Dip sites

I know this is WAY early to worry about dip sites, but we already know the first town is Le Mars. I hadn’t planned to Ragbrai this year, but now that the route is postponed until next year I am giving it some thought.
I see two possible spots to dip in the Big Sioux. One is just past Westfield on county (?) road 3, or go a little further to Akron. With either choice, I would use C38. If I decide on Akron I would take C38 to K13 to state highway 3 (?) The 3’s are confusing. It looks shorter to take 75 north from Le Mars to C16, but I would expect heavy traffic on 75. I would appreciate comments from locals on this.
Either way, this looks like a significant ride. Ride with GPS has Westfield at 50.7 miles round trip with 2522 feet of climb. To Akron it is 53 miles at 2814 feet of climb. A good day’s work.
I am thinking of doing this on Friday before Ragbrai on my way to the end town. Is anyone else planning to dip next year?

2 Replies

KenH, July 15, 2020 at 10:12 pm

It is never to early to worry about the start of the ride dip site because TJ never seemed concerned about it at all!

I wish that when the ride starts on a town well removed from the border that the route would just include a jog to the west and a suitable dip site. It’s not like RAGBRAI ever takes a direct route from point A to point B! And the “dip loop” could be an option like the gravel loop and Karras loop. TJ would never give any consideration to that notion. I think it offended him or he thought it was silly or something.

But we have a new director now so maybe next year or perhaps soon?


Matt, July 16, 2020 at 12:54 pm

That is a fun tradition. Unfortunately, the only suitable dip sites are in Council Bluffs and Sioux City. It is a small river and the only other dip sites a.k.a. boat ramps are in remote locations with small gravel parking areas and roads. A couple locations are within camp grounds, but that doesn’t work for that number of riders. Officially supporting thousands of riders to these locations isn’t practical. There are no ramps North of Hawarden for Northern starting towns. Distances of 40+ miles round trip with no passthrough towns isn’t feasible, especially trooper and route support for an eighth day. That’s more than a loop in those locations. I appreciate towns that provide a spot of water for dipping and respect the hard-core traditionalists that take on the personal effort to get to those ramps. I don’t foresee river dipping becoming ride procedure for every starting town though. (sadface) For those that head to the river for a rear tire dip, please be careful.


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