Meet the subjects featured in the movie

The Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort concierges can always tell when a guest from Iowa has checked into the hotel.

Every time an IA zip code pops up, owner Torie Giffin squeals with excitement and whips out her phone. As a longtime fan and rider of RAGBRAI, she’s got Iowa stories to swap and photos to page through and an all-out love for a state that has never been her address but feels so deeply rooted to her self-image.

“RAGBRAI has a way of making our world smaller and bigger at the same time,” she says.

The connections riders forge over seven days span the continent, if not the globe, she says. But the collective spirit of pure joy on the ride — and the way participants wrestle with their personal “why” for putting their lives on hold and baking in the July heat — acts as a much-needed yearly reminder of just how much we all have in common.

The new film, “Shift: The RAGBRAI Documentary,” will explore that spirit through the lens of the people who ride, the towns that host and the space RAGBRAI offers riders to find themselves — literally and metaphorically — in the middle of nowhere. Specifically, the movie follows three riders and a pair of community leaders as they overcome obstacles and reach new heights, changing their lives in the course of the weeklong ride.

Tickets for the “Shift” exclusive world premiere are on sale now!The red carpet event will be held at Des Moines’ beautifully renovated Varsity Cinema at 7 p.m. on May 4. A post-screening talk back will feature directors Kelsey Kremer and Courtney Crowder in conversation with some of the film’s subjects.

Visit or to purchase tickets or to learn more about the film.

The Des Moines Register is beyond proud to show the world what our team has been working on for two years.

We won’t offer any spoilers, but we do want to tell you a little bit more about the subjects in the documentary. Their interviews below have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.


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