As you are likely aware, registration for RAGBRAI XLI opened Nov. 15. As of this writing, five CoeBRAI veterans have signed on – myself, Mike Albers, Bob Beer, Judy Floy and Jim Lund. With the planned downsizing from 30 to 20 riders, others may want to follow suit to secure your spot for 2013.
First, however, some bad news. Despite earlier assertions otherwise, fiscal reality dictates a rate increase. Please know that this is not something I take lightly. In fact, it’s a last resort after trimming every conceivable budget item – including driver salaries. In addition, after riding for free for each of the six tours I have served as captain, I will now be paying to participate just like everyone else.
Fees for Team CoeBRAI will remain be $450 in 2013 – a $50 increase. Of this, a non-refundable $225 deposit is due March 1 along with a completed (online) entry form and signed waiver. The remaining $225 will be due July 1.
The fee includes the official $150 RAGBRAI entry fee, transportation to and from Cedar Rapids and the starting/ending towns and (new this year) within each overnight town, some meals, and snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at each overnight stop. We will again be producing a Team CoeBRAI jersey, but it will no longer be included in the entry fee. Information on ordering a jersey will be provided after the first of the year. This will be completely optional.
Instead of renting a bus for transportation to and from the start and finish, we are renting two vans for the week, which is the main reason for the reduced group size (and also a factor in the diminished economy of scale). While our out- and in-bound transportation will be less lavish, we will now have the luxury of a mode of transportation in the overnight towns as well as the possibility of gatherings in the meeting towns along the route.
One other change of note is elimination of the pre-ride pasta dinner the Friday before departure. We’ll still make provisions for those wanting to pre-load and I might even serve up my own spaghetti (2012 participants can vouch), but $7.50-per-person dinner at Coe seemed an easy item to cut given our current fiscal dilemma.
With that said, CoeBRAI veterans should have received an e-mail from RAGBRAI with registration instructions. RAGBRAI virgins will first need to create a profile at the RAGBRAI Web site. You will then want to join the group CoeBRAI (#32344) before submitting your entry. Please do not send any payments to RAGBRAI. Instead, those should be sent to me, soy capitan.