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.
The countdown to RAGBRAI XLII is on. Six never-before-visited towns will dot the the full route of this year’s ride, which be announced Sunday, March 9. Be sure to pick ...
Don’t just ride, Bike MS Bike MS: C.H. Robinson Cruise the Cornfields is a one-day ride featuring 25, 50 and 100-mile route options and a festive, finish line celebration in Ames, ...
by Coach David Ertl I don’t know about where you live, but here in Iowa winter rages on without much of a break. With the announcement of the RAGBRAI route, a ...
The RAGBRAI route pickers once again stumped the masses this year, as just five towns won this year’s Guess the Route Contest. Several hundred entries were received in the 12th annual Guess ...
Magician-comedian Ben Ulin is the featured entertainer. This event helps promote the trail as a major regional attraction.
The Great BiCYCLE ReCYCLE is set to open February 7 at the Phelps Youth Pavilion, located in the Waterloo Center for the Arts.
This year’s RAGBRAI overnight towns have now been announced and that tells us some important things about this year’s route. This year’s ride is quite short and quite flat ...
Big Weekend at the Iowa Bicycle Summit, Iowa Bike Expo, and the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party is a big fundraiser for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.
A return to small-town Iowa is in store for more than 10,000 riders rolling across the state in RAGBRAI’s 42nd year. The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa — the ...
A new event this summer will combine two of Iowans’ most beloved hobbies: biking and bacon-eating. The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, Blue Ribbon Bacon Fest and Iowa Bicycle ...
Don't be fooled by this year's short, flat route. T.J. Juskiewicz talks about how the RAGBRAI team chose this year's route and what riders can expect. Look for more details about this year's route and a full map at RAGBRAI.com on Sunday.
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
Runners Pete Kostelnick and Richard Kresser finished running the 423-mile RAGBRAI route Saturday by stepping into the Mississippi River at Fort Madison.
Bike riders who took part in The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, dip their tires in the Mississippi river to mark the end of the journey.
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