAI main baggage drop off or Pork Belly Ventures. Click Here for more information.
  • We will no longer indicate our route to our transportation staging point in the RAGBRAI ending town by using painted road markings designated with "BI" directly on the road. You will need to rely on our paper cue sheet(s) and map and/or the downloaded GPS routes instead.
  • We will arrive in the RAGBRAI ending town as early as possible so you have secure, dry place to leave your bicycle and baggage to prevent us from rushing to quickly load everyone's bicycles and baggage all at the same time. We will inform you of our planned arrival time in the ending town after May 1st.
  • Based on overwhelming preference, our first stop in Chicago after the end of RAGBRAI will now be at the main transportation staging point since this is where the majority of participants will depart from. After we have unloaded all participants and their bicycles and baggage at the Chicago hotel we will proceed over to the Chicago hotel where we will drop off all participants who are staying there as well as their bikes and baggage. Click Here for more information.
    • Accordingly, we will be staging up and loading the bicycles and baggage of participants departing at the Chicago hotel first to be able to unload them last in Chicago. Click Here for more information.
  • The .pdf file of the cue sheet and map of the route from the RAGBRAI ending location and dip site to our transportation staging point in the RAGBRAI ending town will be posted on the bicycleillinois.com home page and our RAGBRAI transportation service home page for you to download onto your smartphone in case your paper copy gets lost or destroyed during the week of RAGBRAI.

Registration

  • Registration for RAGBRAI is now based on a first-come, first-served basis and no longer utilizes a lottery system. Accordingly, we now accept registrations on an initial deposit basis before the RAGBRAI route and our full price schedule is announced. This way you can be guaranteed a spot on our transportation service immediately after you initially register for RAGBRAI itself and guarantee your personal plans as appropriate. Click Here for more information.
    • Click Here for the price schedule for our initial deposits.
    • In order to assure that we receive all of your information and payment in a timely manner due to laspes in mail service all registrations using initial deposits (both before and after our full pricing schedule is announced) must be done online.
    Regardless of when we announce our final pricing schedule, March 15th will be the deadline for previously registered participants who decide
    • TO PARTICIPATE to remit their remaining balance due to us
    • DECIDE NOT TO PARTICIPATE to request a refund
  • If (and only if) you had originally registered for our RAGBRAI Transportation Service in 2020 and have not already re-registered for one of our events, we will honor the original rates for our RAGBRAI Transportation Service from 2020 for you and also guarantee you a seat until 11:59 pm CST March 15th every year until you use your credit amount through a special, additional access code for online registration. After 12:00 am CST on March 16th, you can still use your credit amount to register, but you will need to pay the difference between the rates from 2020 and the current year. Click Here for more information.
  • No refunds will be issued in the event we are unable to run an event due to circumstances beyond our control. These circumstances include but are not limited to disasters (natural and/or manmade), pandemics, war, acts of terrorism, government regulations, strikes, civil disorder, curtailment of transportation facilities, or acts of God. (Force Majure)
  • Only online registration will be available after regular registration closes four weeks before the start of RAGBRAI in order to assure that we receive all of your information and payment in a timely manner due to laspes in mail service. Click Here for more information.
  • In order to maintain a current accurate list of available seats and assure that we receive all of your information and payment in a timely manner due to laspes in mail service all registrations must now be done online:
    • After regular registration closes
    • Once only ten seats remain on either bus
  • Our policies regarding one way transportation have changed. Click Here for more information.
  • We have listed our prices from previous years for reference so you can get an estimate of what our prices will be for the current year before the RAGBRAI starting and ending towns are announced and plan your budget. Click Here for more information.
  • WE NO LONGER ISSUE ANY REFUNDS AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON. If you do not participate and would like a refund you MUST purchase an individual travel insurance plan, which will reimburse you according to the plan coverage. Click Here for more information about our refund policy.

Other Event Services

  • We are extremely excited to announce that we have now partnered with Pork Belly Ventures to provide charter services during the week of RAGBRAI. Click Here for more information.
    • We are sad to announce that Bubba will no longer be offering his charter services during the week of RAGBRAI at all any more. We wish Bubba and his crew all the best in their future endeavors, and appreciate their support through all the years. Best of luck to you guys!!!!!!

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