• Posted Jan 10, 2022

Iowa Native and RAGBRAI veteran Matt Phippen will oversee the day-to-day logistics of RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI®, Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, hires Matt Phippen, Iowa native and longtime friend of RAGBRAI, as the director of operations.

Phippen, formerly a sales leader at Scheel’s Iowa City, has participated in RAGBRAI indirectly and directly since 1990 when his family hosted riders in his front yard. He rode his first RAGBRAI in 1998 and has since participated as a vendor, served on a town planning committee, and most recently served as a sponsor and pre-ride advisor.

“RAGBRAI has been a major part of my life since I was 10 years old,” said Phippen. “I am honored to play a part in this iconic ride, tell the story of Iowa communities, and get more people on bicycles so we can continue the legacy of RAGBRAI for years to come.”

As the director of operations Phippen will oversee the day-to-day logistics of RAGBRAI including route planning and logistics, town planning, and partner relationships with city, state and county officials, law enforcement, and medical personnel. The responsibilities formerly held by Dieter Drake.

Dieter Drake, who joined RAGBRAI in December of 2019 and lead the team through a global pandemic and a successful RAGBRAI event in 2021, has been elevated to events operation director over the cycling division for Ventures Endurance, a subsidiary of Gannett’s USA TODAY Ventures event team. He will work closely with Phippen and the Iowa team as an advisor while he leads the day-to-day operations for Ventures Endurance’s newly acquired Ride the Rockies bicycling event in Colorado where he lives.

“Matt brings a lifetime of RAGBRAI passion and enthusiasm and we're happy to have him as part of the RAGBRAI family,” said Drake. “We're expecting him to contribute immediately to RAGBRAI and to succeed in our mission to produce safe and successful bicycling events while bringing value and excitement to communities across the state of Iowa.”

Phippen rounds out a six-person full-time RAGBRAI team based in Iowa. Preparation for the 2022 ride is already under way with the route being announced on Friday, January 28th at the annual RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party at Hy-Vee Hall. Tickets for the event are on-sale at

About Us

RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest recreational touring bicycle ride in the world. Started in 1973 by Des Moines Register reporters John Karras and Donald Kahl, RAGBRAI is a seven-day bicycle tour that goes from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River with stops in overnight towns along the way. One of the largest tourism events in the country, a 2008 study by the University of Northern Iowa estimates RAGBRAI’s economic impact between $24 million to $25 million for the weeklong ride

UPDATES - Jan 21st 2022

Since the announcement and his first day on the job, Matt has been on two podcasts discussing his transition.

2120 Podcast - James Mayhew and Matt Phippen talk about Matt's life at Scheels and his transition to RAGBRAI as Director of Operations.

Just Go Bike Podcast - Andrea Parrot, Kathy Murphy and Matt Phippen discuss RAGBRAI, braiding hair and more.



We are pleased to see Matt become an official part of the RAGBRAI family. Matt has been part of RAGBRAI's operations for years through a Scheel's partnership and participating in the annual pre-ride that takes place in June.

As an Iowa native, Matt understands the "Iowa Nice" and will make RAGBRAI continue to be the envy of every other state ride out there.

We saw Matt's passion and enthusiasm when we rode the 2021 RAGBRAI pre-ride last June. He played a big part of the daily logistics then.

Plus he is a fan of gravel kike Dieter was. We know gravel is not everyone's thing, but Iowa has a lot of it as we might as well promote it.

We are looking forward to working closely with Matt and his team this year and for years to come.






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