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How to get to Dip Site at Start Town?

I’ll be riding with my 14 yr old son this year and this will be his 1st RAGBRAI (Mom finally approved 👍) While I enjoy the tradition of dipping my tires, I don’t find it necessary to do so if the start town is not on the river. However, with this being my son’s 1st RAGBRAI, I’d like for him to experience the “dipping of the tires” at the start and finish towns. Has anybody mapped out and scouted a safe path to a dip site on the river? If there is such a route I’d plan to do it on Friday before the ride. Thanks!

26 Replies

Barry Schnoor, May 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm

I used to ride 175 regularly growing up in Onawa. With a fishing pole and a peanut butter sandwich.

Granted, that was 100 years ago, and it wasn’t during a very busy RAGBRAI weekend. I was planning on 175 as my dip route. Hazel to 284th would be a good 2nd option. I don’t know who owns the property on the river there, though.

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W Fanning, May 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

They all sound good.. but I plan on going to Decatur NE and stopping at Pop-N-Docs for a quite beer & Burger.. and views of Missouri River.. Who’s in? I only been to Iowa twice.. got to make the most of it…

This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  W Fanning.

This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  W Fanning.

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Dizzy, May 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

W, That looks like about a 16 mile round drip on concrete or chip seal (not sure via google maps). The east-bound berm looks a little wider than the west-bound. If 175 is crowded/slowed by east-bound, RAGBRAI traffic on Saturday, that would potentially decrease the speed below the posted 55mph.
Were you looking at a Saturday ride? Pop-N-Docs opens at 10:30AM! D

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W Fanning, May 21, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Late Saturday.. after everything quiets down.. there are some side roads.. but you do have to ride on 175… I’m thinking 5pm..

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W Fanning, May 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Late Saturday.. after everything quiets down.. there are some side roads.. but you do have to ride on 175… I’m thinking 5pm..

.. one more thing.. I’m from Mint Hill NC.. don’t know when the next time I’ll make it to Iowa…

#1286703

genefruit, May 25, 2018 at 7:49 am

Onawa RAGBRAI page response follows

“We don’t have an official route from Onawa to the river. The Missouri River is approx 6 miles away. We are bringing the river to Onawa! We will have a water truck our local fire department will fill with Missouri River water to drive thru before leaving town. Highway 175 from Onawa to Decatur, NE will be the shortest and only route if you are wishing to officially dip tire.”

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lmgoldberg, July 2, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Decatur state park looks like a nice place to access the river and is only about 8 miles from the middle of town. accessible on county and city roads with only a small crossing of 175. but my only sense of the geography is from google, rather than firs-hand!

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nhhillrider, July 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm

lmgoldberg …. could you post the loop your thinking? As far as I could tell there are no all paved loops other than busy Highway 175 or going on K45. One really needs to zoom in with the satellite view on google maps to see the road type. K45 seems to have a lot less traffic then 175 in the sat view anyway.
Lawnchairman suggested K45 and I mapped it https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2131971610
Even that will have tiny bit of gravel.

This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  nhhillrider.

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KenH, July 3, 2018 at 3:17 pm

One way to get around the gravel issue is to go out during the time remaining before RAGBRAI, find some gravel roads, and ride those suckers! Then you’ll be ready to dip your tires and to ride the gravel loop with us on Sunday. There’s probably a patch and/or sticker for you if you take the gravel loop plus you’ll get a taste of RAGBRAI circa 1973 when there were a lot fewer people and when the main route would take gravel roads on occasion. I was afraid of gravel when I started riding again at age 58 and would avoid it at all costs. When the first gravel loop was announced I went out and trained on a gravel road for all of about 4 miles. That was enough to convince me that I could do it and that I rather enjoyed it actually.

The last bit puzzled me for a long time but then I remembered something from long, long ago. I am attempting to learn to ride a bike. My late father is holding the back of the bike to stabilize it as I go faster bit by bit and then suddenly I am going quite fast, how is dad keeping up? So I look over my shoulder and realize:

Dad isn’t there any more!

I can ride a bike!

I’m free, free as a bird!

And I am on granpa’s gravel driveway and then the gravel road in front of his house!

Yeah, I learned to ride a bike on gravel….

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lmgoldberg, July 3, 2018 at 8:46 pm

as I look at the satellite images, those may be gravel or dirt roads.

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