Please be sure to read this information at least once, in its entirety before checking in with Padre's Cycle Inn.
Arrival in Le Mars and Check-In
Camp in the start town will be set up by early afternoon on Saturday, July 24. Feel free to come get checked in any time after 2:00 pm. Just find the Padre’s trailer and shaded canopy area in camp. Our shuttle and bicycle truck will also arrive in camp on Saturday afternoon, hopefully by 4:00 pm at the latest. We’ll be camping at Rejoice Community Church. If you are not arriving in the Padre’s shuttle from St. Louis, you will be able to check in when you arrive in camp to get your packet and Padre's wristbands.
Wristbands and Baggage
When you check in, you’ll receive your tent number. Inside your tent, you will find a packet with a wristband and two baggage tags for Padre’s Cycle Inn, each with your tent number. If you are sharing a tent, you will find two packets inside the tent - one for each person. Please verify that you have two baggage tags and one wristband, and that the number written on these matches the tent number you were assigned. These items are in addition to your event wristbands. These signify that you are a Padre's rider. Only Padre's riders are permitted in the Padre’s Zone or to use any of our amenities. Please attach your baggage tags to your two bags as soon as you enter camp, using the zip ties included in your packet. Please also wear your Padre’s wristband all week.
Each rider is allowed two bags, each weighing 40 lbs or less. As you begin to pack, you'll realize that you’ll have ample space for what you need. Remember, you don't need to pack a tent, mattress, pump, chair, or even towels. These are all provided for you. So, what you really end up needing to bring will be less than you may think. If you are undecided between one and two bags, opt for two and split the weight up. Consider saving some space to come back with souvenirs you may acquire throughout the week. As with any camping event, we could have bad weather at times. We’ll do our best to store luggage in a dry location, but at times it’s impossible to keep everything clean and dry. We recommend you keep this in mind when bringing luggage and when packing your bags. If your bag isn’t weatherproof you may want to pack your items in zip lock or other bags inside your luggage. You may also want to avoid bringing luggage that you don’t want to get dirty.
You should pack your baggage as if you were boarding a plane. Since all baggage goes into a truck or trailer, Padre's cannot transport items not in a bag or case designed for transport. Additional fees may be assessed for overweight baggage or loose items, so be sure to weigh your items before you arrive. If you absolutely need to be over the limit, contact us in advance to make special arrangements. All checked bags must have a Padre's Baggage Tag affixed with the provided zip tie. Please note that overweight bags, extra bags, untagged bags, and/or loose items are subject to a $75 extra baggage fee per item.
After a long day’s ride, you’ll enjoy the shaded relaxation area, which we call The Zone. In the Zone you’ll find a chair to sit in, complimentary snacks and refreshments, and cooling fans. Each morning, in the same area, you will find freshly brewed coffee, starting around 6:00 am. There will also be water, lemonade, ice, and sports drink powder. One cooler will be solely for ice. When getting ice from the cooler, please use the ice scoop, and sanitize your hands before doing so to avoid the spread of germs. Do not grab ice while wearing cycling gloves.
We will also have an electronics charging area with outlets and USB ports. Please remove your electronics and cords once they are fully charged. Note that your phone will charge faster if powered off while charging. The charging station is not monitored, so please do not leave your items unattended. Padre’s is not responsible for lost or damaged items left on the charging station. The charging station will run from 6:00 am until 8:00 am, and from 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm. While we can’t control what each town does for recycling, we do have green trash bags in camp. Please put only recyclables in the green trash bags. Thank you!
Our goal is to have the Zone area ready for you by 2:00 pm each day. Sometimes, vehicle route traffic makes this impossible, but we will do our best to achieve this goal for you. Chances are, you’ll still be enjoying the food and activities along the route at that time anyway. However, if you think you will arrive in town earlier than most riders, you may consider using our Early Items bins, which will be set out each morning in the Zone. You can place a sling bag or similar in these bins - place your shower necessities and your change of clothes in the bag. The Early Items bins will be easily accessible each afternoon in the Zone when you arrive.
Tents and Mattresses
You will have a high-quality Kelty tent with a twin size air mattress, fully set up for you daily. You’ll use the same tent and mattress each day, and your tent number will be on your Padre’s wristband. You should have no issues with your tent, but if you do, please find a Padre's crew member. Crew members will be easy to spot in their bright yellow Padre's shirts or vests. Any crew member should be able to help you resolve any issues. If your air mattress needs more air when you first enter your tent, please write your tent number on the "Mattress Top-Offs" board on the front of the trailer, and those will be topped off before bed time. If you have an issue with your air mattress in the middle of the night, there will also be handheld inflators set out each night in the zone, if you need to top yours off. Keep in mind that if your air mattress is slightly deflated by morning this is normal; it does not mean your mattress is defective. However, if you wake up on the ground, please let us know! We want you to have the best rest possible. It’s a good idea to check your air mattress when you arrive at camp each day. This way, if there is an issue, we can get it resolved before you are ready to retire for the night. Each day, in the Zone on the front of the cargo trailer, there will be a place for you to write your tent number if your mattress needs a top-off. You’ll need to bring your own bedding. We recommend a set of twin mattress sheets, blanket or sleeping bag, and a pillow. For reference, the mattress dimensions are about 75”x39”x10”.
