RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Day 1 – Le Mars to Sac City

  • 6 June, 2021
  • Andrea Parrott

Le Mars, we love you. We were feeling good this morning after food, fun, and a ton of ice cream, and ready to take on the long day today. Over 30 riders gathered this beautiful June morning at our starting city of Le Mars to kick off the 16th annual RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride.

We kicked off our ride from Le Mars! This gorgeous mural was just touched up yesterday

Our 454-mile fact-finding mission will take place this week, ending at the Mississippi River in Clinton on Saturday, June 12.

Today’s ride was 84 miles with approximately 2,816 feet of climb. On our way from Le Mars to Sac City, we visited Oyens, Remsen, Cherokee (meeting town), Aurelia, Alta, and Early. Click this text for a map of the first day of RAGBRAI XLVIII.

Photos from our trip are below – but be sure to scroll down for details on the day’s ride and our overnight town, Sac City!

There is a nice veteran’s memorial on the way into Remsen.

We took a much-needed break from the wind at Mark Peters’ farm! It will be an oasis on RAGBRAI, complete with DJ!

Lunch at Carey’s Cafe in Cherokee!

We found the water tower in Aurelia!

First pie of the Pre Ride in Early!

During Sunday of RAGBRAI XLVIII we will hold the Mile of Silence. The Mile of Silence is to remember riders we have lost. Please observe a moment of silence as you ride between Oyens and Remsen on Highway 3. There will be signs to mark the mile. Thank you to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition for providing the signage.

Click this text to check out Des Moines Register Photographer Brian Powers’ photos from today’s ride!

Look we have to be honest with you. Today’s ride was a BEAST. As Coach Ertl describes we had each of the four H’s today – Heat, Hills, Headwind (30+ miles per hour) and Humidity. Luckily you won’t have the same weather as us! And to be honest the hills were those perfect rolling hills that everyone dreams about, and the road was smooth. For a description of our visits to each pass through town, check out today’s episode of the JustGoBike podcast! Featuring Kathy “Murphology” Murphy and Andrea “ParrotTalk” Parrott. You can find it wherever you like to listen to podcasts, or follow this link:

We’re going to Saddle Up ‘n Ride with Cherokee! Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their RAGBRAI plans – just click this text!

Let’s Ride the Ridge into Alta! Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their RAGBRAI plans – just click this text! 

We’ll be at the Crossroads of the Nation in Early! Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their RAGBRAI plans – just click this text!


Things are really going to pop off in Sac City! Which, if you don’t know, is home to the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball. This will be RAGBRAI’s first time staying overnight in Sac City so let’s show them what “RAGBRAI Nice” is all about!

We hope you can feel the welcoming energy as you pedal through the small town of Sac City, taking in the beauty of all the recent and ongoing improvements with help from the John Criss Trust.

Sac City is planning what we hope to be a very positive and memorable experience for the riders and other guests. We are very much focusing on providing the items that would be on Maslow’s Hierarchy of RAGBRAI Needs, if there was such a thing: food, beverages, showers, places to camp/stay, and entertainment. We will have some very talented performers starting at 3:00 PM in our downtown vendor area, and then moving around 5:00 PM to our nearby Sac County Fairgrounds, where two warmup acts will lead up to our main act, yet to be announced!

We hope our riders will enjoy their stay in Sac City, and experience its beauty, both from nature (an extensive tree canopy along the Raccoon River) and from man — historic homes, amazing parks, and an extensive public art collection. Among the other “must-see’s” in town are the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball, Cattail Cove, the “dandelion lights” at South Park, the Sac County Freedom Rock, the historic Chautauqua Building, and the new landscaping along the east entrance to town, featuring a wide range of metal sculptures.

The family-owned stores found throughout Sac City treat their patrons as if they have known them for years. No one is a stranger in Sac City, and you won’t be either!

For more information on Sac City’s RAGBRAI plans, visit their page on our site: Sac City RAGBRAI

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saccityragbrai
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SacCityRAGBRAI

Be sure to tune in each day for Route Inspection updates:
Social Media * Here on RAGBRAI.com * JustGoBike Podcast
ft. Kathy Murphy aka Murphology and ParrotTalk!
We’ll release a JustGoBike Podcast every day! Including fun facts and RAGBRAI plans from the pass through towns on RAGBRAI XLVIII!

You can also follow the pre-ride adventure and learn interesting tidbits about the route by following us on social media:
Facebook: Facebook.com/RAGBRAI
Instagram: @RAGBRAI 
Murphology Podcast on Instagram: @MurphologyPodcast
JustGoBike Podcast: soundcloud.com/JustGoBike

Have a great day and we will check in with you tomorrow! – Andrea

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