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  • Wed July 14 2010
  • Posted Jul 15, 2010
This just in from my favorite breakfast stop on RAGBRAI. I'm sad to see they will not be coming this year :( updated Friday July 16th: A response from TJ, RAGBRAI's director. as stated by Ralphael Gugliotta, owner of Mama Ralphael's... Last May we drove to Iowa to find you seven great breakfast spots along the route. We consistently encountered private property owners willing to share their yards with the riders, but deeply concerned about fees and fines. In the past, overnight cities charged vendors for a spot in town but provided services in exchange. Those who set up outside the city paid the land owners and provided their own services. This year there appears to have been a statewide campaign by RAGBRAI to have the overnight towns extend their range throughout the county and charge all vendors (with police support), even though on private property and giving nothing in return. RAGBRAI charges each town an exorbitant amount for the "privilege" of hosting an overnight stop, and has instructed these towns to pass the cost onto the vendors, who have no choice but pass it onto the riders. Because the fees for local buddies are less than half, they've essentially created monopolies for the local groups. They've cut out the competition without which, as you all know, quality and fair prices suffer. After riding RAGBRAI for over twenty years and never getting a decent breakfast, I started cooking for you all nine years ago and it's been a blast - as much fun as riding RAGBRAI. But the new fees ($750 to $1050 per day) added to what we already pay the property owners ($200-$400 per day) and the porta potties ($300 per day), plus the threat of fines and imprisonment all sadly outweigh our desire to continue feeding RAGBRAI. I was told by riders on BRAG and Cycle South Carolina that RAGBRAI is violating interstate commerce laws. If any legal beagles out there want to help Mama Ralphael fight this, please contact me. 828-835-9291. This is a sad ending to 30 plus years of participating in the (once) greatest cross-state bike ride in the world. Tuan & I will miss you all. Mama Ralphael

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