RAGBRAI Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Unique Route Through Iowa’s Urban and Rural Areas
The legendary RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a special route that combines the charm of the Iowa countryside and the excitement of urban areas. The ride, which attracts thousands of cyclists from around the world, is set to begin on Tuesday night in Ames, the home of Iowa State University.
From Ames, riders will embark on a journey that showcases the beauty of Iowa’s landscapes and the vibrancy of its cities. On Wednesday, the route will take cyclists to Des Moines, the state’s capital, where they will have the chance to explore the city’s attractions and soak up its rich culture.
What sets this year’s route apart is that it visits five of Iowa’s largest metro areas, providing riders with a unique experience. One of the highlights along the way is a stop in Jefferson, a small town known for its Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower. The local RAGBRAI committee in Jefferson promises “One bell of a ride,” offering elevator rides up the tower for a breathtaking view of the town’s impressive rooftop art.
For those looking to push themselves, a century loop between Jefferson and Luther offers riders the opportunity to complete 100 miles for the day. However, cyclists should be prepared for a challenging steep climb out of the Des Moines River valley between Rippey and Luther.
Weather conditions are expected to be favorable for the ride, with a high temperature around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, riders should be aware of a slight headwind along their journey.
Entertainment will be aplenty in Ames, with shows on downtown stages throughout the day. The festivities will culminate with a performance by classic rock cover band Hairball, providing a rocking soundtrack for participants. Riders will also have the chance to ride a lap around Iowa State University’s Jack Trice Stadium, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event.
As for food recommendations, Whatcha Smokin’ BBQ & Brew in Luther comes highly recommended for those in need of a delicious pitstop.
While most of the route promises smooth pavement, riders should exercise caution between Carroll and Rippey, as there may be occasional rough patches that need to be navigated carefully.
With its mix of urban and rural charm, the 50th anniversary ride of RAGBRAI is set to be an unforgettable experience for cyclists and spectators alike. So gear up and get ready to join in on the fun as the ride showcases the best that Iowa has to offer.