RAGBRAI XLII Countdown – July 20-26, 2014
Friends of RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI news team

A look at the route after Des Moines



Chances are, you will enjoy the party Des Moines is throwing for the tens of thousands of visitors Tuesday. But the ride isn’t even halfway done, so here’s a breakdown of the remaining days of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

DAY 4, WEDNESDAY: Des Moines to Knoxville

Miles: 49.9

Climb: 2,920 feet

Depending on how early riders roll out of Des Moines, they can stop in Runnells for mimosas at the Rosey Acres Winery or something a little stronger at the town’s two bars. The winery’s tasting room is an 1890 bank, where co-owners Tom and Karen Diltz pour samples of Iowa-grown Paradise Mist (which goes in the mimosas), Rising Sun and a deceptively named red called Attitude.

Riders will see snow bales, carolers, mistletoe, sleighs and Christmas cookies as they ride. The town’s theme is “Hills, Chills and Wheels.”

A cyclist traffic jam might slow things down in Monroe, where a line will probably stretch for miles outside the Jersey Freeze. The stand’s soft-serve ice cream has a loyal following, including the folks at Thelma’s Treats, who pack the ice cream into the snickerdoodle and chocolate-chip cookie sandwiches sold in central Iowa.

The ride to Knoxville isn’t hilly, exactly. But it’s definitely “bluffy.” Along the way, take a break at Iowa’s largest lake, Lake Red Rock. The creation of the lake once caused six towns to be flooded.

Entertainment: Listen to 13 Iowa bands. Main stage entertainment includes Kevin Gordon, the Diplomats of Solid Sound and Brother Trucker. Opening acts include Joe and Vicki Price, Matt Woods, the River Monks, Chad Elliott, Thankful Dirt, the High Crest, Dustin Busch Trio, Typical Males, Rumble Seat Riot and Retro Jukebox.

DAY 5, THURSDAY: Knoxville to Oskaloosa

Miles: 52.0

Climb: 2,808 feet

Before he became a soldier, buffalo hunter, bouncer, miner, boxing referee and sharpshooter, Wyatt Earp was just one of the neighborhood kids in Pella. His boyhood home is part of the Pella Historical Village near the town square. Pella’s famous tulips will be gone by July, but riders can still enjoy the city’s other Dutch-themed attractions. For example, riders can visit the country’s largest working windmill.

Bussey’s claim to fame is a two-story mural that local artist Todd Spaur completed last year to thank the town for helping him recover from a near-fatal car accident. He was featured last summer on the “Today” show and in a Des Moines Sunday Register feature. He’ll greet RAGBRAI riders as they roll by.

The sound of the Oskaloosa city band will welcome visitors to town, just like it has for more than a century. The paid musicians are carrying on a local tradition that started in the 1860s and never stopped. Their “new” bandstand was built in 1912.

Bookworms can visit the well-stocked Book Vault shop in a former bank.

Real worms can make themselves useful on fishing hooks in nearby Lake Keomah.

And history buffs can pay their respects to Becky and Jennie, the mules that rest in peace at the Nelson Pioneer Farm Museum. They pulled cannons during the Civil War before returning to the 1844 Nelson homestead, where they died years later at the ripe old ages of 34 and 42.

Entertainment: The Nadas and the Fishheads perform on the Oskaloosa main stage, with the Oskaloosa Municipal Band warming the crowd up beforehand.

DAY 6, FRIDAY: Oskaloosa to Fairfield

Miles: 52.0

Climb: 1,222 feet

The road out of “Osky” winds through some of the smaller towns on this year’s route, starting with unincorporated Cedar and then on to Fremont (pop. 743), Hedrick (764), Martinsburg (112) and Packwood (204).

Take a break in Fremont, where there will be livestock face cut-outs and a large hay bale pig to feature in your photos. Antique lovers will enjoy visiting Preaching Pickers near Hedrick. The antique store was featured on HGTV’s show “West End Salvage.”

The city of Packwood will display customized welcome messages on its sign. The town purchased this sign with the money it raised when RAGBRAI went through previously.

Then there’s Fairfield, the Jefferson County seat that Oprah Winfrey called “America’s most unusual town” recently. Over the past decade or so, both the Maharishi School of Management and the neighboring community of Maharishi Vedic City — named for an Indian guru — have drawn thousands of folks to the area to practice transcendental meditation and sustainable living. Fairfield is a mix of small-town Iowa and the world. There are more restaurants per capita than San Francisco, and at last count, they represented cuisines from more than 10 cultures.

Entertainment: The Spazmatics perform on the main stage. Peru Circus performers, 34th Army Band Sidewinders and the Jefferson County Green Band open.

