The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Question about the Karras loop…

This will be my 3rd Ragbrai. Ive never done the Karras loop and thought I would do it this year. Was wondering do the pass through towns (if there are any) on the Karras loop route still have all the same food, festivities, etc as the other pass through towns on the regular route? Are there still people selling snacks, water, food, etc on the side of the road on the Karras loop? Im guessing the Karras loops still has the same things as the regular route but wanted to double check. Any input/advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

10 Replies

Brian Wallenburg, April 17, 2019 at 9:23 pm

There are far less options on the Karras Loop. Especially if you are running later than most riders. Last year less than 25% of riders road the loop. With the extended miles this year, that number will likely be less. In turn, vendors are where the majority of the riders are. But do it anyway! It’s often some of the best riding and food, just less to choose from.

This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Brian Wallenburg.

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Juerg Tschirren, April 17, 2019 at 9:30 pm

The Karras loop is much quieter than the rest of the route. Only a relatively small fraction of the riders enter the loop. You may find a few vendors in the loop, but don’t count on it. If there are any vendors then most likely it will be a local business or two that set up tables at their residence. This year’s loop is identical to the one of 2016. The patch will be given out at the Honey Creek Resort and there is a restaurant there that will offer food and drinks for sale.

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KenH, April 18, 2019 at 7:36 am

I don’t believe there were any roadside vendors on this particular loop when we last rode it in 2016. The food options at the resort where we got the patches were excellent however.

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Mike Howe, April 18, 2019 at 8:16 am

Thanks for the info. Ill just have to make sure to “load up” in the pass through town before the Karras loop or make sure I have some energy bars/gels with me while on the loop.

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francoisvanzyl, April 18, 2019 at 12:33 pm

In 2017 the day was actually 108 or so miles with the Karras loop. Somehow some people figured out exactly where the 100 mile mark was and an impromptu party ensued with random people stopping and enjoying the festivities under that tree. Music, beer, shots, dancing, the works. Stuff like this that makes RAGBRAI what it is. Do the loop — you never know what can happen.

This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  francoisvanzyl.

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Heather, April 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Last time we did this loop, there was a restaurant/bar on the south part of the loop just before a hill if I recall correctly. According to googlemaps, there are a few local restaurants on the southern part of the loop. The Resort did have excellent food when we were there last time.

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marcolaurenzo, April 18, 2019 at 1:17 pm

I believe I stopped at the Captain’s Landing Restaurant last time thru here on the Loop route, and they had a selection of drinks, etc. that helped refuel me. I concur with others that the Lakeshore Grille has an awesome selection as well. Looking forward to this year’s ride!

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LawnchairMan, April 21, 2019 at 5:30 pm

When we did the century in 2016 I stopped at Confidence to grab a snack. I think that was the last place for food on the route until Honey Creek Resort. There was a church there that had a wide variety of pastries and other food / drinks etc. I will bet they do the same this year. We do go though the town of Walnut City in between those points, but I didn’t see any kind support there. It’s one of those places where if you blink you miss it. I will be looking at Confidence for support.

I hadn’t thought of stopping at restaurants. I will keep that in mind if I run out of supplies. Thanks for the tip!

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tjdale57, April 22, 2019 at 8:49 am

There are 3 bars/restaurants along the loop plus the resort….Louie’s Lakeside Bistro & BBQ is on J5T headed north, Doggs RV Park about 2 miles past the resort, and KC’s Landing on S70 after the bridge headed SW.

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garywilk, April 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Do the loop but no need to stock up. Just fill the water bottle like always along the ride and you will be good. The food at the lodge or bars along the way are great. We had BBQ Brats and they were great and a good price.

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