Sat, Jun 9, 2012 | by TJ JuskiewiczShare
by T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI Director
We had the largest group of guest riders with the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-rider Team as we left Cedar Rapids for Anamosa. Joining the core group of weeklongPre-riders were various teams from the Cedar Rapids area including members of CoeBRAI, Hawkeye Cycling and the Marion Cedar Rapids Road Hogs. We were also joined by Lisa from Dyersville and Charlie Harper and the gang from Muscatine who has all been on three of the pre-rides. Bob, Debbie and Nicole Brancel of Brancel Charters joined us again as well. We also had a special guest, John Campbell the Sports Reporter from KCRG who has ridden and reported on RAGBRAI for as long as anyone can remember.
The day’s ride is a very easy ride for just about every RAGBRAIer and it comes at a time when tired legs need a recovery day. The ride is just 42 miles and about 1,900 feet of climb. There are a few great towns on the route that will break-up the day into some short rides with memorable stops. Plan to spend plenty of time in these towns visiting museums, shops, restaurants, bakeries and pubs along the way.
The roads were in pretty good shape and some of the roads and city streets are under repair that should be completed by RAGBRAI. The ride travels through some the most scenic areas of the state and riders can see for miles when up on some of the ridges.
Here are some facts and points of interest from each town.
RAGBRAI has never been to the Czech Village or the New Bohemia Main Street District and they can’t wait to host RAGBRAI! Riders will enjoy a small-town feel within the 2nd largest city in Iowa. There is a great cultural heritage to Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street that will be present that morning. There will live music and games; as well as the historical attractions. Riders will get to learn Czech language and compete to roll cabbages.
Breakfast will be served on the Bridge of Lions, as well as the National Czech & Slovak Museum, District merchants and St. Wenceslaus Church.Food will be provided area vendors on the bridge; as well as at the museum and by district establishments. A good variety for sure. There will be no shortage of beer either.
Some of the entertainment includes the Iowa Accordian Club, Cabbage Roll Competition, and additional lots of local entertainment.
- The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library www.ncsml.org
- The African American Museum www.blackiowa.org
- Czech Slovak Prudential Society (CSPS) – Legion Arts www.legionarts.org
- ArtBikes – really amazing work
- Historic Cherry Building
- St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church http://stwenceslauscr.com/
- New Bo City Market (under construction, but will be amazing!) www.newbocitymarket.com
- Parlor City Pub
- Smuggler’s Warf
- Village Meat Market
- Sykora Bakery
- Little Bohemia (Building was painted by Marvin Cone and was a hangout for him and his good friend Grant Wood)
- Chrome Horse Saloon
- Red Frog
- Blue Toad
- Red Barron
The community is still recovering from the 2008 flood, so preservation of the area of the city is critical to the Czech immigrant heritage it was founded on.
To get a good feel for what to expect during your visit, watch the video of the Czech Ninja:
Mount Vernon (Meeting Town)
Be prepared to eat, drink and be merry when you ride through Mount Vernon. The town will have food vendors prepared to serve you, complete with a beer garden area in the historical downtown district along with entertainment all day. So, be prepared to “Get Funky in Mount Vernon”.
Mount Vernon will have a mixture of local favorites as well as out of town vendors. The community will have a stage with live entertainment during the event along with interactive games.
Award winning local artist (and RAGBRAI rider) Dale Merrill is welding a sculpture for riders to ride under. Mount Vernon will proudly display its version of the original art form that began in Italy in the 16th century. Called Madonnari, this form of public art was originally done by street artists hoping to collect coins from passersby. Images back then were based on religious themes, and as the Madonna was a popular subject, the artists became known as the “Madonnari.”
