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2023 Overnights?

The general thought is the RAGBRAI L will be similar to the first. That was just a 6-day ride, Sioux City-Storm Lake-Fort Dodge-Ames-Des Moines-Williamsburg-Davenport. Considering we just overnighted in Fort Dodge last year, that might not be an option. I also wonder if you sub in Iowa City/Coralville for Williamsburg and add an in-between like Grinnell? Thoughts?

21 Replies

Mark Robb, August 11, 2022 at 8:17 am

My thoughts are that they really aren’t going to take towns that they were just in as a factor for the 50th, I think they want to honor the original, and at the end of the day need to make sure the towns can handle up to 100,000 people as Matt and the crew have said they are expecting on some days.

Sioux City
Storm Lake
Fort Dodge
Des Moines (Sleep at Fairgrounds?!)
Iowa City (Williamsburg as meeting town)


Tim Tysver, August 11, 2022 at 9:19 am

I think you make a great point, every city listed can handle the sheer volumn of riders and supporters next year. Davenport makes sense with the Airport, interstate systems, and area needed for both staging on Fri/Sat and then ending the following Saturday.

This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Tim Tysver.


Mark Robb, August 11, 2022 at 11:02 am

The only thing throwing me off is when Dieter mentioned last year that the 50th would include Okoboji and Des Moines, but with change in leadership, may not be the case anymore.


Sandaltan ., August 11, 2022 at 5:48 pm

I like Robb’s route very much. Some several years ago the Storm Lake to Fort Dodge leg was probably my best day on a bike, totally flat with a healthy tail wind, we didn’t even stop at Mudd’s in Barnum. The fairgrounds would be great for campers but is just too far from the city’s entertainment district. The Little Stoker sez the Capital Grounds or Water Works Park. She is never wrong.



hnschipper, August 11, 2022 at 6:52 pm

They used Waterworks the last time RAGBRAI was in Des Moines maybe 9 or 10 years ago. Waterworks is huge and a lot of space.


TeamMSH, August 21, 2022 at 8:40 pm

OK, a new director. No real sense of the history, (In other words, NO, it is not going to be a repeat of 1973.)

It was Le Mars, and then Sgt. Bluff the last two years. NW part of the state. I Cannot imagine they would do Sioux City – to say nothing of the first towns out of town, which we have used up.

That it will go through Des Moines is a given :-0

Just sayin’

I would think Council Bluffs might be in play?


jelly0317, August 21, 2022 at 9:38 pm

Missouri Valley is overdue.


Mark Robb, August 22, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Some interesting notes from Matt’s interview on Ryan Duzer’s video..

He said that the 50th will be the biggest event RAGBRAI has ever seen.
He said that he wants the 50th to go through Iowa’s biggest towns
He said he wants RAGBRAI to ride on roads that no one thought it could before.

The roads has me intrigued… riding on highway 20? at least for a stretch?


Amanda, August 22, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Or maybe gravel all the way! Yikes!


Bernard Schwartze, August 23, 2022 at 6:03 pm

This isn’t my most radical idea for a route but since RAGBRAI likely have the basics already planned out, here is my guess.

Day 0 (Saturday) – Council Bluffs. This gives the ambitious a chance to start their ride in Crater Lake, IA and cross the Bob Kerrey Bridge. Great airport to fly into.
Day 1 (Sunday) – Atlantic. A good stop for what is coming. Maybe have an out of the way routing to go through the Danish Villages.
Day 2 (Monday) – Des Moines Waterworks Park. Possible Century Day. See the statue honoring the founders. Possible new road for riders to be on (I-80, hey some states allow riding on the interstate). Central Des Moines for a big party.
Day 3 (Tuesday) – Des Moines Waterworks Park. Two nights in one town is the radical idea. Imagine not having to take down your stuff for one day. Lots of places to visit in the city. Or use this day to encourage exploration of the various trails in and around Des Moines. I’m thinking PigTails, Bacoon and TGIF rides. The High Trestle Bridge is very iconic and worth a visit. However, trail support logistics make this challenging.
Day 4 (Wednesday) – Grinnell. Perhaps the gravel day.
Day 5 (Thursday) – Cedar Rapids. Go through the Amana Colonies. Have awesome pie.
Day 6 (Friday) – Dyersville. Field of Dreams baby! Don’t know when the MLB game is scheduled but seeing the place would be cool. This could be your favorite Baseball Bicycle Jersey Day.
Day 7 (Saturday) – Dubuque. A short last day for a change! Some sweet hills for the climbers.

Overall it would be a very short route, perhaps the shortest. It has to be short if you are spending two days in Des Moines.


czysk, August 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm

Through Graf and Potter Hill on Saturday? The hills coming into Dubuque are pretty cool


coloradoshortbus, August 24, 2022 at 10:02 am

If Ragbrai 50 is expected to draw a huge number of riders, perhaps there should be two routes converging on Des Moines for a day, and then separating again to the end. There is no way that one route could handle 40,000 or more riders easily.


“Bicycle Bill”, August 24, 2022 at 10:06 pm

Mark Robb said: “My thoughts are that they really aren’t going to take towns that they were just in as a factor for the 50th.”

Normally, no … but this is a one-time thing, so to my mind we’re dealing with a clean slate here.  Old traditions and customs are completely off the table for this one time only.

And historically, RAGBRAI HAS returned to the same town in a very short time.  We finished up in Bellevue on RAGBRAI XVII (1989), but because it was a dreary, rainy day, everybody was in a huge hurry to pack up and get outta there.  Since the RAGBRAI powers that were at that time felt that Bellevue had gotten cheated, they decided to return to Bellevue as the end town two years later on RAGBRAI XIX (1991).


This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by "Bicycle Bill".


stevecycles200, August 25, 2022 at 7:37 am

I thought I saw somewhere where Matt said don’t expect the same route for the 50th as was the first. Now, was that just to keep the suspense up, or is that accurate? Hmmmm. And just how many riders will they take? 40K? More? Umm. No thanks. Unless I win the Tipico giveaway, I’ll probably pass. Just my personal preference but I think that is way too many.


Niles, August 25, 2022 at 11:17 am

Steve, for a one-night-stander, you’ll be forgiven for slipping away. But for the rest of “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health” us, we’ll be there.


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