RAGBRAI downtown MC

RAGBRAI riders make their way into downtown Mason City past the Historic Park Inn Hotel on a Wednesday afternoon in 2018.

For long-distance biking enthusiasts, it looks like a path has forked and there will be a choice to make in this July: RAGBRAI, or Iowa’s Ride?

According to KCCI, T.J. Juskiewicz, who has been RAGBRAI’S director for 16 years, said he and RAGBRAI staff members have resigned from The Des Moines Register.

Now, they’re creating a new rival bicycle ride, which is slotted to take place at the exact same time as RAGBRAI.

The new ride, called Iowa’s Ride, has already launched a website for their event.

“We put our heart and soul into this event,” Juskiewicz reportedly said, but when our principles are compromised, we just can’t go on.”

RAGBRAI was started in 1973 by two Des Moines Register journalists, John Karras and Donald Kaul and sparked in popularity, becoming an Iowa cultural staple for what's now just shy of 50 years.

The resignations are in response to the Des Moines Register's handling of the story on Carson King and the chaos that ensued.

RAGBRAI made an announcement that they would be donating $50,000 to King's fundraising cause, which aroused more complaints. 

Juskiewicz said he wanted to address questions and complaints for RAGBRAI riders, but Register management advised him to remain quiet and wait for the situation to blow over, KCRG reported. His full resignation letter, which was promptly removed from RAGBRAI's website, can be read here.

KCCI is set to release more information on the situation this evening.

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