RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Coming from outside the state travel logistics

I’m interested in riding. Assuming I first fly from my home in California to Des Moines how do I get to the start using shared transportation?

11 Replies

Uncle Kraig, November 20, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Phil – There are multiple businesses / charters that provide the service you are looking for. People fly into DSM from all over the country and the world for RAGBRAI so it is a service in demand. They usually start with busses on Friday and run through Saturday afternoon. Prices will vary depending where the start town is (how far from DSM) and they will take you and your bike from DSM to the start town. If you’d like, they will also take you back to DSM at the end of the ride. Cost is usually anywhere from $100 to $200, again, depending on where the start and finish is relative to DSM. Good luck, see you in July! Look up the official charters on this RAGBRAI website and you will find what you need.

This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Uncle Kraig.


Brad Prendergast, November 20, 2021 at 2:07 pm

You could join a team that supports you. You might find one or more in the Des Moines area, and join them. Or you can fly to Chicago and join our team, the CUBS (57). We have a team that travels from Chicago to the start by bus, then from the finish back to Chicago. You can fly into O’Hare in Chicago and be only a few miles from our starting location. You can fly in on Friday, spend Friday night in a hotel, and meet us on Saturday morning. You can return to Chicago with us after the ride on Saturday, and fly out to California on Sunday. Get in touch if you want to discuss that option more. Brad – Team Leader – CUBS


PhilS, November 20, 2021 at 2:27 pm

Thank you. I did not know of these options. It sounds very easy. To be honest, as a San Franciscan, I’m not keen to join a Chicago Cubs team 😃 but appreciate the. Invite.

The other thing is I’m kind of a lone wolf when I ride since I ride so slowly and stop and space out so much.
I’m 70 and kind of in my own world 😩
I’m confident I’ll be coming. I’ve decided to bag pannier touring with my surley and enjoy my first supported tour, which I’ve heard so much. I’m asking my wife today fly to Chicago and drive down to the end of ride and we’ll explore the Mississippi River before heading back. Thanks so much.


Dizzy, November 20, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Welcome to the Circus Phil,
Another service that you may want is bike shipping.
You can have your bike shipped from home to the start line and even request it be assembled so it’s ready to go when you arrive.
And it doesn’t matter how slow you are, you’ll never be alone.
Also, take advantage of all the links on the RAGBRAI site to educate yourself.
All the best, D


LawnchairMan, November 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Welcome to Ragbrai!

Although you ride on your own, you should get used to group riding. There are so many riders at Ragbrai that it is hard to ride solo. On my first year’s first day, I had two riders on my right and three on my left for the first two miles. Be sure to read the Ride Right safety rules. You will find these under the “The Ride” tab at the top of the webpage. Look also at the General sub-tab for FAQs and general information.

I am sure you will have a fabulous Ragbrai adventure.


PhilS, November 20, 2021 at 5:47 pm

Thank you. I will read the guidelines. I like riding with other riders but I try to stay to to right and let others pass. I have ridden 20,000 miles solo including 3 cross country trips and many group rides like AIDS lifecycle and Chico Wildflower and Death Ride. I like to be like a hummingbird flitting about. Thanks so much everybody for the responses. I’m very excited to participate and meet other riders in Iowa!


unclerico, November 21, 2021 at 7:39 pm

Oak Parker here. Do you use the Bicycle Illinois charter or your own bus? Last year, I drove to the Quad Cities, picked up a rental, and met my teammate in Clinton. He parked his car there. Ended up being quite a hassle, as we had to have another friend pick me up in Sioux City after I dropped off the rental. Bus all the way sounds better. I was pretty tired driving back to Chicago Saturday, too.


NinaDanza, November 22, 2021 at 2:07 pm

Hi Phil,
First time for me doing this ride, also am coming solo from Ventura, CA. Haven’t decided to fly or train out there, depends where the start and end are located (announced in January). I plan to contact the Out of State charter and perhaps join their group. Seems like a good strategy. Nina


PhilS, November 22, 2021 at 5:09 pm

I’m leaning now toward flying to Omaha and asking for a bus to event or shared ride. I now get the idea it should be easy. My wife is flying to Chicago and then meeting me at end and we’ll sightsee a bit on the Mississippi River. I would like to get to starting town and chill for a few days.
The train sounds great but it might take a lot out of you. I do remember a cross country trip from SF to NY. We went through Davenport IA!
I appreciate your thoughts and plans. When I used to do aids lifecycle we used to camp in your city park! Take care


jelly0317, November 23, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Just curious: when was your train trip through Davenport?


PhilS, November 23, 2021 at 4:50 pm

It was 1986 after riding bike to nyc and coming home to San Francisco on the crosscountry train after a layover in Chicago. I remember it was the home of Aaron Pryor, a boxer I used to follow


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