RAGBRAI XLIV Countdown – July 24-30, 2016
Friends of RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI news team

Des Moines stop: By the numbers



RAGBRAI is a statistician’s dream any way you slice it — by the number of riders, the miles traveled, the feet of climb, the calories burned. It’s the kind of thing that appeals to a certain kind of brain, especially when that brain is gliding down the road in a helmet with plenty of time to think.

When we asked RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz to rattle off a few stats, his first response was this: “The magic number of RAGBRAI is the number ‘ridiculous.’”

But he started off our by-the-numbers list with a stunner:

32,000: The number of cyclists the Iowa State Patrol counted on the 56 miles between Boone and Altoona during the ride two years ago. If that were a city, it would rank 16th on a list of Iowa’s biggest, right between Bettendorf (33,217) and Mason City (28,079). For further comparison, there are about 32,000 students currently enrolled in the Des Moines public schools.

105: The heat index on that day two years ago. If Tuesday is cooler, Juskiewicz said, the cakewalk from Perry to Des Moines could easily become the single biggest day in RAGBRAI history.

$20: The price for one of the official host-city T-shirts from the East Village shop Raygun. The design features a bike wheel rising over the city skyline and the tagline “Des Moines: Even Better in Spandex.” Cyclists can have the logo silkscreened onto their own jerseys for $10.

10,000: The riders with official registrations. The slots filled up months ago.

49.9: The miles on Tuesday’s route from Perry to Des Moines.

1,308: The feet of climb on Tuesday’s route, about twice the height of the state’s tallest building at 801 Grand.

19,025: The lines of computer code in RAGBRAI’s interactive app, which features 11 different maps, weather forecasts, news alerts and more photo galleries than a rider can shake a pork chop at.

41: The ride’s age. If your Roman numerals are rusty, that’s XLI — one year more than last year’s extra-large anniversary.

750: The number of local volunteers helping with Tuesday’s events in Des Moines.

20: The number of beers on tap at the Iowa Craft Beer Truck, parked Tuesday at the Principal Riverwalk downtown.

4 feet, 5 inches: The height of Little Kato, one of the contenders in the wrestling matches scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Longest Yard bar in Dallas Center, Tuesday’s midpoint town. Another contender is Starla Love, formerly of Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling.

4: The number of “Jersey Boys” who will sing a short set in Tuesday night’s entertainment lineup. The cast is in town for a run Wednesday though Aug. 4 at the Des Moines Civic Center.

4: The number of previous times Des Moines has hosted riders overnight — on the first year, in 1973, then 1988, 1992 and 1997.

4: The number of international media outlets that interviewed RAGBRAI Director Juskiewicz — in a single day — after he announced that Lance Armstrong would return to this year’s ride. Reporters from CNN and ABC called, too.

1990s: The decade in which Tuesday night’s headliner bands reached their peaks. They are Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge.

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts

  • David Ertl Returns as RAGBRAI Training Coach!

    Here it is 2016 and the RAGBRAI XLIV route has been announced. Once again, I’ll be back as your RAGBRAI online coach to help answer your questions and help ...

  • RAGBRAI 2016: Route heads to scenic southern Iowa

    Don’t let perceptions fool you. The XLIV RAGBRAI course will lead cyclists across the state’s scenic southern terrain, but it’s not as daunting as ...

  • Honor RAGBRAI creators with a statue

    The amorphous summertime spree known as RAGBRAI is beautiful and revolutionary precisely because it’s in perpetual motion. Before “Star Wars.” Before anybody cared about ...

  • Bacon Biking Fever Returns!

    Ride for El Cured! The third annual BACooN Ride - the world's best bacon biking event - will be Saturday, June 18.

  • Download the New RAGBRAI Android App

    Check out our all-new Android app! RAGBRAI planning just got easier.

  • How to Watch the Route Announcement Live

    We can't wait to find out where we'll be spending our summer! Here's how to watch the 2016 RAGBRAI Route Announcement live this Saturday, January 23.

  • Guess the Route Contest Results

    The RAGBRAI XLIV Guess the Route Contest preliminary results are in! See where your fellow riders think we will go this year.

  • Guess the Route Contest for RAGBRAI XLIV is Now Open!

    Do you have what it takes? Can you guess the eight overnight towns for RAGBRAI XLIV? Enter the contest and see how close you come!

  • Make Plans to Attend the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party

    Do you want to know the 2016 RAGBRAI Route? Attend the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party. This year the big event moves to CAPITAL SQUARE (400 Locust Street) for two levels ...

  • RAGBRAI Registration for 2016 Is Open!

    Been thinking about great Iowa hospitality and all that RAGBRAI has to offer? Relax! Registration is now open for RAGBRAI XLIV!! If you’ve registered before, take note: the username and password ...

Latest Videos

  • Register reporters talk with RAGBRAI founder John Karras about the announcement that RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register were working to create a statue of Karras and fellow founder Don Kaul.

  • RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz talks about the southern Iowa 2016 route. "We haven't been to some of these towns in a long time!" he says.

  • Miss the live RAGBRAI 2016 overnight town announcement show? Join Kyle Munson, Michael Morain as they chat with RAGBRAI riders and towns vying for a spot on this year's route. And learn the overnight towns, of course!

  • Watch as RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz unveils the 2016 RAGBRAI overnight towns. The route is heading to the southern cities of Glenwood, Shenandoah, Creston, Leon, Centerville, Ottumwa, Washington and Muscatine.

  • Get the details on this year's RAGBRAI overnight towns in southern Iowa.

  • Join the "Tr3s" amigos for the 2016 BACooN ride June 18 on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. There will be a plethora of bacon.

  • What will the route go for RAGBRAI 2016? Register reporter Kyle Munson and Michael Morain try again to get the early scoop.

  • This year's logo theme is "It's time to take a break."

  • We made a new camel friend, played human foos-ball and did the required slip and sliding. Relive the 2015 RAGBRAI ride with some of our favorite moments. And get ready for the 2016 route announcement party in January.

  • "This is my gift to you guys," said pool owner Bud Henson whose house is right along the RAGBRAI route this year in Moscow, IA.

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).

© 2016 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy