Gravel Loop Thoughts and Questions

I would love to do the gravel loop, but am a little intimidated to do an 80 mile 4000′ of climb on day 1 in the Loess Hills area of western Iowa. Also, I’m kind of a neat freak with my bike & getting it full of grunge without having cleaning facilities following the day is another reason to put it off.

Questions:
1. Is the gravel loop always on day 1?
2. Any thoughts on cleaning bike following the route (if it happens to rain on that day).
3. Has the message been received by RAGBRAI to instruct the highway department NOT to grade the loop with a fresh 3″ layer of sandy gravel as happened last year?
4. Has anyone tested a gravel grinder bike – which would eliminate my concerns of #2.

Thanks for reading & responding. A what the he??… if the weather is nice I think I will do it this year. haha

16 Replies

mootsman, July 3, 2019 at 8:58 am

I only did the very first Gravel Loop which was on a Monday, not a Sunday.

Your bike gets gravel dust on it but wear it like a badge of honor for the rest of RAGBRAI or at least until it gets a washed off naturally. Don’t clean it.

25s work fine as long as you maintain a reasonably fast speed. I used them without an issue.

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