Route Inspection Riders Ready to Roll
by T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI Director
The Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team arrived in Sioux City this afternoon preparing for their seven-day journey across the state. One of their first visits was checking out the dip site at the Missouri River boat ramp in the main campground at Larson Park. It has been quite a few years since riders have had the opportunity for a true starting town tire dip, without a long ride out to the river.
Jim Green, Dan McKay and I will ride the entire RAGBRAI route 50 days in advance of the event. Green, the retired RAGBRAI director, and McKay, the State RIDE RIGHT Chairman, were appointed in 2005 to head up the Route Inspection Ride. This year’s ride will encompass 442 miles across the state, from Sioux City to Dubuque.
We plan to spend an entire week inspecting the route and meeting with the local RIDE RIGHT Committees, informing them what to do with the information gleaned from the inspection ride. They also will be looking at traffic patterns since they will be riding the route on the same day of the week that RAGBRAI will ride on later this summer. A big thanks to Rich Ketcham of Geobike for devising a new high-tech GPS tracking system for this year’s pre-ride.
The team met Saturday evening with the local Sioux City RIDE RIGHT Committee to discuss Sunday’s pre-ride and safety concerns in their community. For the past several years, the Ride Inspection Team has been joined daily on their trek by the local committee members as well as local bike club members and bike shop owners that are willing to help. The Sioux City Committee are expecting quite a few cyclists to join the group riding to Storm Lake in the morning.
Sioux City is shaping up to be a great starting town. National recording artists SMASH MOUTH will get RAGBRAI off to a rocking start when the event begins its 38th ride on July 24th. With two number one hits – Walkin’ on the Sun and All Star – to their credit, SMASH MOUTH has consistently impacted radio with recognizable hits like Then the Morning Comes, Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby, and a cover of The Monkees classic I’m a Believer. The outdoor show is free for registered participants and starts at 7pm on Historic Fourth Street in downtown Sioux City.
Historic Fourth Street will also be the location of the RAGBRAI Expo. The RAGBRAI Expo is the largest consumer bike expo in Midwest attracting 20,000 visitors the day before the riding begins on RAGBRAI. To see a map of Sioux City RAGBRAI, click here.
For those that want to ride for a day and help with the inspection, a schedule is listed below. You have to provide your own transportation back to the starting location and battle Dan when there is only one slice of apple pie left at the diner.
Sunday, June 6
Ride from Sioux City to Storm Lake
Mileage: 68.5 Miles / Feet of Climb: 3,687 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from Missouri River Boat Ramp, Dip Site on Hamilton Blvd
Monday, June 7
Ride from Storm Lake to Algona
Mileage: 79.0 Miles / Feet of Climb: 1,083 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from the King’s Pointe Resort
Tuesday, June 8
Ride from Algona to Clear Lake
Mileage: 59.9 Miles / Feet of Climb: 1,068 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from Algona High School
Wednesday, June 9
Ride from Clear Lake to Charles City
Mileage: 51.8 Miles / Feet of Climb: 1,180 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from Clear Lake High School
Thursday, June 10
Ride from Charles City to Waterloo
Mileage: 82.0 Miles / Feet of Climb: 2,635 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from Charles City High School
Friday, June 11
Ride from Waterloo to Manchester
Mileage: 61.6 Miles / Feet of Climb: 2,635 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from Lost Island Water Park
Saturday, June 12
Ride from Manchester to Dubuque
Mileage: 47.5 Miles / Feet of Climb: 2,591 Feet of Climb
Ride starts at 8 AM from the Delaware County Fairgrounds
Be sure to tune in each day for the daily updates and photos from the route inspection ride on the RAGBRAI web site and FACEBOOK. You can also follow the pre-ride adventure and learn interesting tidbits about the route by following me on TWITTER by following @TJRAGBRAI.