Notable towns that have never hosted overnight?

I’m wondering if we will see a first time overnight stop this year?

I was just thinking of notable towns that had never hosted?

Being too close to the Mississippi ( but not on the river… so can’t dip the tire) seems to keep some towns out of the mix.

Are there some communities that just don’t want it in town overnight?

22 Replies

derek duncan, January 18, 2017 at 11:39 am

Whats the largest Iowa town to never host?


Ken Reed, January 18, 2017 at 11:56 am

Well, I think we will have a first timer this year the way it sounds. Orange City has never hosted but they’ve been a pass through town before. The last time we went through there was 2012, I believe. As far as the largest town to never host, you would probably have to look at a Des Moines suburb or something. I know it’s all the Des Moines metro area but technically, they are towns. That being said, West Des Moines is probably the largest town to never be the host. Then after that, probably Urbandale and Bettendorf.


Ken Reed, January 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

If the rumors about Orange City are correct, then I hope they understand all the aspects of RAGBRAI. I respect the fact that they want to be a more “temperate” town but if you are going to have RAGBRAI start there, you’d better be prepared for all of it. When we went through there in 2012, I was highly disappointed in the lack of drinking establishments that were open. I know it was a Sunday, but it’s RAGBRAI. I mean come on!


derek duncan, January 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I think a Saturday night in Orange City would do fine. How late does the opening night band usually play? I remember being surprised how early everything shut down a few years ago in Council Bluffs.


Amanda, January 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Orange City doesn’t have too many bars to start with. They have restaurants that serve alcohol but only one sports bar. They serve dfood too but they have a wide selection of beers. They are open on Sundays now. If the ride does start there, I would suggest checking out Alton if you want a bar. We have two. 🙂


Jboz, January 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Any town along the Mississippi River I guess has technically never hosted an overnight. They have been relegated to end-town status, and my understanding is that they see only a fraction of the revenue that the overnight towns do. I’ve seen several suggestions over the past couple of years to have the Day 6 route finish on a river town, then have Day 7 route run either north or south to end at different river town.

Personally, I think this is a good idea because it’s a change of pace, but mostly because it shares some of the RAGBRAI revenue love with towns that have historically only gotten the leftovers.


stuckinmizzou, January 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm

I like that idea, Jboz. There is one town that has always been a great pass-through town. After passing through there, I always hear people complimenting them on how they welcome RAGBRAI with open arms and wonder why it’s never been an overnight: EAGLE GROVE. (Maybe this year?) 🙂


Ken Reed, January 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Lawrence: I think it varies a tad depending upon the band but they usually shut down sometime between 10 and 11.


jwsknk, January 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm

West Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston (Camp Dodge was once though), Corydon, Lamoni, Waukon, New Hampton, Britt, Spirit Lake. Some of those would make a nice north route


Ken Reed, January 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Wouldn’t Okoboji count as Spirit Lake? That’s where we stayed. New Hampton hosted in 1977. I guess I thought Lamoni had hosted once. I guess not.


“Bicycle Bill”, January 18, 2017 at 6:33 pm

You could maybe find a way to get Waukon into the mix (and finally hit Allamakee County for the first time in over 45 years), but that almost guarantees the end town would be Guttenberg again.  With the size it has become, there’s no way in Hades that Lansing could accommodate that many people; and if you were to try to end in Marquette you’d have people and groups spread all along the Mississippi from MacGregor to Effigy Mounds — or crossing the river to St. Feriole Island Park in Prairie du Chien — as they try to meet up, pack up, and get outta town.  I also doubt that the land-locked “Lady Luck” Riverboat Casino there would appreciate the adverse impact that the congestion would have on their business that day.



Sandaltan ., January 19, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Yes, Eagle Grove! They are long overdue for a visit.



Michrider !!!, January 20, 2017 at 7:54 am

Sandaltan: Yes, Eagle Grove! They are long overdue for a visit.

ST, who’s got the magic napkin???

BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!!


Ragbrai Nation, January 21, 2017 at 1:54 pm

I’ve lived in Iowa my entire life and I can tell you there is most definitely a BEEN THERE-DONE THAT list of towns that do not wish to have Ragbrai back (their loss). Then you have your capable, yet HAVE NOT-WILL NOT towns, which are few in number, thankfully. I’ve never understood just why it is, in either case, because having Ragbrai roll into town is always a win-win for a community.


“Bicycle Bill”, January 21, 2017 at 11:41 pm

Excuse me while I pluck crow feathers out of my mouth.

I would have bet anything that Lansing would never, ever, ever again host the finish of RAGBRAI.  I stand corrected.

I’m starting a new job on Jan 25th.  Depending on my work schedule (I will learn what my regular shift will be after completing training around the 10th of March), I feel that as of this writing Bicycle Bill **WILL** be able to ride at least the last couple days of RAGBRAI this year.



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