Sun, Jun 10, 2012 | by TJ JuskiewiczShare
by T.J. Juskiewicz
For the final day’s ride we had a few guest riders with the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-riders as they met at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. Joining the core group of weeklong Pre-riders were our friends from Muscatine and the Brancels from Wisconsin again. We were also joined by some of the RAGBRAI committee members from Anamosa and Clinton.
The day’s ride to the Mississippi River was 69 miles, but just under 2,900 feet of climb. It is a very scenic route rolling along the Grant Wood Scenic Byway for many miles. We were fortunate to have just a bit of wind throughout the morning and temp starting off in the 70s. The winds picked up late in the day as did the temps. The pre-ride team left at 7:00 am, stopped in every town and still made in to the dip site by 1:30 pm. It was a spectacular day to ride a bike!
The roads were in pretty good shape overall and some stretches in Clinton County were some of the most enjoyable stretches of smooth road you’ll find anywhere in Iowa.
Here are some facts and points of interest from each town.
The Supper Club in Hale is used to catering to cyclists and motorcyclists and they will be open early for breakfast as they are just 16 miles into the day. They will also have Bloody Marys and a beer garden to start off the last day.
Riders will enjoy climbing Cobalt Hill as they leave Hale Village.
Oxford Junction is a town rich with railroad history. Many Czech families settled into the area in the late 1800s. The museum will be open for riders to see the heritage of the town and the history of the rails that came through town. Listen for the train whistles
There will be plenty of delicious breakfast treats including homemade cinnamon rolls and handmade kolaches. You can also enjoy pancakes, eggs, French toast and fruits. Plenty of coffee and OJ in OJ!
Riders will be entertained by a continuous Zumba Dance. The music will keep the riders energized for the last day of their journey.
Lost Nation (Meeting Town)
Discover Lost Nation as it is the only city named Lost Nation in the United States. They also claim to have the best water in the nation. Lost Nation is a town of 446 residents that will be hosting RAGBRAI for the fourth time.
The town has big shade tree as you pull into town and will have plenty of picnic tables to make you feel at home. Lost Nation will plan to have some music to entertain the masses as they will have plenty of vendors to choose brunch items from throughout the morning.
So get ready to Discover Lost Nation.
The unincorporated town of Elwood has hosted RAGBRAI three prior times, the last coming in 2004. The town is planning to nourish and refresh riders at their shady park that is on the route through town. They will be selling an assortment of items and have plenty of free water and bathrooms. Any proceeds from the RAGBRAI visit will go to upgrade the park and a new roof for the community shelter in the park.
The town of 525 will work together as one community and have their celebration in their shady park. They will be serving pulled pork sandwiches and have an old fashion corn boil. Plenty of pie, fruit cups and ice cream for dessert. Pizza and smoothies will also be available. A local DJ will also be in the park for entertainment.
The Delmar Depot museum will be open for visitors and they dedicated a new memorial on Memorial Day to all branches of the service. Fittingly, the Air National Guard will be set up with their water buffalo in Delmar.
The town’s name is not pronounced like that city in North Carolina. It is pronounced SHAR-LOT. This German community of 394 residents only time hosting RAGBRAI was back in 2004 and they did a great job.
This year’s theme for Charlotte is Char-Vegas! You can bet that the 5 community groups that are working together will have great food, drink and entertainment for all in their shady city park. One of the groups involved with the food is the Women’s Fire Auxillary and money that is raised will be used for playground equipment for the park.
The famous Charlotte Locker will be providing the meat to cook including brats, pork chop sandwiches, hamburgers, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, a variety of pies, bars, cookies, and soft serve ice cream. The pre-ride team sampled the brats, pork chop sandwiches and pie and all were fantastic.
The German Band, Unbalanced will be playing German favorites.
Charlotte now has a new campground and a new Memorial walkway. There is a building in town that was used in the last “Children of the Corn” movie.
Does your town have a theme, let us know? Char- Vegas!
Charlotte is hoping to show everyone who comes through a good time, and show them what a wonderful friendly town they have. To learn more about Charlotte and what they have planned visit the city website at Charlotteia.govoffice3.com
The community will have some food and drink for riders that need that last bit of energy to make it to the river. It is also a great place to meet up with your group before the dip -site.
Clinton has opened the city to RAGBRAI riders for the fifth time, as riders dipped their tires in the Mississippi River here in 1978, 1985, 1994 and 2004. A Vision Iowa grant upped the beauty of the Riverview Park in Clinton, one of the first cities honored by the Department of Cultural Affair’s “Iowa Great Places” program.
Riders will enter Clinton on Main Ave. and turn right past 9/11 Freedom Tree Park where live music is planned. Riders will pass through the Springdale neighborhood and Ashford University on the way to the Mississippi River.
Live entertainment and vendors will be positioned around the dip site and bike shipping in Riverview Park. Also in Riverview Park, the Clinton Area Showboat Theater (CAST) will have a 3:00pm production of “Honk Jr.” by the teen cast.
At 7:30pm, CAST will perform, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The Clinton Lumberkings (Class A- Affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) will host Midwest League rivals the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at 6:00PM.
The community hopes you stay in Clinton long enough to enjoy some of the cities other attractions including the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, the Clinton Sawmill Museum, the Clinton Historical Society Museum, Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center, Eagle Point Park and the Wild Rose Casino & Resort.
A HUGE thanks to Jim and Judy Green for the support the entire week!
We will do a recap of the entire week in the near future!
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