DES MOINES, Iowa – The fallout from the Carson King controversy has caused a split between the organizers of RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register.
Race director TJ Juskiewicz posted a message on Facebook Tuesday explaining that he and the entire RAGBRAI staff has resigned. Juskiewicz says it’s a reaction to the Register’s handling of the uproar over their story mentioning some old social media posts of King, the main whose “Beer Money” sign on ESPN wound up raising over $3 million for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
“I have always been totally transparent with the RAGBRAI Nation and have earned their trust since my first day in 2003,” writer Juskiewicz. “In these past few weeks, my efforts to communicate with our loyal riders has been consistently blocked as it did not mesh with the company’s PR narrative to spin the Carson King embarrassment. There are hundreds of questions that have been left unanswered in attempted to save face for the Register, without regard to how it effects RAGBRAI.”
Juskiewicz’ post says the former RAGBRAI staff plan to put on a new race called IOWA’S RIDE on July 19-25, 2020 across Northern Iowa, with all proceeds going to Iowa charities.
Andy Yost, the chief marketing officer for Gannett, the Register's parent company, said the ride — known as RAGBRAI — would continue. The weeklong event draws thousands of cyclists from around the country and had been founded by Register employees in the 1970s.
"We'll continue RAGBRAI's longstanding tradition in 2020 with another great bicycle ride and strong partnerships with Iowa communities to raise money for good causes," Yost said in response to an email from The Associated Press.