RAGBRAI Necessities: Cookies, Pickles, and the Medicine Man

WAVERLY, Iowa — RAGBRAI is down to its final two days and 135 miles. Thursday riders made the trip from Mason City to Waverly.

The route is a bit like the State Fair on wheels, so fueling up is essential. Road side stands selling food and drink are a common site along the route.

Kale Petersen and his brothers are raising money for camp with homemade cookies and cold drinks.

“It’s going to help all of my family, my brothers my two brothers go to wrestling and help them pay for it,” says Kale, of Rockford

And he’s enjoyed the steady stream of traffic their stand is getting.

“My favorite part would probably be when we first got here seeing a whole bunch of people come in and I said ‘wow this is really going to work.’”

Another cycling favorite are pickles.

One rider says, “The pickle juice contains essential ingredients which prevent muscle cramping so every day after 3 it’s necessary to have a small glass to prevent cramping.”

Another rider says, “I never thought I’d pay 2 dollars for a pickle but if you give me a big enough pickle I’ll pay 2 dollars for it.”

Riders stopped at the Medicine Man stand to pick up pickles, drinks, and get basic first aid.

“Road rash was big on number one, some sore knees on day two, road rash again on day three,” says Jerry Reeves the Medicine Man.

Reeves is a registered nurse and he and his family have been setting up a booth along the route for 20 years. He provides first aid and basic over the counter medication to anyone who stops by free of charge.

“I know these people have nothing on the side of the road where they can pull up and say ‘hey this has been bugging me you know for how many miles’ and they know I’m out here so they look for me,” says Reeves.

So whether you’re in it for the cycling, the food, or even the pickle juice – RAGBRAI offers a little bit of everything for riders.


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