Please do not wear cycling cleats inside your tent. The cleats will damage the tent bottom, which could result in you waking up with water on your tent floor if it rains. It's best to remove any shoes before entering your tent. It will prevent dragging in grass and debris into your home-for-the-week. A pair of flip-flops works well for this and for the showers. Please do not eat, drink, or smoke inside the tent. Open food inside the tent will attract ants, and you’ll have them in your tent all week. It is our goal to have your tent ready for you, with your luggage inside, by 4:00 pm each day. Since all luggage is typically kept stacked in our box truck until it is delivered to your tent, it will not be available until it’s delivered to your tent. If you know you’ll be arriving in camp before your luggage will be available, remember to utilize the Early Items bins mentioned above.
Our crew will begin breaking camp at 6:00 am each day. Please plan to be out of your tent with your gear by 7:00 am each day. When you are finished inside your tent, please open the valve on your air mattress. This will allow the mattress to self-deflate by the time the crew breaks down your tent. You do not need to fold or roll the mattress up. Just let it lay flat in its place; it will self-deflate. If you have any issues getting your mattress to deflate, please tell a Padre’s crew member. Please remove all personal items, including your bedding from the tent each morning. You can set your luggage outside your tent, or you can take your gear to the 26' moving truck as early as you are ready, so that the crew knows your tent is ready to be taken down. However, chances are that a crew member, working hard for those tips, will grab them as soon as they are outside your tent or if they see you walking with your luggage. If you set your gear outside your tent but don’t want anyone to grab it, place your helmet on your bags. No one will take your bags if they see your helmet on top. In order for our crew to break camp, transport everything to the next town, and have the next camp ready for you, we must begin taking tents down as early as possible, in order to achieve our Zone and tent completion times for you when you arrive in the next town!
Showers and Towels
Each evening, you'll be provided with two new shower towels, which will be laying out on a table in the Zone. The towels are eco-friendly, recycled, and disposable. But have no worries; we have used these towels for many years with virtually no complaints. The towels are strong and absorbent, but to ensure that they do the trick, feel free to take two towels each day. Save a used towel after your shower. They are ideal for wiping your bike or other gear down in the morning or should you need to work on your bike at any time. Or use it as a doormat for your tent! Each day, you may find a variety of shower options, depending on the town. Each of our camp locations this year will have hot showers available near camp, if not on site. Many shower facilities offer a discount for each shower use if you have your own towel, so don’t forget to grab yours when heading to the showers. Most shower trucks have shower stalls that are clean, private, and hot. But there are other options as well, such as schools or a YMCA.
Bikes, Racks, and Maintenance
We will have several bike racks to hang your bike each day. This is the best place to put your bike while in camp. Bike racks are first come, first served, but there should be enough space for all riders, depending on bike types and accessories. If you have a trike, simply park it near the bike racks. Please do not bring your bike inside your tent or vestibule, or lean it against your tent. This can damage the tent and get grease inside, which will ultimately end up on you and your things. We’ve not had issues with theft in the past, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, feel free to bring a lock and secure your bike to the rack. If you have mechanical issues with your bike, there will be a limited set of tools to borrow. Please return any tools you may borrow. Your used shower towel will work well for wiping things off at this time. We will also have several bike pumps available. Please keep the bike pumps in the bike rack area, so that riders can easily locate them.
End Town Procedures
The luggage, bike truck, and optional shuttle will all be in the parking lot of NelsonCorp Field (LumberKings Stadium), Just follow the Padre’s arrows. The Padre’s shuttle to St. Louis departs promptly at 3:30 pm. If you are riding the shuttle, this means you'll need to be in Clinton with enough time to remove your pedals, load your bike, get a shower, and hopefully have a bite to eat - all before 3:30 pm. Even if you are not riding the shuttle, you’ll want to be back by 3:30. After that any remaining bags will be left unattended, as the luggage truck needs to return with the shuttle. Needless to say, you'll want to spend less time in the towns on the last day, and/or leave earlier than normal that morning.
On Saturday, July 24, at 5:00 pm, we will hold an informational meeting to review the ins and outs of Padre’s camp and to answer any questions you may have. There will be a second meeting on Friday, July 30, at 5:00 pm, to review checkout procedures and other important details of the last ride day. There will be drawings at these meetings for attendance prizes.
