2017 Overnight Towns Guess

I know this thread will get replaced when the 2017 topic is created but with registration opening in 3 weeks, why not.

My guess, a northern route but a little further south then the last northern route that got so close to Minnesota. A couple of larger towns also since last year so many were small.

Lake City

137 Replies

jwsknk, December 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm

I’m thinking 2018 would be better for Ames. A new piece of pavement going north to Gilbert should be done then, 2 big construction projects on camps also finished. The renovations around Jack Trice Stadium and Reiman Gardens should be done next spring, but the AD is talking about the next one, adding a RV lot for tailgaters and permanent bathrooms someplace in that area. Sounded like across University Ave from the stadium.


trknight, December 6, 2016 at 6:37 pm

jwsknk, you may have a good point regarding Ames. Yes, if it moves forward, inputs (hookups, permanent bathrooms) for the new RV lot for tailgaters (east of the stadium, across University), perhaps, would not be completed prior to RAGBRAI in’17. Also, a walking bridge from that area to the stadium, across University, is proposed and could be done by ’18(?). All in all, the area around and between Jack Trice Stadium and the Iowa State Center would be a fabulous area for RAGBRAI! Maybe they could even do a movie night (Breaking Away would be a great one) in the stadium which would be really cool! All I know is RAGBRAI is long overdue for an overnight in Ames…


T. Gap Woo, December 6, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Here’s a clue (wishful thinking!) from the ads on the top of the Home Page of the website: “Join us on our cruise from Missouri to Mississippi!” —> a route that follows a few of the other major rivers in Iowa.

Start at Onawa on the Missouri, ride upstream along the Little Sioux River to Spencer, portage over the Iowa Continental Divide to Emmetsburg and join up with the West Branch of the Des Moines River. Follow the West Branch to its confluence with the Des Moines River and follow that river downstream to Keokuk. I haven’t worked out the logistics and total mileage, but it could be close to 500 miles. Potential overnight towns could include Cherokee, Emmetsburg, Ames metro area, Des Moines metro area, Eldon and Keosauqua. A steamboat may have some difficulty in some places, but there’s nothing a bicycle can’t handle!

Speculation is fun on these cold winter nights, but I can’t wait until 1/21/17 for TJ’s official word. Additionally, it’s only 227 days until RAGBRAI 45.

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


KenH, December 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

T. Gap Woo: Here’s a clue (wishful thinking!) from the ads on the top of the Home Page of the website: “Join us on our cruise from Missouri to Mississippi!”

I didn’t notice that, kinda rules out a start north of Sioux City doesn’t it? Assuming we trust them!


T. Gap Woo, December 8, 2016 at 3:42 pm

KenH: Assuming we trust them!

You know what they say about “Assume” don’t you?

I’ve worked out so many routes over the past few rides and the closest I’ve ever come was 5 out of 8 correct. But this is what winter is for: RAGBRAI route guessing and Baseball Hot Stove talk.

Only TJ knows for sure and he ain’t talking yet!

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


Mike Murphy, December 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm

This will be my ninth Ragbrai but the first time I submitted a guess for the route. I am hoping for a central route, longer and I remember leaving Missouri Valley in 2008 and having some real hills the first two days. Hoping for that again.

Missouri Valley
Fort Dodge
Ceder Rapids


Iceman !, December 13, 2016 at 9:24 am

I hope it does not end in Dubuque. Hills leading into Dubuque – don’t want to see Potter Hill again – and bad traffic in the town.


T. Gap Woo, December 13, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Several years ago, politicians in Dubuque proposed enacting a significant “fee” on organizations that wanted to conduct an event in the county that, in their opinion, would have imposed an economic burden on their governmental infrastructure, i.e. police, paramedics, etc. etc. etc. The fee was intended to recoup those costs, despite the economic benefit that events like RAGBRAI would have generated.

Did such a fee ever pass? If it did, would the DMR be willing to take the financial hit for the fee or would the DMR bypass Dubuque County entirely? That economic reality would have an impact on the RAGBRAI 45 route.

Only a few more weeks until the route announcement clarifies the issue for us all.

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


KenH, December 14, 2016 at 8:31 am

I went with a diagonal route. It is more of route that I would like to ride than a route I think the Register will pick. Not an exact copy but similar to RAGBRAI III both because it was a route that I find interesting and because the three stars in the logo could be a hint … but if they are a hint they probably point to something completely different since I have zero success as a route guesser! I don’t believe I have gotten a single town correct in four years of trying.


Michrider !!!, December 15, 2016 at 10:07 am

Winterset Iowa!!!!


Michrider !!!, December 15, 2016 at 10:23 am

Michrider: Winterset Iowa!!!!

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me, maybe it’s winter. However, I forgot to add, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!


cyduke, December 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm

The front of the website says to “Join us on our cruise from Missouri to Mississippi!”
So sort follow the Des Moines River route all the way to Keokuk.


T. Gap Woo, December 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

Michrider: Winterset Iowa!!!!

“Smile when you say that, Pilgrim.” Unfortunately, my John Wayne impersonation doesn’t translate well into online text.

I hope we do ride through Winterset. That would give us a chance to tour the John Wayne Museum and see his statue. Also, a route into Winterset would give us the opportunity to see the Bridges of Madison County. Many of those bridges are on or near gravel roads, so a gravel loop is appropriate. How about it, TJ? BTW, the Covered Bridges Winery is also on a gravel road. Gee whiz, John Wayne, covered bridges, a gravel loop and a winery all in one shot. You can’t beat that with a stick!

I noticed that Cyduke seconded my Des Moines River route. Thanks for your support.

Imagine that. “CyDUKE” and John Wayne being cited on the same thread. Coincidence? I think not. It’s a good omen. Winterset is on the route, unless TJ says otherwise.

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


Michrider !!!, December 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

T. Gap Woo: “Smile when you say that, Pilgrim.” Unfortunately, my John Wayne impersonation doesn’t translate well into online text.

1997, Winterset


Michrider !!!, December 16, 2016 at 10:06 am



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