DAY 7, SATURDAY: Fairfield to Fort Madison

Miles: 63.0

Climb: 2,427 feet

During the final dash toward the Mississippi, riders can see the 19 mounds where woodland Indians buried their dead in a patch of land that overlooks the Des Moines River in what is now Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. The park was originally named Big Bend, for the curve in the river, but was renamed to honor Iowa Congressman John Lacey, who campaigned for conservation decades before Teddy Roosevelt took up the charge. (“Keosauqua” is a Native American term for a snowy or slushy stream.) Keosauqua is also home to the Van Buren County Courthouse, Iowa’s oldest courthouse and the nation’s second-most continuously used courthouse.

Bonaparte, like its namesake, is small but mighty. The riverfront district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, and locals have preserved many of the old red-brick buildings. The Meek Pants Factory is now a B&B. The old grist mill is now Bonaparte Retreat, a restaurant that could feed a French army.

When in Birmingham, visit a log cabin built in 1923. The cabin is not connected to Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln is tied to the town because his supposed first love, Ann Rutledge, lived in the area.

The 406-mile ride ends in Fort Madison, where riders can dip their tires at “one of the most beautiful and accessible riverfronts in Iowa,”
Fort Madison chamber coordinator Sarah Cantrell said.

Fort Madison’s theme is “Bikes, burgers and paradise — the Florida of Iowa.” The town says its location in Iowa is similar to Florida’s location in the U.S.

Entertainment: On the main stage in Fort Madison see the Cherry Gun Band.

1 Response on “A look at the route after Des Moines

Gustav Speed

July 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

Leave to the DSM Register to not publish the exact ROUTS and STREET closures for Ragbrai. Typical of the lack of interest of the “paper” in Iowa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • Guttenberg ReCycles to Create Bike Sculptures for RAGBRAI

    As the town of Guttenberg prepares for RAGBRAI, the creative folks in towns are helping spruce up the town while reCycling! The Shepherd Gallery and the Creativity Center is organizing a ...

  • New Iowa by Trail App - Coming Soon!

    Time to get serious about your Spring training! This new app by the The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation could help - Iowa By Trail iOS mobile app and website will ...

  • Mayor's Annual Ride & Run for Trails is Saturday in Des Moines

    On April 19th, join the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department for the 2014 Mayor’s annual Ride & Run for Trails. In addition to the annual ride, the Parks and ...

  • RAGBRAI XLII Expo Gearing Up With Great Vendors!

    You can find it all at the RAGBRAI Expo, where RAGBRAI begins! Rock Valley Iowa serves as the host for the expo, held from 12:00 noon until 9:00 p.m. on ...

  • Tour de Cure: June 7, 2014 in Clive, IA and June 28, 2014 in Coralville, IA

    Tour de Cure is more than just a cycling event. It’s a life-changing event. A day full of fun and excitement where riders of all levels join forces in the ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: The Secret to Training for RAGBRAI

    by Coach David Ertl I can already see the responses to this title and several will likely involve beer.  But to your dismay I will not be talking about that aspect of ...

  • RAGBRAI Week-long Rider Registration Deadline is April 1

    Your week-long rider registration must be finalized by April 1 (registration, waiver, and payment).  All week-long rider minor waivers must be postmarked by April 1.  Any groups will weeklong riders ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Registration FAQ

    The RAGBRAI XLII weeklong rider registration deadline is coming up ( entries due April 1) so we thought answer some of your most commonly asked questions to help make the ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Saturday, July 26: Independence to Guttenberg

    Day 7: Independence to Guttenberg And now: The hills. The final day’s 3,000-foot climb is just about twice as high as most of the previous days. So if riders didn’t know ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Friday, July 25: Waverly to Independence

    Day 6: Waverly to Independence The route zigzags northeast toward Tripoli (pronounced trih-PO-la, by the way) and then curves past the Sweet Marsh Wildlife Management Area, a refuge for deer, doves and various ...

Latest Videos

  • Spring fever? Here's how to get your bike road ready

  • Tour the RAGBRAI XLII route with a flyover

  • RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz shares tidbits about this year's ride.

  • RAGBRAI announced its third shortest and second flattest route in its history on Saturday. Watch the full announcement party.

  • The overnight towns are announced for 2014

  • RAGBRAI and Bacon Fest are teaming up to create the "Bacoon Ride," a new event coming in June 2014.

  • Take a look back at the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa in 2013.

  • Nana's Delicacies served fried Jell-O, fried Klondike Bars, and Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers just outside of Hedrick.

  • RAGBRAI announced the 2014 logo on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

  • "Christmas in July" was a hit in Runnells last week during RAGBRAI 2013

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy