Logo/Route Clues

It seems every year there are clues for the host towns hidden in the logo. Is anyone finding clues anywhere in it? I think the hammock is a clue but I’m not positive.

31 Replies

dxnvy, January 14, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Yeah dude, I see it too!


Michrider !!!, January 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Yes, I’ve found clues so have others!!!


Ken Reed, January 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Anyone care to share what they’ve found?


Damaris Lux, January 15, 2016 at 12:54 am

The hammock looks like a boomerang, there is a band that is called Classic Rock Band named Boomerang in Iowa, or it could be a reference to the route direction.


igor, January 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

How long have the logos had clues to the routes in them? Does anyone remember the past few logos and what clues actually were in them? I think the hammock boomerang shape would be the shape of the route but maybe that’s too obvious.


KenH, January 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

Below are some thoughts I posted a few days ago in another thread about the 2016 route. I’ve already entered my guess and I went with a northern option. The only things I could add to what I said below is that there are other car venues in Iowa that might be referenced in the clues (if indeed there are any clues!) and that the gears that are featured so much in this year’s graphics could be other gears: bicycle gears, clock gears, ???. So good luck, I hope my observations help rather than misdirect you all. I have to doubt that a non-Iowan like myself with relatively little RAGBRAI experience to boot is going to successfully guess the route but perhaps something I said below will spark a memory of some Iowa landmark that better fits the clues.

The boomerang observation has been mentioned before by others. Does that mean the route will start and end in the same city?!?

Again, good luck with your guessing boys and girls!

I’ve been studying the logo and the home page for potential clues. Since I have an active imagination it is not hard to see some and invent more that may not really be there! Some observations:

The hammock seems a lot like a V, could that be a reference to RAGBRAI V which was a northern (Onawa to Lansing) route? I also saw a post here somewhere that mentioned that an official from Orange City (also in the north) had replied to a discussion about the route announcement party somewhere. Suspicious? The V is obviously a hammock and there is or has been a “hammock hang” at a state park in the NE corner of Iowa on the River. A park just south of Lansing! That pyramid-like thing in the logo could actually be a teepee and there is a teepee campground in Pocahontas. Could the “bicycle wheels” in the logo that some have described as crude actually be motorcycle wheels which would make them not so crude? There is a motorcycle museum in Anamosa which could be on a generally northern route.

On the other hand RAGBRAIs IV, XIV, XXV, and XXXIV which all tie into the V hammock and some tie into the IV of this year’s ride, XLIV, were southern routes. There are some actual pyramids in/near a cemetery outside of Ottumwa (which I would LOVE to visit!). Those potential “motorcycle” wheels could also be early sprint car wheels which could suggest another visit to Knoxville. Those three spoked and cogged wheels would not look out of place on turn of the 20th century farm equipment and might reference the annual steam thresher reunion in Mount Pleasant.

Of course those three spoked wheels could be from a lot of industrial equipment from that era too and old foundries that could have made them are scattered all over Iowa so no help there.

Another thing I notice is that tree bark and leaves are featured prominently in the logo and home page graphics. If you zoom in on the “photo corners” that hold the logo “picture” you will see that they are made from tree leaves too! So there has to be a clue there, eh? Or a massive misdirect!! How good are you at picking out a tree species from its bark and leaves? Me, not that great but online resources give some help. There are a few species that appear to be possible matches and which are also quite geographically constrained to small parts of Iowa. You guessed it, some are north and NE while others are south and SE. I can say that some of the most tightly constrained are in the extreme SE corner near Keokuk or along the river by Muscatine, Burlington, and Fort Madison.

The safe money says south and my heart says south but there is a pretty good case to be made for north too. So kudos to those who are handing out the clues this year, they plausibly seem to point in at least two directions! I have little hope of guessing the route well personally but perhaps some of these ramblings can help one of you make the correct guesses.


Ken Reed, January 15, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Last year’s big hint was the “1973” on the tracktor, which represented the first start and stop towns (Sioux City and Davenport).

I am also with the line of thinking that the “V” is probably too obvious of a clue. With that being said, I still think it will be north again. Hawarden to Dubuque as a matter of fact.


Amanda, January 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm

As far as the clues hidden in the logo, I never believed it until last year. thinking back, it was probably 5 years ago. Didn’t it start with the wooden water tower?

And it’s getting closer to the BIG announcement!!!!


Ken Reed, January 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Last year’s big hint was the “1973” on the tractor, which represented the first start and stop towns (Sioux City and Davenport).

I am also with the line of thinking that the “V” is probably too obvious of a clue. With that being said, I still think it will be north again. Hawarden to Dubuque as a matter of fact.


Robby Collier, January 16, 2016 at 9:56 am

Looking at the logo, there are 7 chainrings and there are 7 overnight towns. The border of the logo is blue and you dip your tire in a river/water which is blue.

So each chainring is an overnight town. This might show the route but not sure the starting and ending. Also each chainring is a different size, so this might identify the size of town, like on a map.

The larger circles or wheels could be cities which might tell where the route is going.

That is all I got so far. : )


hawkrider, January 16, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Looking at logo,noticed that there is a dot on each letter of RAGBRAI,except for the B which has two. Could that be the route? Just have to figure out cities. My guess is that it will be southern route this year. Finishing at Keokuk or Ft.Madison.


Ken Reed, January 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Man, I need to look at those chainrings. Maybe I can figure something out.


“Bicycle Bill”, January 17, 2016 at 4:06 am

Speaking as someone who lives around the northeast Iowa (Lansing) area, it is going to be an extremely cold day in July before the ride ends in Lansing again.  The place just ain’t big enough to handle all the people, traffic, and congestion; and on top of it the closest hospital is in Waukon (20 miles away).

On the other hand, RAGBRAI XXVI did finish in Sabula back in 1998 and the closest hospital to Sabula was in Clinton (25 miles south), so I suppose anything is within the realm of possibility.



CyclingCyclone, January 18, 2016 at 9:35 am

A couple people have indicated they think the cassette cogs have something to do with the overnight towns, I’m going to say I’m in agreement with that theory. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out on a map where they would line up.


KenH, January 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

“Speaking as someone who lives around the northeast Iowa (Lansing) area, it is going to be an extremely cold day in July before the ride ends in Lansing again.”

Not saying you are wrong, I just went with where the “clues” lead me. It is easy to imagine clues where there are none and I am sure I have done so but last year’s smallest town on the route did do one of the best jobs that any overnight town did last year so perhaps Lansing has a plan? In any event all the same “clues” I used could be used to point to a southern route too so they were well chosen. If any of them exist at all….

Unfortunately for those who are joining this guess the route party at this point the official contest closed last Friday. It is still fun but make a note next year to start guessing in time to have a shot at the “big money”!


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