RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

RAGBRAI XLVIII postponed to July 25 - 31, 2021

  • 20 April, 2020
  • Anne Lawrie


As we’ve watched the impact COVID-19 is having on the world, we’ve continued to plan and adjust our timelines, hold key conversations with our trusted partners, and determine the best course of action for all parties involved.

After deep consideration and collaboration with the eight overnight town executive committees, government agencies, the public health department, and official business partners of RAGBRAI, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone RAGBRAI XLVIII to July 25-31, 2021.

The safety of our riders has always been the most important focus for our RAGBRAI team and we feel the decision to postpone to July 25 -31, 2021 is the right one. We strongly feel that this is in everyone’s best interest.

RAGBRAI takes months of planning and preparation. Based on the extreme disruption COVID-19 has had and will have on the planning, we didn’t feel it was responsible to move forward and put the safety of our riders, crew, communities, or residents of Iowa at risk.

While we wish we were biking across Iowa this July, our resolve is to make 2021 even better and we look forward to lifting these communities up when it is safe.

The RAGBRAI XLVIII route will remain the same for 2021. The towns along the route have already put a substantial amount of work and resource into planning and will have the opportunity to showcase their communities in 2021. The full route with meeting and pass-through towns will be announced at a later date.


All riders who have registered and paid for 2020, will have three options.

  1. Transfer their 2020 registration to the 2021 ride. Any rider who chooses this option is not subject to the lottery and will receive their wristband and bike band in 2021. In addition, they will receive a $15 merchandise voucher good through Dec. 31, 2020.
  2. Request a full refund of their 2020 registration.
  3. Donate their registration to Iowa Bicycle Coalition. The non-profit works 365-days a year to advocate, educate, and enhance bicycle laws and safety in the state. Their work goes a long way in making Iowa safe and fun for cyclists.

All riders will be required to fill out a request form by June 01, 2020, to be eligible for a full refund. Riders who do not fill out a form by June 01, 2020, will automatically be transferred to the 2021 ride.

To view our detailed FAQ or to fill our your REQUEST FROM, please visit RAGBRAI.com/registration.


We are planning several ways to stay connected this year in lieu of the ride. More details about a weekend fall ride and more will be released later this spring.

We understand how disappointing this news feels. Please know that we didn’t take this decision lightly. We have spent the last month and a half talking to our partners, reworking our timelines, and while biking continues to be one of the safest things to do right now, we couldn’t take the risk that would endanger even one person come July.

We appreciate your unwavering support and we will be in touch this spring with some exciting new opportunities that will connect you with the RAGBRAI community.


your friends at RAGBRAI


  1. Daniel Hautman

    Well done. Sadly, this was the best choice.

  2. Dirttrack13k

    Done exactly right in my opinion. Bravo Ragbrai. See you next year!!!

  3. Donald Whitt

    That was a really tough call, but the smart one. There is a lot of (political) pressure to take the pandemic less seriously and rip the band-aid off and get back to norma. You wisely resisted. Thank you.

  4. Luv 2 Ski

    I applaud the decision.

  5. Landsand

    Difficult but you did the right thing.

  6. JoeLaslo

    Bravo Dieter Drake and the RAGBRAI team. This is the right decision.

  7. Amanda

    RAGBRAI will return next year and it will be amazingly awesome!

  8. Kevin Even

    Disappointing but sensible, too many uncertainties and just not enough time to react to changing conditions. Good decision.

  9. JAndrewMoss

    I completely agree. This is about the community of riders and, even more importantly, the communities across Iowa that welcome us and the people and businesses that support us. I will gladly transfer my fee to 2021 and will never, ever complain about heat, humidity, rain, or wind again!

  10. davida62

    I appreciate how difficult it must have been to make the decision. And, while I’m disappointed, I think it is the right decision.

  11. Larry Hansen

    A weekend Fall ride sounds great!

  12. j j

    Wise choice. This decision strengthens my confidence in ragbrais management. Drake and the team will have more time to prepare

  13. Charles Tieskotter

    So what happens to the jersey and the bib orders?

