RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

To riders who live in Des Moines and Ames

because I’m bored and don’t want to wash dishes, I started thinking about the ride south to Des Moines from Ames. got my Iowa DOT map out out to try to figure the route from Ames to Des Moines. I’m assuming that we might camp might at one of two places DsM Water Works the large field where we did in 2013 or maybe at the Iowa State Fair Grounds. If the route out of Ames is to the west I’m guessing we are on our way to DsM Water Works. If the route is to the east maybe we are on way to the Fair Grounds. There is maybe a third possible route, South on highway 69. But that’s not going to happen. No more thinking, my head hurts.

8 Replies

Uncle Kraig, February 26, 2023 at 4:56 pm

I’ll meet you at Fenders Brewing in Polk City for a fine local brew on July 26th if that helps with your route analysis :) My only question is which side of Saylorville Lake will we be riding down; the Johnston side or the Ankeny side?


MSukach, February 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm

The Des Moines Register published an article not long after the route announcement saying that the camp would be at Water Works. Hopefully that saves you a headache! Lol


Uncle Kraig, February 26, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Yes, MSukach is correct. They did say they would be camping at Waterworks. How we get there from Ames, through Polk city, is the question. We’ll find out soon enough I’m sure. See you in July.


WDM Doug, February 28, 2023 at 8:58 pm

My guess is Ames – Slater – Polk City – across Mile Long Bridge (NW Saylorville Dr) – Grimes – Urbandale – Clive – West Des Moines, then to WaterWorks Park from the west. My guess is based on previous routes and traffic around here and it’s right at the published 50 mile distance from the 2018 camp in Ames to the RAGBRAI Founder’s Statue in Water Works.


Rob Fuller, March 1, 2023 at 7:54 am

Just thinking, the Saylorville bridge would be an excellent place for the Guinness World Record officials to count cyclists (maybe using a video camera to validate the number). More important, it is now March so July must be just around the corner!


HelenP, March 1, 2023 at 6:16 pm

That’s an interesting idea. The bridge, being limited access, would also help to prevent cheating, so the record takers might prefer that.


Portland Cyclist PDX, March 1, 2023 at 8:01 pm

I wonder how many riders are going to take portions of the Trestle or Neal Smith trails as an alternative to the route. Especially if the main route intersects or nears either/both of those bike paths. I’m trying to imagine all the logistical hurdles of 50,000-100,000 riders that day. Everything will slow to a crawl.


HelenP, March 1, 2023 at 10:11 pm

I noticed quite a few places where the route could go that were next to existing, but narrow bike paths. It would be easy for riders to take the path instead, and also fairly easy to walk back to the official route if they needed to SAG.


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