Century loop

Any idea when the century loop day is announced? We have a rider on our team who is only looking to ride a day or two and wants to buy a daily wristband but wants to avoid the century day so that he can ride with the rest of the team (as we all normally ride the century loop). I didn’t want to close out our team with payments until we had this information.

9 Replies

Groeny82, February 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm

If I understood right from the video of the announcement party, the Century Loop will be the second day, Spencer to Algona. I didn’t hear anything about when the gravel loop would be.


KenH, February 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm

I got an email from people who were at the announcement party and they claim to have heard that the gravel loop and mile of silence are on Sunday. The Karras century loop and pork chop day are on Monday. I looked a little on the website but I cannot find that information listed on any official Register proclamation. I think I have had it confirmed on a video or podcast but far too much trouble to try to find it in one of those. The Karras loop was confirmed to be on Monday, you can find it in the route announcement party video, probably 45 to 55 minutes in.


S, February 5, 2017 at 12:53 am

Why are we having a gravel loop again? I missed that part.


genefruit, February 5, 2017 at 5:44 am

I guess the gravel loop is happening again because people like to ride it. Iowa is well known for it’s gravel and B roads, so it seems like a natural fit. It’s optional so if you don’t or won’t, you don’t have to.

This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by genefruit.


KenH, February 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm

It was not initially intended to but after Steve Hed’s untimely death the gravel loop serves to honor of him since he is the one who successfully lobbied for its inclusion. A lot of us consider it great fun, it adds miles to the ride, it generally gives one more town the chance to be a passthru town, and few enough people take advantage of it that riding it harkens back to the days when less than 2000 people did RAGBRAI and the main route would include gravel roads if it had to or wanted to. If it bothers you just ride on past it but there is no reason why it should bother you.


Gypsy Rose, February 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm


When was the last time that RAGBRAI saw less than 2000 people? (just askin’)



John L, February 6, 2017 at 5:07 am

Ken and Rose,
Harkening back would be to Years 2 and 3 of Ragbrai. I was currious so I looked back at the records. I was estimated that 300 rode the first year with 144 making it all the way. Year II it was estimated that 1700 rode. Year III about 3200 rode it and 2400 made the full distance. I do love the gravel loop cuz the crowd is so small. See you guys there!


KenH, February 6, 2017 at 8:21 am

I knew the ride grew pretty fast from the initial 300. I didn’t recall how fast. The blog post where I think I read this has scrolled off the RAGBRAI website to wherever old blog posts go but I think around 1500 of us did the gravel loop in 2016. First Sunday of June every year I do a local century (although usually only the metric) that attracts around 1500 riders. So the gravel loop at RAGBRAI feels a lot like that only on gravel! So far anyway, it could pick up steam any given year if the mass of riders ever wean themselves off of 23 mm tires and frames that won’t accept anything any larger! Of course you can do the loop on 23’s, and many do, its just that the average rider would feel less intimidated by the gravel on wider tires. And good wide tires roll as efficiently as narrow tires and deal better with the cracks and rumbles of outrageous fortune that you run into on the paved route. Not to mention that a lot of us would probably be advised to ride something wider on the rear at least due to body mass and tire loading … just sayin’.


jwsknk, February 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I would expect the “Official” announcement on the optional loops around May 1 or whenever they release the full details. Bit from what I have heard, Mile of Silence is Sunday, the Karras Loop Monday the 75 mile day. Last years gravel loop was the first day to Shen. so probably the same this year.


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