The Route's Out, What Do You Think?

I love it! Evidently the new twist was to follow a suggestion that many of us have made for years. Put an overnight town on the Mississippi. Burlington to Keokuk. Brilliant!!

54 Replies

Terry Pepple, January 28, 2019 at 6:27 am

I am so excited to ride my very first RAGBRAI!! I was born in Burlington and raised in Keokuk, so this is my dream route. Can’t wait.


kicks9, January 28, 2019 at 7:11 am

We are going East to West this year. 1 day at least!


jwsknk, January 28, 2019 at 10:32 am

Finish: Keokuk seems like it’s long overdue, and I’ve never personally been there. Should be a fun finishing ride along the river. Easy to cross over into Missouri and Illinois just for grins, and make it a 3 state ride. Heck, you could hit Nebraska at the start and make it a 4 state RAGBRAI. Maybe I will do that

Nebraska is easy, there is a shared use trail that crosses the river with the stat line painted in the middle I think from what I have heard that the last day won’t be along the river that much. Like last year they will take us back west. If I remember Burlington right, the schools are at the top and not down by the river. Might see something like Middleton, Lowell West Point, Franklin, Donnellson Montrose Keokuk.


kicks9, January 28, 2019 at 10:43 am

Would be cool to see the official route include even a mile into Illinois.


mootsman, January 28, 2019 at 11:30 am

If the west side river dip is like 2009, instead of an actual boat landing they’ll run a hose with river water to the east side of the Kerry Bridge. And lots of 1st Saturday entertainment will be on the Nebraska side. So it will be super easy to get to Nebraska if you do the dip or the entertainment. I can;t recall what they did in 2013 though since I skipped the dip.


jwsknk, January 28, 2019 at 12:46 pm

seems like the expo and entertainment was at the casino last time. We were west of that maybe on the route out so didn’t head back towards the river.


John Blickem, January 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Ya ride all the way across Iowa and you’re still not done!? RAGBRAITS.
Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa Then South


Brian Pentony, January 28, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Yea, I thought the same. People “peaced out” in Waukon back in 2017 since it was only about 15 miles from Lansing as the crow flies. The next day ride itself was about 45 miles and very hilly at the end.


KenH, January 28, 2019 at 2:39 pm

There was an actual river dip in 2013. Pretty sure we passed the casino on the way to the dip site but you could not torture the route out of me no matter how hard you tried because I simply do not remember the details. Looking at Google maps right now my best guess is that we were all camped near the Mid-America Center but the satellite view does not resemble my memories very closely. Could have been construction since then or maybe its the wrong area entirely. I remember a restaurant to the west, I think, of where we were camped and where we ate dinner on Saturday night. That might be where Quaker Steak and Lube is right now but I could be wrong. At my age I could be conflating memories of two or more start towns!


Barry Schnoor, January 28, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Where will we (throngs of campers) stay in Council Bluffs? Assuming it’s the same campground as the last time RAGBRAI started there…does anyone know?



LawnchairMan, January 29, 2019 at 11:53 pm

I’ve been forgetful all my life, but now I can blame it on old age. (67) I can’t remember where we camped in Council Bluffs in 2013. I remember cycling a short distance on city streets and then on a trail to the dip site. I don’t recognize any of it on Google maps. I do remember the hail storm that evening. Does that count?


LawnchairMan, January 30, 2019 at 12:21 am

I found this set of maps from 2013. I haven’t checked it completely, but it does spark some memories.


LawnchairMan, January 30, 2019 at 12:53 am

Ken H.
Looks like your memories are better than you think. The maps show Harrah’s casino on the trail to the dip site, and you could easily have camped near the Mid America Center. I believe our charter camped on the North side of 23d ave a block East of the Center.


KenH, January 30, 2019 at 1:08 pm

Good find with those maps! They clearly show where we were last time and if they don’t agree exactly with my memories I suspect they are right and I am wrong! So best guess at this point is that we will be in the same area but of course they could put us somewhere else entirely. It could be May or later before we know for sure.


KenH, January 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm

BTW, the Just Go Bike Podcast #103 is out now and it discusses the route in a bit more detail. Give it a listen.

Some tidbits:

They mention the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs but they don’t know where CB will put us.

They went on so long without a mention of it that I thought they were going to skip over the gravel loop but then they did mention it. I don’t know if this is official but TJ did say it is named for Steve Hed. Then TJ said “we hurt people really bad on last year’s loop so we’re going to dial it back a bit this year” to which Andrea Parrot volunteered “Yeah, from 11 to 10”. Make of that what you will. Sunday will also have the now traditional mile of silence.

Andrea talked about the double dip potential in the Mississippi this year and then TJ said there could even be a triple dip. I suppose that means the route will be close enough to the river to make that possible at least once. Perhaps we pass through one or more of the other river towns?

No mention of the Karras loop unless I zoned out and missed it but I cannot imagine the universe in which RAGBRAI has no Karras loop.

Plenty of good stuff, well worth a listen, and if you catch something good that I missed or forgot be sure to share it here.


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