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RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Recap Day 4 – Emmetsburg to Mason City #ForKarras

  • 16 June, 2022

You all know it – Day Four of RAGBRAI (and the Route Inspection Pre Ride) is THE BIG ONE, the big kahuna, the whole enchilada, mondo fondo, that’s right it’s the 100 mile day! And we are riding it #ForKarras, to honor our co-founder John Karras who had a tendency to throw mandatory century days into his routes. Guess what… we had a blast riding the century and we think you will too!

As you’ll see from the photo we started early – at 6am instead of our usual 7am so that we would be ready to conquer the 100+ mile day. Nineteen riders gathered on this lovely Wednesday morning. Day Four’s ride was 105 miles with approximately 1,699 feet of climb. On our way from Emmetsburg to Mason City, we visited Whittemore, Algona, Wesley, Britt (Meeting Town), and KlemmeClick this text for a map of the fourth day of RAGBRAI XLIX.

During the week of RAGBRAI 2022 we will honor co-founder John Karras who passed away at the end of 2021. Grandpa RAGBRAI is fondly remember by many, not just for creating our beloved ride, but for his sarcastic wit, and always being a fixture on the RAGBRAI Karras Loop, handing out patches and posing for photos. And as we mentioned previously, he also notoriously added 100 mile days to his early RAGBRAI routes. Riding 100 miles #ForKarras seems like a fitting tribute.

Just this once we’re going to give away the ending – out of the 19 riders, 17 completed the century. That’s the most who have ever ridden the full 100 on any Route Inspection! In defense of the two who didn’t finish, they were pulled away due to work obligations. Sorry you had to miss out on the fun! We kept to a strict schedule so we would be sure to complete the century in good time. That being said we did stop in every single town for a half hour or more. If we can do it you can too!

Wednesday of RAGBRAI XLIX is also RAGBRAI Jersey Day! So wear your 2022 RAGBRAI jersey – or your favorite “retro” RAGBRAI jersey! If you didn’t order a 2022 kit, you can get one online at www.RAGBRAI.com/shop, or at the RAGBRAI merchandise trailers which will be located at the RAGBRAI Expo in Sergeant Bluff, at each Meeting Town, and every overnight town after that. Note the John Karras commemorative patch on the sleeve of the 2022 jersey.



Resting at The Farm just past Rodman

Note: after 16 miles you’ll have a stop at the unincorporated town of Rodman. The Iowa Beer Bus will be there slinging bloody marys and other breakfast drinks, and two miles down the road you’ll encounter a Farm with the Chris Cakes station. After that you’ll roll 8 more miles to Whittemore. So some nice big stretches of riding to start your day.

Whittemore has a Freedom Rock, and will also have some great breakfast vendors set up. Including Heartland Nosh and Coffee, Farm Kids & Rhinehart, and we heard the church has “pie potential” – we need you to investigate that and see how tasty those potential pies are :)



They let us stand in the street to take this photo! Go big indeed! If you are at all familiar with Algona you may also know that they are home to the world’s largest Cheeto! Yes you read that correctly! Word has it that the Cheeto has been located and will be on display for RAGBRAI riders!! They will also have large games, and a large number of vendors for you including many local vendors. Speaking of local vendors, AP (Parrott) had a quick stop at her favorite Algona shop – the Perky Parrot.


Wesley’s theme is Taking A Step Back in Time! Follow their page on Facebook to keep up with their RAGBRAI plans – just click this text!

To kick things off we got to take a spin around the block in a classic Cadillac – chauffeured by RAGBRAI Director Matt Phippen. Thanks to Jumbo from the liquor store for letting us borrow his wheels! Of course it’s not all play on the Route Inspection, here’s AP interviewing rider Jennifer Wyatt in Johnny’s Bar and Grill.

Okay enough about us – Wesley has a lot in store for riders during RAGBRAI. Besides the liquor store and Johnny’s bar. They will also have an antique tractor display, petting zoo, and at noon, a WILD WEST SHOOTOUT (demonstration)!! Vendors will include: pie from Catholic Partners of America, cinnamon rolls and muffins from Sweet Stacks, a DJ on the patio at Johnny’s, fruit, brats and hot dogs at the Fire Department, and a DJ at Wine on Wheels.



