Mon, Jun 6, 2011 | by TJ JuskiewiczShare
The RAGBRAI Route Inspection pre-riders started the day’s adventure at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Atlantic, Iowa. The Fairgrounds, along with Sunnyside Park, will serve as the main campgrounds in Atlantic this summer.
We had a few extra riders today that started the ride with us including Leon Hodges, the retired pastor who has ridden 25 RAGBRAIs and Dave Chase, the attorney that has ridden 29 RAGBRAIs. Dave rides with Team Trust Me, comprised of bankers, lawyers and car salesmen. We also picked up Julie Bachman (ones of the chairs for the Manning committee) and Jean Stadtlander of Manning for some of the middle miles of the day.
The day’s ride is about 66 miles and just under 5,000 feet of climb. We were fortunate that the winds were favorable for us, but the temperatures rose to over 100 degrees by late in the afternoon. The hills were plentiful, but only a few were real tough. On Sunday, I stayed in my middle ring the entire day, but found myself dropping down to visit granny on a few of today’s hills. The after-rewards of the hills were nice as we enjoyed some nice down hills that followed the climbs.
They are lots of nice towns between Atlantic and Carroll for the riders to enjoy. The big 19-mile stretch between Kimballton and Manning will have plenty of services including vendors and the Iowa Air National Guard water buffalo to support the riders.
Here are some facts and points of interest from each town.
RAGBRAI has visited the Danish Village of Elkhorn five previous times, the last time occurring in 2008. One of the big attractions of Elkhorn is the Authentic 1848 Danish Windmill that was imported from Denmark 35 years ago and rebuilt by the community volunteers. The windmill will feature Viking invasions again and folk music for all to enjoy. People will be invited to tour the windmill for free that day. Another must see attraction is the Danish Immigrant Museum that tells the story of Danish immigrants.
Food booths will run the length of the street with Danish treats including Abelskivers and Danish Crepes as well as traditional RAGBRAI breakfast items like pancakes.
The town will soon be home to the Norseman Brew Pub. It is also interesting to note that Elkhorn has more electric car charging stations per capita than any other city in America. Elkhorn, along with Kimballton, was also named an Iowa Great Place this year.
Riders will enjoy the breathtaking and picturesque view as they coast down Creamery Hill into the Danish Village of Kimballton, making the town the first to host RAGBRAI seven times! The Little Mermaid Fountain and the Hans Christian Andersen Park is home of the newly recast bronze statue of the Little Mermaid of Copenhagen Harbor. The town also boasts a few buildings, the Immanuel Lutheran Church and Kimballton Town Hall, are listed on the National Register of the Historic Places. Kimballton, along with Elkhorn, was named an Iowa Great Place this year.
The RAGBRAI pre-riders were treated to great German-style hospitality as they rolled into Manning thanks to our good friends LeRoy and Freda Dammann. Manning first hosted RAGBRAI in 2006, so they are excited for the return visit from the riders. The town of 1,490 people have some great activities planned in their park, downtown and the Authentic 1660 German Hausbarn on the eastside of town.
The Manning City Park celebration will feature a variety of great food vendors including award winning pies. Live entertainment will include local bands and the Nuns on the Run. The Legion is located in the park and they will host a beer garden.
The German Hausbarn will be a must see for all. The Hausbarn was original constructed in 1660 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It was dismantled, boxed and shipped to Iowa. In 1999, a German master carpenter worked with local volunteers to reconstruct the Hausbarn, or farmer’s house. There will be no charge to tour the Hausbarn or Heritage Park during RAGBRAI (usually $6.00), but they will gladly accept free will donations.
To celebrate their German heritage, the Hausbarn will be serving homemade brats, German potato salad, beer-sauerkraut-fudge cupcakes and a variety of German beers. The Barry Boyce Polka Band will have people dancing and singing. The Hausbarn/Heritage Park facility also features a huge air-conditioned conference center with seating for several hundred riders trying to beat the heat and get out of the sun.
