Duane and Kim Frett are two Marion residents who will play a very important role in RAGBRAI 2012. The Fretts have volunteered to host a group of cyclists overnight as they pass through Cedar Rapids. But this isn’t the Fretts’ first rodeo. Duane and Kim also hosted a round of bikers several years ago. “We had two groups,” said Kim, “one from Vegas and one from Iowa.”
Kim and Duane really enjoy volunteering their time- and their lawn- during RAGBRAI. Duane said his favorite part of volunteering as a host is meeting the different groups of cyclists. “We enjoy meeting people and learning what their lifestyle is about. It’s just fun!” said Duane. Duane, an avid bicyclist, has ridden part of the RAGBRAI circuit in past years, and now looks forward to volunteering on his own turf.
Kim says the only downside to hosting cyclists is when the riders have to leave. “You have so much fun when they’re here!” Kim said. “Everyone is so appreciative of everything. Even the littlest thing!”
In order to have a pleasant camping experience, riders must also be respectful of the hosts and their property. Duane says one big thing riders can do to help is to pick up after themselves before they leave, and be mindful of everyone who lives in the area.
The Fretts have some advice for novice hosts. “Have a big enough water heater!” Duane said. “You will go through it quick!” Kim added, “We always provide gift bags with Gatorade power bars and water, and we put a garden hose out for the riders. They get hot!” The Fretts added that, although many bicyclists carry their own, it is wise to stock up on extra towels and soap.
Kim and Duane agree that the best advice they can give 2012 RAGBRAI hosts is to simply enjoy hosting. Kim said, “Be ready to let them relax. Don’t plan a whole lot for them to do. They’ll be tired after riding all day.”
Host volunteers are vital to the success of RAGBRAI. Duane said, “It’s just a more relaxing option. It’s just a more homey atmosphere.” Riders depend on a safe place to camp, and the opportunity to cool off after a long day’s ride. If you are interested in hosting riders for the 2012 RAGBRAI overnight, and you live in the Cedar Rapids area, contact Cedar Rapids RAGBRAI today.