RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

wheel dip on Saturday

Anybody know how far Sergeant Bluff is from the Missouri River. Need to know how much time to allow on Saturday for a rear wheel dip!

30 Replies

PTA2PTB, May 21, 2022 at 1:18 pm

Looks to be about 3.8 miles, or so says Google Maps, from the heart of town over to Chautauqua Park; which seems like as good a place as any to dip your rear wheel, I suppose. And in the absence of anything better, that will likely be my spot.


PTA2PTB, May 21, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Additionally, there’s a boat launch ramp nearby, which allows you to get right down to the water’s edge quite easily, though it’s more in order of 5.9 miles from the heart of town. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.3628029,-96.4149635/42.4003113,-96.3626718/@42.3698152,-96.4000484,3115m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e0


LawnchairMan, May 21, 2022 at 4:00 pm

I think I will skip the dip this year. I don’t see a paved route that does not have a lot of traffic. The path to Chautauqua Park is three miles of gravel each way. Paved routes into Sioux City look congested to me. Have I missed a better way?


PTA2PTB, May 21, 2022 at 6:55 pm

Well, to each their own, and as each sees fit. But for me, this will be my very first, and hopefully the start of many, RAGBRAI’s. Unless, of course, “RAGBRAI”, is one of those weird words, like “fish”, whose plural is the same as its singular; and in that case, drop the “s”?

I’ve only been wanting to do this ride for 28 yrs now, ever since first learning of it during a customer service call to one of my inside sales rep’s, one who worked at one of the major employers in Mason City, IA, and who happened to mention it to me after I mentioned that I’d recently started bicycling.

But, as with lots of things in “Life: like: wife, kids, lack of vacation time, lack of money, lack of a bike, not being physically fit enough, etc, get in the way of your dreams. But, happily, after 28 years, all the stars have finally aligned for me, and this will be my year. That being the case, and not having a picture album slam full of “Missouri River rear-wheel-dipping” photo’s to reminisce upon, I’m willing to do whatever it takes, traversing gravel roads, or whatever it takes, to get the “full experience” of RAGBRAI, and put that pic into my, mental as well as icloud backed up, scrapbook: “TheHammer” and I will take turns taking pic’s of each other, with each other’s phones. Cheers!


HelenP, May 21, 2022 at 10:48 pm


What about going south around the airport? It’s about 6 miles with “moderate hills” (while the northern path has “very steep hills”). It looks like reasonable roads for cycling, then a short distance on what looks like a hardpacked dirt road — you can see the double wheel tracks from space. The end looks like a small sandy beach.


HelenP, May 21, 2022 at 10:58 pm

P. S., Those other roads south of the airport might be dirt, too.


LawnchairMan, May 22, 2022 at 7:34 am

There seems to be seven and a half mile route that would only have dirt roads for half a mile, but the end goes between fertilizer plants. I’m talking about starting at the Fairway Grocery and using Port Neal Road (K25) to go south about five miles. Turn right onto 255 which turns into 266. (Google Maps) This paved road turns and goes south of the Reliant Processing plant, so that area could be private property. Are there any locals who could find out? There are weird turns at the end but it looks like a dirt boat ramp.


LawnchairMan, May 22, 2022 at 7:44 am

Oops! I tried to edit, but maybe I waited too long. A closer map inspection shows a fence across the “boat ramp”, so it makes this whole route pointless. Sorry to waste your time.


Randall Murphy, May 22, 2022 at 8:22 am

A few years ago my sister and I rode 40 miles round trip to a dip site on Saturday. I think it was in Onawa and we went south quite a few miles and then west to the boat ramp. There ended up being a small campground there with a mom and pop diner. We ate first breakfast with another couple riders that we met there. For me, the purpose of going on this ride is to ride my bike and enjoy the company along the way. Saturday is day 0 of an 8 day bike ride. See you in July .


HelenP, May 22, 2022 at 10:26 am

Looks like there’s a chain link gate across my route, too. Guess it’s too close to the airport, although staying slightly more east, closer to the highway on a parellel road, before turning west might avoid that.


LawnchairMan, May 22, 2022 at 10:49 am

Sorry, I confused your Weedland Boat ramp route with Chautauqua Park. I thought you were saying they were the same route. Chautauqua looks paved to get there, but do you know if we can get through the brush to the river?


PTA2PTB, May 22, 2022 at 11:37 am

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Unless someone comes up with something better, I’m going to go with either, Chautauqua Park, which looks to me to be paved roads most of the way but would be difficult to get down to the water, or Weedland Boat Access, which goes right down to the water, but you would have to traverse, about the last 2.8 miles of the trip, over dirt/gravel roads. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.378162,-96.3783405/Weedland+Boat+Access,+Sergeant+Bluff,+IA+51054/@42.3698919,-96.4042944,2620m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x8791fffa65c1a0d1:0xdb4a25847d5d7597!2m2!1d-96.4127273!2d42.3617439


HelenP, May 22, 2022 at 11:44 am

The kids play plenty of softball at the park, and there are the typical chain link fences in the pictures of them, to stop stray balls.

But now there’s this odd, dark line running parallel & very near the river that looks like a thin trench. I’d bet that’s where a fence used to be, and it was removed temporarily so we could reach the water. It looks like you’ve found our official dip site, being readied.

The park is about the right size, and Google’s green lines for bike paths/lanes touch to the north, and also further south, where we’d use it to cross the highway to get to the park and airport.


PTA2PTB, May 22, 2022 at 11:46 am

And while I can’t speak for the rest of you, I’m going for a bare minimum of 4 dips, for the week. And, no, I’m not riding a delta styled trike.

I’m dipping the rear wheel in the Missouri, the front over in the Mighty Mississip’, and I’m going to get, at least once during the week, a double-dip of my favorite ice cream, at the first ice cream shop I pedal to.

Sadly, it appears that Brownie’s, in Ida Grove, is closed on Sundays. Unless of course the purveyors are really enterprising, and decide to open that day, a day when they could likely serve more customers in a single day than they normally do in a month.


HelenP, May 22, 2022 at 12:08 pm

There are numerous erratic tire tracks (as through heavy trucks had turned around a lot), what appears to be scraped clear ground, maybe a long line of tree and brush piled up, and even a white work truck and trailer (in Google’s satellite image). Maybe it’s just cooincidence.


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