The Model to Follow
More than 200 other rides have been established throughout the years taking their inspiration from RAGBRAI, including bicycle rides in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Maryland, Ohio, Maine, Missouri, Illinois, Virginia, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Delaware, New Mexico, Michigan, North Dakota, New York, California, Washington, Arizona, Wyoming, Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Hampshire, District of Columbia, Massachusetts and North Carolina.
A Worldwide Attraction
RAGBRAI riders have come from throughout the world, primarily because of newspaper coverage and articles written in newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer-Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Diego Union, Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, St. Petersburg Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Major magazines such as TIME, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated, Ford Times, Smithsonian, Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic’s Traveler, SHAPE, Bicycling and many others have offered coverage of RAGBRAI. Foreign magazines including VELO Tonic in France, and Sportrad and National Geographic’s Globo in Germany have written about their experiences after biking across Iowa.
One key to RAGBRAI’s success could be Bil Gilbert of Sports Illustrated who came on the second ride and wrote enthusiastically about it, prompting thousands to come. In 2005, Sports Illustrated named RAGBRAI as one of the 25 Summer Essentials, things that absolutely must be done before Labor Day.
Nationwide Broadcast Coverage
RAGBRAI garners an incredible amount of media attention. Not only did state newspapers and television stations cover every mile, but the national coverage was far greater than ever before. RAGBRAI has been featured numerous times on ESPN’s SportsCenter and Cold Pizza as well as NBC, ABC and FOX national news programs. RAGBRAI has also been discussed at length on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno and ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”.
In 1986, the NBC-TV TODAY Show was on the ride and in 1987 featured RAGBRAI on the Sunday evening news. CBS Television included a report on RAGBRAI XVI in 1988 on its Friday evening news. The NBC-TV TODAY Show returned to the ride in 1995 and aired a live segment after spending three days on the ride. And in 1997, CBS reporter Harry Smith rode part of RAGBRAI XXV and prepared a report that aired on Travels with Harry. The networks have produced at least three half-hour television shows featuring the ride. IPTV has repeatedly broadcast coverage of the ride through the years and in 1997 produced a RAGBRAI 25th Anniversary video. The gourmet menus and chefs of Team Gourmet have been featured in Saveur magazine., Midwest Living magazine and just recently on the Food Network channel. A German broadcast network joined the ride in 1996, along with a news team from Rochester, Minnesota and a large contingent from the United States Air Force.
8,500 Annual Riders
In fact, the ride has become so popular that RAGBRAI officials now limit the number of week-long riders to 8,500 in order to maintain a sense of control and insure fewer injuries.
275,650 People Pedaled 16,907 Miles
Since its inception, more than 275,650 people rode at least some part of the 36 RAGBRAIs. Nobody knows how many people have been touched in some way along the 16,907 total miles covered by RAGBRAI since 1973.
Largest Daily Rider Counts
In 1988, an estimated 23,000 riders had taken part in the leg of the ride from Boone to Des Moines by 3 p.m. In 1992, an estimated 17,000 riders rode the leg of the ride into Des Moines. And in 1997, an estimated 20,000 riders pedaled into Des Moines from Creston.
10 bicycle shops now participate in RAGBRAI.
Visited 780 Towns
In 36 years, RAGBRAI has passed through 780 Iowa towns, spent the night in 125 different overnight towns and with completion of the 25th ride in 1997, has been in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. RAGBRAI has been through 80 percent of the incorporated towns in Iowa.
We have been busy adding new vendors to the RAGBRAI XLI Expo roster! From bike gear to mementos to cycling related non profits, there is something here for pretty much ...
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to #Oklahoma relief. Spread the word. #gannettcares. Our hearts go out to Oklahomans affected by the tornado, and their friends and families.
If you have committed to riding RAGBRAI this year, it all starts with Tip #1, the RIGHT stuff. And when I say stuff, I mean bicycle.
It is with great sadness to report that the Dream Team lost one of their former members in a tragic house fire this week. Nyakouth Choul, 17, was found ...
Where are people coming from to ride RAGBRAI? What types of bikes are they riding? How many Iowans? Average age of riders? Lots of information about ...
As the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa looms in the near distance, two notions and a question scurry about in my mind. The question, of ...
Several people have asked for Coach Ertl's Training Plan in an excel file, so here it is
I had a frightening thought as I looked out the window this past weekend and saw 3 inches of snow on the ground. RAGBRAI begins in two and a ...
High Country Shipping in cooperation with RAGBRAI is pleased to offer GEAR Forward! Ship your camping gear and luggage to RAGBRAI and have it waiting for you at the start of ...
Looking for the RAGBRAI XLI Overnight Towns web sites? What bands will be playing that night? Facebook pages? Twitter links? All that information is a click ...
Check out these 10 tips for a safe RAGBRAI.
Paul "Mr. Pork Chop" Bernhard of Bancroft is a legendary RAGBRAI vendor. His son, Matt, now runs the family biz and is on a quest for perfectly cut chops.
RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz unveils the full 406-mile route for July's installment of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI director, talks with The Des Moines Register's Lynn Hicks and Michael Morain shortly after the announcement of overnight towns for RAGBRAI XLI.
RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz reveals the overnight towns for RAGBRAI XLI at the RAGBRAI route announcement party Saturday, Jan. 26, in Des Moines.
RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz reacts to Lance Armstrong's doping confession. Armstrong has ridden RAGBRAI several times in the ride's 40 years.
RAGBRAI 2012: Amy Clark of Midlothian, TX, drew a crab as she helped Chalk the Walk in Mt. Vernon. She was enjoying her first RAGBRAI.
RAGBRAI 2012: Laura Krouse of Rural Mt. Vernon, and her dog Lucky came out to watch the RAGBRAI riders pass by.
RAGBRAI 2012: A group of kids high-five RAGRAI riders on their way into Springville on July 27.
RAGBRAI: A look back at 40 years of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
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