The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Mississippi dip sites

Any word on where we should dip tires in the Mississippi? Keokuk has a boat ramp, but getting thousands of riders there and into town looks like a logistical problem. To get into town, we would have to backtrack and make a left on Bank street. That would mean crossing the path of cyclists coming in. Maybe they could cone it off from Bank street so we switch sides of the street. Then, when coming back, the left at Bank street wouldn’t cross traffic. Yeah, that’s doable. It’s tempting to do it just to see what Keokuk does.

Burlington has a couple of good looking boat ramps. I will probably go there. Climbing back into the city may be a challenge. Not terribly steep, but long hills. By the way, does anyone know the grade of Snake Alley? I will probably pass there on the way to the boat ramp. If it is 10% or less I will give it a go.

Another site to dip would be in Montrose. There is a ramp just a stone’s throw from our path.

5 Replies

jwsknk, June 16, 2019 at 11:58 pm

Snake alley is as steep as anything you would find in San Francisco. It will probably be one way down. Some of those are steep climbs up from downtown by the river.

#1305714

David, June 17, 2019 at 9:52 am

I think in the past they only allowed riding up it. Which is the opposite of its normal 1-way direction. There isn’t much point in riding down Snake alley and it would be dangerous with many people. If it is wet then that road is treacherous.

However, the grade is never as low as 10%. More like 15-25% with an overall average of 20%. A Garmin will have a hard time measuring it accurately and could give wild numbers like 40+%.

#1305734

LawnchairMan, June 17, 2019 at 10:55 am

Thanks for the info about Snake Alley, David. Street views didn’t look that steep. Ride with GPS shows over 17% and I have found them to be 5 or 6% low. So your assessment sounds right. I can push my recumbent up 14% grades, but I think I will skip Snake Alley. Someday I hope to conquer Potters Hill. But not this year. Thanks again!

#1305737

David, June 17, 2019 at 11:09 am

Yeah, photos and street view can be deceiving. The brick surface at that grade can make it even harder. Especially where the direction of the bricks changes.

#1305739

Mark Walker, June 17, 2019 at 12:40 pm

I just heard from the podcast that the dipsite they were going to use is currently flooded so they may have to switch up for safety sake.

#1305744

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