Hills in 2021

To get a quick idea of the hill challenges for 2021 Ragbrai I calculated the feet of climb per mile and compared that to 2019.
This is what I found:

Saturday….36.3. . . . 27.6

So, just looking at these statistics this year’s ride will be easier than 2019.
Of course, the weather could always make it tougher. I’d rather have hills than strong headwinds!

Day 5’s calculation did not include the Karras Loop. I plotted what I think is the loop using Ride with GPS to get 30.2 miles with 1440 feet of climb. That equates to 47.7 feet of climb per mile.
By the way, the loop seems to contain the steepest hill for the week. At Stone City, we start a climb of 7% or better. We won’t be able to maintain much momentum from the preceding downhill because there is a left turn at the bottom. Google Maps did not show street view for this area, so I couldn’t get a visual of the hills. The 7%is from Ride with GPS.

Another hill to note is one coming out of Cherokee. It looks like 5% for about half a mile. Looks like a shorter but similar hill as we get into Fort Dodge. This was a cursory scan of the week’s challenge, so I may have missed something. Please let me know.

12 Replies

Niles, February 3, 2021 at 2:18 pm

In 2015, I wasn’t bother much by climbing into Fort Dodge but the side wind was a little scary when going downhill and crossing the bridge into the city.


hnschipper, February 3, 2021 at 3:18 pm

If we take the same route from Cherokee to Aurelia as the last time we overnighted in Cherokee, that hill isn’t a whole lot of fun. 🙂


jpclark7, February 3, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Dang I read it backwards :(( I LOVE hills and I equally love seeing people hoofin’ it on the side of the road!


LawnchairMan, February 3, 2021 at 6:19 pm

What was it that Michrider said, “There’s no hill in Iowa I can’t walk.”?

Whatever happened to Mich? I miss his concise comments.

“And by the way, Ragbrai don’t care!”

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by LawnchairMan.


RDaryl Daryl, February 3, 2021 at 8:55 pm

Nothing compared to XXV

Miles/Climb/Average Climb Per mile
S 78.6/5757/73
M 53.9/4137/76
T 70.1/3912/55
W 50.4/2858/56
T 72.3/3209/44
F 75.2/3495/46
S 58/0/2000/34
Week 458.5/25368/55

But then again – we were all 20 years younger back then . . . . . . . .


SFC JKL 2, February 3, 2021 at 8:55 pm

I’m okay as long as they still call it a hill.


LawnchairMan, February 4, 2021 at 4:50 pm

I just found the total miles and feet of climb for the week;
426 and 11481
That is 26.9 feet per mile. So, definitely not the challenge of XXV!


Andrew Sauchelli, February 8, 2021 at 1:57 pm

I know its a lot to ask but I would love to see the mileage between the towns along the route each day. It would help in preparation for the day way ahead of time. I like to simulate the ride as much as I can in Florida (with NO hills). Regardless, I’d like to see how to prepare for each day.
Thank you! This will be my fifth consecutive Ragbrai!!!


montestaples, February 14, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Of course the worst hills are those with a name. A couple names I remember are Potter Hill and Twister Hill. For anybody that was there I’m sure I do not have to say where they were. So, are there any hills with a name this year?


mootsman, February 15, 2021 at 8:33 am

I’ve watched that scene from the movie Twister a few times since we road that hill. My pictures though shows no power line next to the road that was critical to that scene in the movie. Plus some of the many editing mistakes were in that scene. If you freeze frame it right before the pole falls on the truck you’ll see damage from the previous take to the truck from the pole. Low budget movies I guess can’t effort more then 1 truck. And Jamie Gertz’s famous “now I’m wet, now I’m dry” shots. The editing switched her from dry to soaked and back a few times.

Of course it wasn’t the size of the hill that caused the name, it was the movie scene on it.

This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by mootsman.


Oregon Guy, February 15, 2021 at 2:29 pm

This year’s ride is mostly downhill and should be renamed the MC Escher Memorial Ride.


Heather, February 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm

I’m okay as long as they still call it a hill.

For some reason, I thought of Mount Hosmer in Lansing when I read this. 🙂


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