Perhaps the most unique thing planned in Manning is a giant corn maze that carves out the RAGBRAI logo, the state of Iowa and the RAGBRAI XXXIX route. The volunteers have been busy push mowing the corn to create the unique maze image. They said the corn grew 3 inches in one day, so they are constantly working on the corn maze for the rider’s enjoyment.
This summer will mark the first time RAGBRAI has visited Templeton, Iowa. How we missed this town for this long is a mystery.
The Templeton Rye distillery is a must hit stop along this year’s route for their 4th Annual Rock & Rye Celebration. They will be offering tours of distillery, free group photos in front of the distillery, as well as small samples of Iowa most sought-after product, Templeton Rye Whiskey. There will be music and entertainment outside of the distillery as well as a beer garden benefiting the Town of Templeton.
The pre-riders were treated to some great stories during a private tour of the Templeton Rye distillery by Keith Kerkhoff, the Assistant Master Distiller whose family has been making the Good Stuff for generations. Keith was an All-American at Buena Vista College and went on the play football for the Bears and Cowboys in the NFL. Some of the pre-riders ended their tour with a sample of the Good Stuff.
The Town of Templeton will also have activities in Templeton Park. Aged Spirits, a local band that plays blues and rock, will be entertaining RAGBRAIers looking for some fun. Templeton residents will also be showing off their wheels as they display some classic cars. A real still will also be on display for all to see, the church will be giving tours and maybe a few more surprises.
This is the second time for Dedham to host RAGBRAI, the last time was over 30 years ago. This Carroll County town of 266 people is known as a farming community with a rich sports tradition. Dedham fielded legendary teams in fast pitch softball and 16 inch slow pitch for Iowa was born here as the hosted the state tournament in the late sixties. The community also has a strong tradition of tug-of-war or competitive rope pulling which continues today.
Two of Dedham’s historical sites are the Southside Lounge & Bar, operating since 1914, and Donna’s Café, feeding the town since 1958.
This is also the second time for Willey to host RAGBRAI with the last time happening over 30 years ago. You will want to stop in this town of 103 residents after the big climbs out of Dedham. You see the towering St. Mary’s Church that was built piece by piece that was carried by horses up those steep hills from the railway in Dedham. The church will be open for tours and surrounding the church will be a great assortment of food vendors. The town will also have a beer garden for riders.
Mayor Randy Huegerich greeted the pre-riders and was showing off the town’s fire fighting apparatus. The 1908 American-LaFrance fire cart was purchased by the city in 1927 and restored in 2006. The fire cart will be on display during RAGBRAI.
Willey also has the only open-aired post office in the state.
Monday’s ride will end in Carroll, but the fun certainly will not end. Their theme is “Bet on Carroll, Let it Ride”
If the day is as hot as it was today, riders will enjoy the Carroll Family Aquatic Center. The large 11,245 square feet area provides plenty of room to bring friends and family to enjoy some fun in the sun. The Aquatic Center is close to the main campground in Grant Park.
The campgrounds are relatively close to downtown, which has been recently renovated. The downtown features great choices of restaurants. One of the top restaurants and places to see is the Santa Maria Vineyard & Winery in downtown. The winery recently opened in a renovated historic building along the Old Lincoln Highway. Riders will enjoy relaxing on the outdoor piazza.
The Carroll RAGBRAI Committee has planned some fun entertainment that day starting off their main stage near the Carroll Depot in downtown with Pianopalooza. The Full Blown Woodies will then take the stage leading up to RAGBRAI fan favorite, the Johnny Holm Band. The entertainment is free for all riders.
Carroll’s Entertainment Schedule
The Full Blown Woodies
The Johnny Holm Band
Day 2 – Tuesday, June 7
Hopefully the winds will continue and the temps will be kinder on the ride from Carroll to Boone. Tune in tomorrow for another report from the Route Inspection Ride!