RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

How to get there from Toronto?

My partner and I are headed down from Toronto for our first RAGBRAI. Air Canada only does one direct flight a day to Omaha and have informed us their plane is not big enough for a bike. Google says it’s a 15 hour drive but I would have to do that all myself. Are there good ways to get our bikes there along with our bodies? Anyone else headed down from Toronto?

5 Replies

DenBiker, April 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Ship your bikes using a separate service and fly on your Air Canada flt. RAGBRAI lists some connections to bike shipping services on the website under “THE RIDE”; “SERVICES”; “Shipping”.

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Jim Hemphill, April 10, 2019 at 11:09 pm

You could also fly into Chicago (way more flights) and hook up with the Chicago bike club charter bus and bike trucks.

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mootsman, April 11, 2019 at 9:37 am

I’ve been to Toronto a few times using a direct flight from Minneapolis but even those are small regional jets without room for bikes.

You might consider a flight to Des Moines (direct or not) as Pork Belly has a charter that leaves right across from the airport. They also accommodate people shipping bikes. They allow for people doing the whole route and half route with before and after RAGBRAI charters. Get thier contact info from the PBV website at http://pkbelly.com . Email Tammy, she’ll have details and is very helpful.

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Bentongoing, April 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Alas, I’m not going this year. But for the past 7 years I’ve been driving down by myself from Orangeville. I only drive to the ending town (Keokuk this year) for Friday night which is 11 hours or so, and then take Brancel Charters to the starting town on the Saturday.
Then I just hop in my car after the ride and get back home on the Sunday. It’s doable!
And it’s pretty exiting when other RAGBRAIers pass me (Ok, so I drive a little slow)

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bigG, April 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Those first four suggestions are all very good. No one flying to Omaha or Des Moines is likely to be able to carry your bike. Ship it separately and/or fly to Chicago and come from there. Allow extra time for the International shipping. Or you might be able to rent a bike for the week from one of the official ragbrai bike shops and just bring your favorite seat.
Airfare for people to Des Moines is cheaper than to Omaha and not much more than just to Chicago. You could fly into Omaha and back home from Des Moines. An airport pickup would be a plus, but neither airport is a huge distance away. The only public transportation option at the end is Amtrak from Fort Madison or Burlington to Chicago (separate tracks). Unless you are very adventurous, I would go with a charter back to Des Moines, Omaha, or Chicago.
Several of the charters offer transportation only options for rides to the start and back from the finish as would the Chicago Clubs. Several also offer tent services so you would not have to sluff a tent on the plane.

For you as a first time rider, I recommend going with a charter or club to make the logistics easier. PBV was mentioned and get very good reviews, but have a gigantic number of people. The other charters and clubs tend to be be in the 50-150 person range.

One option not yet mentioned would be to drive to Chicago around 8 hours and join a club or charter there. It would probably add a day coming and going but would save the bike shipping costs.

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