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Cycling from Davenport to Sioux City the week before RAGBRAI.

I’ll be parking in Davenport and will start cycling my way to Sioux City from Davenport, backtracking the route from town to town starting on July 13th (UNofficial RAGBRAI, will call it IARBGAR I guess), take a break for a couple of days in Sioux City and then get to ride the official RAGBRAI (my first RAGRAI) with everyone else.
Anyone up for the challenge? Maybe join in from one of the towns along the way?
Maybe make it a yearly Unofficial Backtrack ride?
I will be using the RAGBRAI truck to haul my overnight essentials during the event so I will be carrying everything I need with me on the bike. I’m planning on camping on the way to Sioux City so if you are from Iowa, know someone from Iowa in any of the host towns and/or have any pointers on where to camp safely or maybe offer a backyard space for my tent and a hose shower will be awesome and appreciated.
I’m really looking forward and excited to meet the great people of Iowa, the great RAGBRAI community, connect with great people and make unforgettable memories.
Say hello if you see the guy in a yellow or American flag jersey, dark blue bike, yellow Cannondale letters with a bunch of bags riding towards Sioux City the week before RAGBRAI. I will update this post soon with Instagram info if anyone wants to follow.
P.S. I will also be doing the “Karras Loop”

11 Replies

klkoopman, July 5, 2023 at 6:57 am

“IARBGAR” is a bit awkward, you should just call the reverse route “Iowa’s Ride”. Good luck on your adventure.


NoOrdinaryLife, July 5, 2023 at 3:16 pm

It’s the “Reverse Route Iowa Ride” now.
Thank you very much!


direwolf, July 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

We will leave our home in rural Johnson County, self-contained, on Monday, July 17. We have ridden to the start of RAGBRAI many times, and almost always see other baggers en route to the start. Exceptions: when we started in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

I suggest you customize your route a bit. The RAGBRAI route will cover some busy roads, presumably under traffic control by state troopers. Traffic control, however, will not be in effect the week before RAGBRAI. Also, some, but not all, RAGBRAI overnight towns might frown on camping the week before RAGBRAI. Ames, Coralville, and Des Moines come to mind in that regard, maybe even Storm Lake.

The town of Fonda has good juju, and a campground with showers in Straight Park. Stratford City Park, I believe, still has showers. Slater, on the trail to the High Trestle, has a world class bikee bar, a decent city park (no shower), and a swimming pool. Perry, has a city park with bathrooms or, if you prefer, an A+ hotel that offers bike valet service.



PS. We’ll have a cadre of loaded recumbent trikes with NRPM (New Riders of the Purple Maize) flags. Say Hey when you pass us.


NoOrdinaryLife, July 6, 2023 at 6:27 pm

Hello Direwolf and New Riders of the Purple Maize!
Wow that’s great to hear you are also riding your way to the start point in Sioux City and it’s very encouraging.
I will look into customizing the route as I don’t know the busy or more quite roads. Do you have any suggestions or maybe the route you are taking?
Thank you for the great information on camping, showers, parks, etc. I really appreciate that.
Maybe we can email or text to share/exchange routes or more information?


jelly0317, July 6, 2023 at 7:02 pm

I doubt if you will encounter many riders if you leave Davenport on the 13th and arrive in Sioux City several days before RAGBRAI begins. FWIW, my route is DSM-Jefferson all on trails (7/19), Jefferson-Storm Lake (7/20), and SL-SC (7/21).


NoOrdinaryLife, July 6, 2023 at 9:34 pm

Hi Jelly0317!
Planning on arriving Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks for the route info will definitely be using the trails. Happy riding and be safe!


direwolf, July 6, 2023 at 11:10 pm

You can download the excellent Iowa DOT Bicycle Map here:

The map color codes roads according to traffic density. Roads with paved shoulders have wider lines on the map, as annotated in the map key.

Our contemplated overnights: Montezuma, State Center, Stratford, Twin Lakes, Holstein. Another bagger contingent will leave Iowa City on 7/15, riding north to pick up the Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Hiawatha, swerving west onto roads at LaPorte City.

Then too, being self-contained, it’s all negotiable, depending on the wind and rain.




AMaliar, July 7, 2023 at 7:27 pm

Hi Jelly0317,

Were you planning to ride back from Davenport to Des Moines or driving? Several weeks ago, I couldn’t get a charter back to Des Moines and the thoughts of riding back solo from the finish line crossed my mind, albeit against my wife’s wishes. Good thing for her, I was able to obtain a ride home by car though I would try to convince my wife about riding back if I can find a group to ride with.


jelly0317, July 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

No, my late friend Mike “Moon” Mullen used to do the full loop from his home in Iowa City/Coralville, but I stop riding when I get to the end town.


direwolf, July 9, 2023 at 10:42 pm

The soul of Moon, and his banjo. will inform our ride this year, and in years to come.

– Bobby


NoOrdinaryLife, July 12, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Thank you direwolf that’s a very helpful guide and will definitely use it.


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