Having a good support crew makes a huge difference in one’s RAGBRAI experience. DMU maintenance worker James Yacko and his wife, Carol, garner rave reviews from Team DMU for their service, support and Carol’s spirited cheerleading.
“Jim is very task-oriented, and I have an infectious attitude toward life,” says Carol, operations manager at Straub Corp. in Des Moines.
The Yackos focus on “keeping the riders happy,” James says. As crew, they pack the riders’ bags and tents into the team’s panel truck and then unload it all at that evening’s host. They also scout the area so they can tell team members where to find the essentials of food, showers and entertainment.
James is a good crew member in part because he’s a RAGBRAI veteran: He first rode in its 10th year, 1982, and then pedaled 19 more. He’s crewed for other teams. He knows how to get the crew vehicle packed every morning without hounding sleepy riders.
“You have to baby them somewhat,” he says. “They’ve been riding all day. You make them feel like they can rest and relax.”
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