RAGBRAI XLIX registration is now open!

The 2017 Route

I have not done RAGBRAI in several years due to knee surgeries that ultimately ended up in a total right knee replacement in 2013.

Did 5 of them prior to 2011.

Where dos this route compare to others regarding amount of climb? I am not worried about distance…am worried about hills LOL.

It seems as if there is a lot.


7 Replies

jwsknk, June 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

most of the climb will be in the last 2 days.


KenH, June 5, 2017 at 10:45 am

It is not going to be a bad year for climbing. According to the GeoBike introduction page: “Subject to any route changes, RAGBRAI XLV will clock in as the 3rd shortest ride, the 3rd least climb, and the 3rd easiest ride. Continuing our fixation on “3”, Day 3 also clocks in as the 8th least climb. Hummmm…. I’m thinking that if you’ve always wanted to come join the ride, even for a day, this would be the year! “. There may be some memorable hills the last two days and the last day in particular. By the time you hit them you will have had a week to harden yourself against the rigors of the ride and you can always walk them if you need to. If you are concerned about your knees in particular then you might want to do what you can to your bike’s gearing to get yourself as low a gear as possible to let you spin rather than bash your way up hills. Spinning will slow you down, but it is a lot easier on the knees.

Last year was close to twice the climb as this year will be. I don’t think there were any particularly hard climbs last year. It was death by a thousand cuts last year. The hills just kept coming and coming and coming. None of us know either your physical condition or the route’s climbs well enough to give you any specific advice on how to best tackle this year’s climbing. All we can say is that except for a few hills the last couple of days this year’s climbing will be about as easy as it gets in “flat” Iowa!


John Sheffield, June 5, 2017 at 10:49 am

Thanks both of you….usually I don’t pay attn to the numbers…but it has been a long time LOL. 3 knee surgeries (2011, 12 , 1nd 13); this Spring an achilles issue which required a boot for 12 weeks + a torn rotator cuff LOL



Kbjc, June 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm

You can do it John! Love ya.


Jack Eaton, June 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Hey John,
This year’s route will be a piece of cake or should I say “PIE” eating contest. You’ll have no issues with hills. Just have your two sweethearts Katrina & Heidi out front with a tow rope and the last two days hills combined with a weeks worth of “PIE” and your the envy of all us old timers.
Like your Colorado hat.
Train hard, see ya in a few weeks,


John Sheffield, June 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

heck…after reading up on this ride and how it compares to others I probably won’t even train LOL :)


Brian Wallenburg, June 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm

I sense your sarcasm, but the hills in northeastern Iowa are legit. Longer and as steep as the hills the first several days last year. Last time we were in eastern Iowa, there were plenty of riders pushing their bikes up several of the hills. The only reason this ride is the 3rd least in hills is because of the first 4 days. Law of averages isn’t always the best guide to go by. Keep training and pace yourself, you’ll be fine.


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