  14. teamloon

    So sad to hear but the right choice for everyone’s safety. We’ll be there in spirit in July & back riding in 2021! Can’t wait!

  15. Tfurse

    Very sad, but fully understand and support the decision, as others have said it was the right decision under the circumstances. I am glad you are keeping the same route so we can support the towns originally planned for. I am now training for RAGBRAI 2021!!!

  16. zeitz

    You made the correct decision. Team Flamingo looks forward to flapping across Iowa in 2021.

  17. Joe Magargee

    As the saying goes, “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Thank you for making the brave decision. We’ll see you next year!

  18. zeitz

    Does this mean that we won’t need to have the January Unveiling party in 2021?

  19. arrowfred

    Same route for next year. Fantastic. I will be there. Starting in the town where my parents met and went to collage in the late 1930’s. A hard decision buy the correct one. Thanks to the RAGBRAI organizers for their leadership. See you and 15,000+ of my closest riding friends in 2021!!!

  20. Howard Alderson

    But I just finished installing a Purel dispenser on my handlebar !!

  21. Rebecca Dalton

    The link for the refund is not working.

  22. Brett Okinawa

    Unpopular opinion, but I disagree with this decision.

    It’s sad to see such fear shut down events like this.

    Hopefully Iowa’s ride will have the gumption to go forward.

  23. John Watson

    Cheers to you for making the right choice, sad though it is. RAGBRAI is both a cyclist’s community celebration and a travelling carnival; neither is the kind of event that can be held this year. We don’t know when we can all do those things again. Let’s hope for 2021.

  24. Mark Walker

    I wish it wasn’t so but this is the right decision, taking into account all of the people having to get together for planning meetings etc. So much more than just the week of the ride. This decision tells me RAGBRAI is in good hands.

  25. Keith Lang

    I fully support the decision. The health and safety of all of the riders, support staff, and communities is critical.
    I believe that this will make the 2021 ride even more special.

  26. Anne Lawrie

    Hi All,

    The link should be working now. There was an overload on the system. Let us know if you are still having trouble. On the question of merchandise. You can identify on the REQUEST FORM if you would like to still recieve your merchandise or would like us to refund it. Any additional questions can be emailed to info@ragbrai.com. Thank you, Anne Lawrie

  27. jduddleston

    Very tough decision, but the right one. Current information tells us it would be too much of a risk to the riders and to all of the townspeople in the overnight and pass through towns. Turning 75 this year ——- hopefully I will still be in shape for the week long ride next year. God willing, see you all then! ?‍♂️

  28. Tom Kenney

    Ann, suggest you have the regular unveiling party in January and use it to announce the full route instead.

  29. Emily Dixon

    Thanks for giving us the head’s up as early as possible. My kids are wondering what the chances are of putting out a yearlong training plan for 2021, since we’re already six weeks into this year’s plan? They don’t want to lose the momentum or waste the progress so far!

  30. KenH

    One of the hardest things about making a decision like this is that there simply is no way to know if you have made the best possible decision or not. This is, however, the safest decision that could be made based on available data and it will set many minds at ease all across Iowa. And that is a good thing. The last thing we out of staters would want is to put our beloved Iowa hosts at risk or even to have them afraid that we were putting them at risk. We all really wish that Dieter’s first year at the helm would feature, you know, a ride. But it has been clear for some time now that it would be impossible to get the normal amount of enthusiasm in the host towns when so many are fearful, with some justification, of what the future could bring.

    Thanks to all the RAGBRAI staff and the host city committees for their hard work and their courage in making a very tough decision. We look forward to a splendid ride in 2021!!

  31. chrsey

    My mom and dad are in their mid-80’s and live in Iowa – the right decision

    See you next year !

  32. Dan Adamowich

    A very good decision for all concern; the riders, support people and the town and folk the are on the route. good decision and a brave one!!!

  33. Carolyn Stanek

    As our friend Spike would say, you did the right thing. Can’t wait to meet Dieter next year and welcome back, Andrea–you also did the right thing.

  34. Thomas Nasko

    Very difficult but an excellent decision. Too many unknowns and too difficult to do complex planning under the current conditions. I’m looking forward to riding next year. Thanks for your good judgement and all the work done so far.