Gratuity & Crew
The Padre’s crew will typically be wearing bright yellow Padre’s Cycle Inn shirts or vests when they are working. We estimate they’ll be hauling as much as 10,000 lbs of luggage twice each day as well as setting up and tearing down camp. If you need anything feel free to grab one of them. Since our crew begins working before 6:00 am, we give them most evenings off, but we will always have someone around the Zone that is there to help you until 10:00 pm each evening. There will be a tip jar out in the Zone at the end of the week. If you feel the staff has done a good job for you, feel free to show them your appreciation with a tip in the jar. The tips are for the crew (all workers, not Dave or Jimmy). If you’re wondering what an appropriate tip amount would be, our crew typically averages about 15% in tips. If you need to leave before the last day and want to leave a tip for the crew, please see Suzie, Jimmy, or Dave.
OPTIONAL ROUND-TRIP SHUTTLE INFORMATION
If you are riding the round-trip shuttle with Padre’s Cycle Inn, please read the information below regarding procedures.
Hollywood Casino & Hotel St. Louis
777 Casino Center Dr,
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Check-In and Bike Loading
Bike check-in will be Friday, July 23, between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. There will be no bike loading on Saturday. You must load your bike on Friday because of the lengthy amount of time needed to carefully load each bike. When you arrive with your bike, you’ll find us in the northeast corner of the parking lot. Look for the 26’ moving truck. We’ll give you a parking pass and direct you to the bike truck. If you elected to collect your RAGBRAI packet at check-in, you’ll receive that as well. The staff will then securely load your bike and wrap it for transport with a moving blanket. Pedals MUST be removed before your bike can be loaded. Please remove your pedals BEFORE you arrive to check in your bike because some pedals are on so tight that a bike shop has to remove them, and we will not have a mechanic or tools there to assist you. Be sure to bring tools for this and pack them in your luggage so that you can replace them when we arrive in the start town and remove them again at the end town. Please feel free to bring more padding or protection if you do not think that one moving blanket will be safe enough. If your bike is already in a case, you may leave it in the case and place the case on the truck. We will transport the case with us all the way to the ending point where you can place your bike back into it for transport back on our truck. To avoid damage to your bike and belongings, please be sure to remove sensitive or fragile items beforehand, including pedals, bike bags, cycle computers, mirrors and anything else which takes up more room than the normal bike frame or that may be easily damaged. Padre’s is not responsible for delicate items left on a bike. Pack these items with your baggage; do not leave them hanging on your bike. Rear racks do not need to be removed, nor do your handle bars need to be turned. Again, please be sure to bring tools to replace the items you have removed when we arrive in the start town, as we have very limited tools and may not have what you need.
Free Long-Term Parking
All shuttle riders have access to free long-term parking. The parking area where you loaded your bike on Friday is the designated long-term parking area for Padre’s riders. Be sure to place the Padre’s Cycle Inn parking tag on the dash of your vehicle when you park it there for the week.
The shuttle departs the casino promptly at 6:00 am on Saturday, July 24. The motor coach will be in the same location that the bike truck was when you loaded your bike. It is imperative that we leave on time, in order to ensure that everyone has time to get unloaded and set up in Le Mars, and has an opportunity to check out the expo and entertainment Saturday evening. Do not be late on Saturday morning. We cannot make exceptions for departure times. If you are late, you will be left behind. Please realize that it takes a while to load the luggage into the cargo hold of the motor coach. Thus, if you arrive right at 6:00 am, we cannot depart promptly at 6:00 am. Be sure to give yourself enough time to park, walk to the shuttle, and load your luggage. We suggest arriving at the casino as early as 5:00 am but no later than 5:30 am. The shuttle does have a bathroom, but we will make several rest stops along the way. Anticipated stops will be in Columbia, then again in St. Joseph for lunch at Bandana’s. Your lunch (meal, non-alcoholic beverage, and gratuity) is included in your shuttle fee. Please contact us as soon as possible if you need a vegetarian meal (baked potato) for lunch. We have requested a shuttle with wi-fi and 110v outlets, but there’s no guarantee, so please plan accordingly for the ride. Be sure to bring your luggage with you on Saturday morning to be loaded into the luggage compartment of the motor coach. Don’t forget to pack any tools you’ll need to reinstall your pedals and any other devices you choose to remove during transport.
If you are coming from out of town Friday night, consider booking a room at Hollywood Casino Hotel. To reserve a room there, click here to book using the room block and lock rate (while they last). If you’d rather call to book, please call 855-785-4263 and use the code: PADG21A. If interested in booking there, be sure to book your hotel asap. If that books up, there are several other hotels nearby, in the Earth City and Maryland Heights area. You may also want to consider an overnight stay on Saturday, July 31, as we do not recommend trying to catch a flight out of town the day we return. Because of traffic and other unforeseen circumstances, we cannot guarantee a specific return time. Additionally, we don’t recommend driving a great distance upon return to St. Louis. You will have just completed over 400 miles on your bike in a week’s time. We recommend you get some rest before making a long drive back out of town.