OTTUMWA — Logistics is one of the many important aspects of RAGBRAI that may not seem glamorous, but it is integral part of running a successful event. The main job of Gene Rathje and Skip Stevens, co-chairs of the Campgrounds Committee is to place various RAGBRAI groups throughout the Ottumwa campground in an organized and seamless manner.

"We are expecting 200-300 RVs this year," said Rathje. It'll every camping spot will be jam-packed and then some."

Ratjhe is currently coordinating with larger groups, like the Pork Belly Ventures to decide what part of the park they will stay in for the night.

"The Pork Bellys are the largest group with 1,500 people," said Rathje. "They're from Council Bluffs but they draw riders from all over the state."

Rathje worked on the Campgrounds Committee in 2009 when Ottumwa was an overnight town and he said that experience has helped him in planning this year's efforts.

"It's helped me out a lot, looking at the diagrams from various camping grounds from last time," said Rathje.

Now the committee is starting to contact groups who plan on camping and placing them in certain quadrants of the park.

"We've already placed the two largest groups and we will continue to place other groups in certain parts of of the park," said Rathje.

According to Rathje, the weather is his main concern.

"My main concern is that we don't have a lot of heavy rain fall before or have a thunderstorm during RAGBRAI," said Rathje. "That leaves a lot of water and mud. The biggest worst case scenario would be a thunderstorm. Last time there was a storm at 4 p.m. for about an hour but we worked through it and everyone was safe."

Volunteers are needed for the Campgrounds Committee as the day begins at 6 a.m. when buses and trucks start rolling through town.







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