You KNOW no visit to Britt is complete with out a trip to the Hobo Museum. It’s such a wonderful place to learn about the history of hobos and the Great Depression. Even if you’ve been there before it’s worth another trip, they’ve done some nice renovations to the exhibit.
The Britt Fire Department will have water fights during the day, and downtown will be lined with vendors. Keep an eye on that Facebook page for vendor info coming soon. And while we’re thinking Fire Departments…

That’s right AP found time for another fire truck photo op. This one’s a beaut! This was the first time any FD has allowed her to sound the horn, a fun first that really woke up the other riders. Sorry about that!



From Britt we rolled on to Klemme – Follow their page on Facebook to keep up with their RAGBRAI plans – just click this text! We had pork sandwiches and cookies in their shady park.

And of course we had to inspect their play structure! It’s ready for you, RAGBRAI! On the ride Klemme will have a bike-through sprinkler, and over 13 vendors including the Fire Department’s beer garden and Wine on Wheels with their DJ.



Quick safety chat (in Klemme)

Burchinal is a small, unincorporated community along the route so we did not stop. However there will be a century patch location somewhere in this stretch, along with shuttles for those who do not wish to complete the century. We will release more specific details on this as we get closer to the ride.

Mason City

Mason City will welcome RAGBRAI on Wednesday, July 27! Our community’s RAGBRAI committees have been working hard behind the scenes to provide a day full of great food, activities, and entertainment for riders and locals alike.
Mason City’s town theme is ‘Ride of the Century’ in honor of the fun challenge riders have that day — a 100-mile journey starting from Emmetsburg-RAGBRAI. This is the longest mileage day on the RAGBRAI route this year and the first Century Day since 1985 so it’s a big, big deal. We are looking forward to celebrating this awesome accomplishment with the riders!
Our logo was designed by local resident Julie Kim, a 15-year RAGBRAI veteran herself. It features muted earth-tones inspired by Mason City’s famous Prairie School architecture and visual elements our community members are sure to recognize, like The Historic Park Inn and the downtown plaza light posts. Julie says the wavy lines represent the Winnebago River and the straight lines show progress and movement. The banners represent the finish line and the feeling of jubilation that comes with a JOB WELL DONE.
Welcome to Mason City, RAGBRAI riders! We can’t wait to congratulate you!

Mason City’s theme is Ride of the Century! And what a ride it was! We found the ride to be full of awesome towns, with a fun route, and the miles melted away. We can’t wait for you to experience it in a few weeks!

We had a police escort as we rode into Mason City, as well as residents cheering us on along the way!

Congrats to the Route Inspectors who completed the century into Mason City! #ForKarras

Thanks to Mason City for a delicious post-ride BBQ dinner at Fat Hill Brewing!

While in Mason City your entertainment for the evening will include:


Don Felder (6:30-8:00)

Sugar Ray (8:30-11:00)

These FREE shows will be in the parking lot west of City Hall.

Our official event MC for the day is comedian Day Peace.

Also downtown, Mason City will have two smaller stages for music basically all day! Exact times will be announced closer to the date.

Muse Norris Side Stage

3 PM – 6 PM: 13 on Seven (90s rock & grunge)

Principal Pavilion

3 PM – 4:30 PM: Danny Grause (country, blues, funk, & rock)

4:30 PM – 6 PM: Brad Morgan (easy going country)


For more information on Mason City’s RAGBRAI plans, visit their website: Mason City RAGBRAI

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ragbraimasoncity


Ready for more? 

For a description of our visits to each pass through town, check out the Day Four 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: https://soundcloud.com/justgobike/preride-ragbrai-route-inspection-ride-2022-day-4

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
Murphology Podcast on Facebook: @MurphologyPodcast
Murphology Podcast on Twitter: @murphologypod
JustGoBike Podcast: soundcloud.com/JustGoBike

Have a great day and happy trails! – Andrea

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