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Connecting roads

I am confused about two parts of our route this year.
This is probably a question for TJ, but if anyone else knows please let me know.

On day seven how do we get from highway 218 to X-28 at Montrose? 218 connects to highway 61, but if that is our path, the route maps should show it. Plus the angle of 61 is much steeper than the turn shown on our maps. There is a Peach Orchard Road that could get us from 218 into Montrose, but that isn’t shown either.

Backing up to Day 5, a similar confusion (to me) is how we get to Bloomfield. The route map shows highway 2 going diagonally into Bloomfield, but according to Google Maps it goes straight East/West. We have to make a jog up to J40 at Bloomfield either on highway 63, or Old Highway 2. Neither of these roads are indicated on the route slip.

I like to use Google Street view at the turns so I recognize them when I get there. Any help with the correct turns would be appreciated!

23 Replies

KenH, March 31, 2019 at 6:55 pm

At Montrose my guess is 300th St (aka 404 farther east) from 218 into town. It seems like the best match to the maps which always exercise some artistic license.


LawnchairMan, March 31, 2019 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for your guess Ken.

That looks more like the map, and I do realize route slips aren’t to scale. 404 is gravel for about a mile, though. That would be unusual for current routes.

What is your opinion of the Bloomfield connector?


KenH, March 31, 2019 at 7:09 pm

At Bloomfield my guess is that the diagonal jog north is an artist’s rendition of the diagonal jog to the north on 2 a few miles west of town and possibly includes the Old Hwy 2 jog to the north as we enter town. Do you ride really early or really late? I tend to program the route into my GPS bike computer so that I can get the mileage to the next turn when someone asks me when, oh when are we going to turn out of this blasted headwind? For normal turn by turn route guidance I just follow the riders in front of me.

Yes mom, that means if they ride off a cliff so will I.

Well, almost. The new bike has disc brakes, I’ll be able to stop in time now!!


KenH, March 31, 2019 at 7:13 pm

I did not check out 404 for gravel. It is not beyond imagination that an Iowa town would pave that mile for us by July. If they do, please spend lots of money in Montrose! If not, well, I am up for more gravel, you won’t hear any complaints from me!!


LawnchairMan, March 31, 2019 at 7:47 pm

That’s pretty funny, Ken. I had the same discussion with my parents, and it fits this situation!

I usually start at 0530. I have missed signs, but not for lack of daylight, and I wasn’t the only one.
Last year it wasn’t dark when I got to Dana, but I missed the turn because it looked like a farmhouse driveway. Plus I thought all the riders that turned had just stopped for food. A lot did. It WAS a case of the blind leading the blind, as riders thought I knew the way and followed. When I saw them behind me I thought they knew, so I kept going. We got an extra six miles that day.

I hope we don’t go on Old Highway 2, as that would put us through a lot of zigzags through town. I suppose that would be better business for Bloomfield that way.


KenH, March 31, 2019 at 8:46 pm

I lost my mom about three years ago and my dad last year, both at about this time of year. So unless they get the RAGBRAI forum in heaven mom won’t see that. There was however a time while she was still very much alive that I had to tell her a true story like that. Dad heard it first because it happened while he and I were skiing at Alta or Snowbird in the Salt Lake City area.

We had been skiing this one run off of a particular chairlift for a while. Each time down I noticed some people taking a side trail. I was getting a little bored and at one point on the chair ride up I told him that I was going to take that side trail and he was welcome to join me. No, I’ll wait for you at the bottom he said, with more wisdom than either of us knew at the time. So I go down towards the trail turnoff and a couple of skiiers ahead of me take it before I can get there. I was happy to follow them and we are all doing fine with them 50 to 100 yards ahead of me. And then suddenly they just drop out of sight!

I don’t know if it would have been better or worse for me to have stopped at that point but I was still young and foolish and I don’t believe the notion of stopping even occurred to me. And so it was that I literally followed all the other kids off a 10 to 20 foot high cliff! The landing zone was nicely shaped, almost like a natural ski jump, and I stuck the landing so I came away from the experience with nothing but a good story to tell. I can’t tell you how happy dad was when I joined him at the chair loading line and told him what he missed out on!


LawnchairMan, March 31, 2019 at 9:14 pm

That is quite a story, Ken. I’m glad you came out of it OK. Let’s not do anything like that at Ragbrai, though. We’re not as young as you were then.

Sorry to hear about your Mom. Mine passed about the same time.


KenH, April 1, 2019 at 7:58 am

Since he will ride the whole route (except maybe the gravel loop) about 50 days ahead of the rest of us I am confident that TJ will lead us off no cliffs. It is when you follow people onto a side path that things get interesting….

So yeah, I see the gravel on the first part of that side street. It is possible that they will pave it for us, if they were planning on doing that eventually anyway. It is possible they will ask us to just ride it. Sometimes when they have us ride gravel on the main route they ask us to dismount which just annoys those of us who rode the gravel loop earlier in the week, or on one occasion earlier the same day! And it is possible that the whole stretch is already paved. There is a big construction project in the formerly empty field across the street from where I work. It is down to interior work on the building now with some final parking lot paving and landscaping all that remains to be done outside. But the work started over a year ago and Google still shows it as an empty lot. It is a truly amazing service that they offer for free, one can’t complain if they fail to show us the world in real time!

Or maybe we don’t ride that section of 300th Street at all. In spite of what the artist drew we could just run down to US 61 and north from there to 404. Or something completely different. I forget when they come out, late June?, early July?, but updated maps with mileage charts will come out in advance of the ride so all your questions should have official answers by then. And if it is only a couple of details that change you should have plenty of time to update your street view photos.


David, April 1, 2019 at 8:19 am

For tricky traffic situations like 218/61 they may not have final decisions until closer to the ride. My guess is that we will be on 61 and the low-resolution maps just don’t show it. Either way, we have to cross 61 and the ISP is going to be significantly involved here. This is one place you won’t get lost, just do what they say.

300th would require going down a steep gravel road that has a curve right at the bottom. I highly doubt they would do that.

For most towns, the roads connecting to the general route are up for tweaking. Bloomfield probably falls under this, there are at least 4 options that seem plausible.


KenH, April 1, 2019 at 8:21 am

Check this out. In years past we had excellent route information along with a ton of route history documented by a gentleman and a website whose names I am unable to recall just now. That went away a couple of years ago. I don’t recall this from last year at all but if you follow that link (mind the cliff!) you will see Ride With GPS route maps that show the route exactly. Except through towns so maybe no help with the Old 2 question. If they do the same thing this year you should be good to go.


David, April 1, 2019 at 8:25 am

Are you thinking of GeoBike by Rich Ketcham?


jwsknk, April 1, 2019 at 9:05 am

Bloomfield I’m guessing will take us in on the old highway at the west edge of town. I think that is the county fairgrounds along that road, could be where they set up the vendors, that could be the ne jog in the road, then the county road out jogs slightly se


Joe Chavis, April 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

Yes. Once again, late reply, subject already covered, yadda yadda, from me. Follow the people, follow the “sinage”. 22 rides, never even looked at a map. Ride on. Ride on.


KenH, April 1, 2019 at 1:39 pm

[quote quote=1302118]Are you thinking of GeoBike by Rich Ketcham?[/quote]

That’s the one, it’s not easy getting old….


jwsknk, April 1, 2019 at 3:25 pm

Have to dig out my RAGBRAI XX maps to see how we got to Keokuk that year. the last 5-6 miles was along the river but it looks like we went through Argyle then straight east. That was the second ending there, so the other was on I-IX or XI.


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