The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Question about over night towns

I was hoping that some of the more seasoned riders could tell me where the camping areas in these towns were in the past. I looked at some of the towns on Google Earth, and I don’t see too many areas which look like they can hold several thousand campers.

Thanks! Again!

16 Replies

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gas gas, January 27, 2013 at 5:36 am

schools , soccer fields, baseball diamonds . Anywhere there is open space and grass .

#470884

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Sandaltan, January 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

Be patient Ed. The planning starts today.

RIDE RIGHT

#470966

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jake d, January 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

TJ hinted the campgrounds in Des Moines would be near downtown. In ’92’, they let us camp on the grounds of the State Capital. Just be sure to lock up your bike.

#470989

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IndianHillsTed, January 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

I would be concerned about camping in downtown Des Moines too. Do you think they might have security monitoring people coming and going? I like the idea of camping there but the security has me concerned.

#470990

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Michrider !!!, January 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

I.H. Ted, yes, I think there will be security!

#470994

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“Bicycle Bill”, January 27, 2013 at 11:49 am

The year at the State Capital was RAGBRAI XX (1992), if memory serves correctly.  Another time — RAGBRAI XXV (1997)? — Des Moines put us out by Blank Park (the zoo).

Can’t remember where they had us on RAGBRAI XVI (1988)…..I was not at my best that year…..

-“BB”-

#470997

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coloradoshortbus, January 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Always try to camp near a bar so that you don’t have far to go for your first beer.

#471003

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knees36, January 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm

“Bicycle Bill”: Can’t remember where they had us on RAGBRAI XVI (1988)…..I was not at my best that year…..

We were at the state capitol grounds that year (1988) as well and there was all kinds of music and other entertainment in the downtown area (west side of the DM River)…one of the best overnights that I ever experienced up to that time. There was a wedding somewhere near the entertainment area and the newlyweds and wedding party were still dressed in tuxes, gowns, etc for the evening’s doin’s. All in all, a very colorful and fun-filled evening.

#471005

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IA_paddler, January 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

“BB”, XVI was the first at the Capitol Complex. I suggested to my boss, Jack Walters, Director of the Department of General Services, that we host it on the Capitol Grounds. He agreed, though I suspect the idea had already been discussed with IHP, Don Benson and Chuck Offenburger. SAGBRAI, mislabeled at the time as Des Moines, was more what I’d call Johnston with the mass campground at Camp Dodge. The expense of route security has had me doubting we’d ever see another downtown DSM stop. I’m very curious to see the route in this time.

Back to topic: Practically any city of 2000 or more has enough park/school grounds to manage. Guthrie Center did it twice. Though on SAGBRAI there were only about 2000 of us riding.

#471008

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coloradoshortbus, January 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I agree that the last DSM stop was great. The city really had a fantastic venue and sleeping on the capital grounds, overlooking the city was great. I am certain that we will not be disappointed.

#471009

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CyclingRoberto, January 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Ed, you sound like somebody who would love the charter I’ve used for 6 RAGBRAI’s: Brancel Bicycle Charters. Great group of people, the staff, the other cyclists. Always pick super camping areas. Check them out!

#471010

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3 Pedal, January 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

If you are not traveling with a big team or an RV that you would like to plug in, there really isn’t anything to worry about at this point in terms of camping. I wouldn’t worry about it. Tons of people simply show up without any logistical planning, and it works out fine for them.

Of course, that said, I already have my first reservation for the week confirmed.

#471033

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jwsknk, January 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

Lots of people were thinking fairgrounds with the campground, showers, bathrooms there. and a stage for a big concert and stages for smaller ones. Then I read Sunday TJ said “close to downtown”… Waterworks Park? unless it’s flodded again.

#471256

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Michrider !!!, January 28, 2013 at 8:41 am

CR: Ed, you sound like somebody who would love the charter I’ve used for 6 RAGBRAI’s: Brancel Bicycle Charters. Great group of people, the staff, the other cyclists. Always pick super camping areas. Check them out!

CR is right, Brancel does a good job. I traveled with them in 2007. Bob Brancel is a great guy!!

#471260

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Joel Taylor, January 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

Hehe. One of the bar owners in DSM’s East Village is the uncle of a childhood friend and the brother of my cubscout leader from 18 years ago.. already hitting him up to allow us to put the team RVs in the parking lot.

#471265

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