- Abbe Creek School (On the route approx. two miles prior to city limits)
- Lisbon History Center (2 miles east of Mount Vernon in the city of Lisbon)
- Solar System to walking scale (On the route on Mount Vernon Road approx. 5 miles west of Mount Vernon through downtown Mount Vernon)
- Cornell College and King Chapel (Built in 1876, On the route)
- 3 Historical districts (Business district, Cornell College campus and residential neighborhood)
- Lincoln Highway Bridge (On the route on west side of Cornell College Football field)
- Seedling Mile (On route 5 miles west of Mount Vernon on Mount Vernon Road)
Mount Vernon is full of great restaurants and pubs. Award winning restaurant Lincoln Café is located in downtown Mount Vernon. New this year at the Lincoln Wine Bar is wood fired pizza cooked in an oven brought here directly from Italy. You could also try breakfast all day at the Skillet Café or for organic options try Big Creek Market. For a cold drink on a warm day pull up a bar stool at either Chameleon’s Pub and Grub or Scorz Bar and Grill just to mention a few. Visit www.visitmvl.com for a full list of shops, restaurants and pubs.
In 2008, RAGBRAI passed through Mount Vernon. Just days before the ride came to town there was a major downtown fire that destroyed a local restaurant. Stop in today and see the new Scorz Bar and Grill in downtown Mount Vernon.
Springville is a town of 1,074 residents that is hosting RAGBRAI for their fourth time. They will have plenty of vendors spread out through the downtown. They plan on having music, games and a local school dance team performance.
The town will be serving grilled chicken, grilled tenderloins, pies, smoothies, walking tacos and bar-b-que. There will be DJ’s at both bars in town, possibly a local music station with music and another local DJ outside the beer garden areas. There will be local school dance teams performing and possible other games.
Springville boasts three local parks for the riders to get out of the sun and relax in. You might need your rest as Springville is the last incorporated town before the overnight town of Anamosa.
This small unincorporated town has hosted RAGBRAI four times, last hosting in 2004. The town is pronounced VEE-OLA.
Fairview is another unincorporated town that has hosted RAGBRAI four times, last hosting in 2004. The town is a just a few miles outside of Anamosa. The Rainbow Supper Club has been a popular eating establishment since 1930. Fridays is Prime Rib Night at the Rainbow!
It’s a short day into Anamosa, so riders might be spending a bit more time in town. The community will be ready for the early arrivers and show them that there are plenty of this to do in Anamosa.
Anamosa’s theme is “Ride it Like You Stole It!” as a homage to the Anamosa State Penitentiary. It features a cartoon cyclist attempting to bust out of the prison.
This picturesque community is situated in the heart of scenic Jones County. The landscape is rich with rolling green hills, farms and scenic views dotted along the Wapsipinicon River. This natural beauty has been immortalized in the work of one of Anamosa’s favorite sons, Grant Wood. While Anamosa has grown and progressed since Grant Wood’s time, they have not lost the small town quality that is hard to find today.
The main food vendors and entertainment will be located in the downtown that several campgrounds can walk to or easily access the shuttle buses.
The featured entertainment will be:
- Brandon Gibbs Band
- The Janey’s
- Crazy Delicious Band
- Super Size Seven
The Main Street Stage will start at noon on Main Street:
- Anamosa ROX Squad
- Eastern Iowa Brass Band
- Papa Balloon
Anamosa is home to the National Motorcycle Museum. The Museum was founded in 1989 by people who love motorcycling. Engineers, racers, bike builders, tuners and others as far back as the late 1800′s built the groundwork for what motorcycling has become. cThe National Motorcycle Museum’s goal is to present their passion, and ours, through fine interpretive exhibitions built around a fine collection of machines and historical objects from around the world. www.nationalmcmuseum.org The museum also has an amazing display of rare antique bicycles on display. RAGBRAIers will receive $5 admission (usually $8) by show their wristbands.
Some things to do and see while in Anamosa
- National Motorcycle Museum
- Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum
- Grant Wood Art Gallery/Gift Shop
- Wapsipinicon State Park
- Starlighters II Theatre
- Anamosa Aqua Court
Have a great time in Anamosa!
Day 7 – Saturday, June 9
The team is looking forward to the last day’s ride from Anamosa to Clinton. Tune in tomorrow for another report from the Route Inspection Ride!
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