  35. Ivan Palmateer

    It’s good to know that RAGBRAI is still in very good hands and will continue to big the biggest and best ride in the country. Looking forward to 2021 so I can celebrate my 80th birthday having fun with friends.

  36. KDeanMiller

    Thank you for having the courage to make the right decision, will be ready for next year! Thank you

  37. Matthew

    Disappointing but the correct thing to do.

  38. TomAndrews3

    Right decision! Now, members of our Team don’t have to decide whether to ride or not, and many were leaning to “not”. That would have thrown our logistics off drastically. Thank you for not putting us in that position. I noticed only one negative comment out of the 37 posted so far. His hope was that T.J.’s Iowa Ride would continue. I hope it does not, for the safety and health of Iowa; but, if it does, we WILL actually get to find out whether or not the perceived risk was real, as we will see what congregating over 5,000 people in one place looks like from a COVID-19 perspective. From my perspective, Dieter & Anne, you made a brave, tough, unprecedented decision, and I thank you for having the courage to do so. See you in 2021 . . . I hope!

  39. John Holliday

    Sad decision and a painful one to make, but it was the right decision IMO.
    It will just make 2021 Ragbrai that much sweeter!
    Be safe.

  40. trek2300

    Absolutely the correct decision. But now I’m confused and wondering if this year’s training miles will count for 2021?

  41. Rob Tigges

    Unfortunately the current situation dictates the safety of the communities (including us riders) we’d be travelling and interacting with, better to be known as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    2021 it is then.

  42. Dana Shifflett

    I prefer to deal with reality; it seems you do, too. My greatest concern is not the I might catch the virus, but that I or someone else might unwittingly spread it all across the state, and with 10,000+ participants that would be a high probability. Not only would that be a disaster on several levels, but it would likely kill our favorite event altogether because NO ONE WOULD WANT US AGAIN.
    For the chap who just installed the purell dispenser on his handlebars: pits, dude, but now you can safely use your bike for local errands. Thanks for the levity, we should all accept this and go forward with that kind spirit.

  43. DanaPSC

    Thank you, friends, for taking on this very difficult decision. Like most people here, I respect the painful choice, but I agree it was the responsible one. With so many riders, it would have been impossible to protect the wonderful folks in every town along the way from exposure.

    I hope to join you in 2021 for my second RAGBRAI.

  44. bbrown

    Good on you, RAGBRAI leaders! These are times when we really need grown-up thinking and responsible decisions. This has been tough, and I firmly believe you made the right call, for the benefit of everyone.
    Yes, I’m leaving my registration fee on deposit and planning to ride in 2021. But I’ll tell you what – if you put a request to me, I’ll probably just donate it to RAGBRAI, and pay another registration for next year. That’s how strongly I feel about your good leadership here; about RAGBRAI itself, and all these challenges RAGBRAI has been facing; and about keeping your operation and all of your people well-supported financially. (And no, I don’t expect RAGBRAI to be primarily a charity, I understand it has been run as a business operation all along, and that’s just fine. Keep rolling!)

  45. lsk612

    We’ve done ragbrai for 32 yrs and hate to see it cancelled but it was the right decision. I certainly don’t want to take chances with my health…I’m 72 yrs old and hope to be in good enough shape to do it next year.

  46. Jose Medina

    Very difficult decision but the right one. It was in the best interest of all riders , Highway Patrol, Medical personel and the wonderul people of Iowa. I have the highest respect for the Ragbrai leadership. Bravo !!! This was going to be 30 years for me and now looking forward to next year.

  47. Joseph Schlau

    “I noticed only one negative comment out of the 37 posted so far. His hope was that T.J.’s Iowa Ride would continue”.

    Ah yes, it was just 6 months ago since that petulant ex-employee started unfolding his plan to hijack Ragbrai. The biggest difference is that if he cancels, there will be not be enough money to refund. The Iowa’s Ride was the product of an overwhelming sense of importance and greed.

    According to the current IHME model, Iowa will not be in a position to even enter Phase 1 for returning to work until early July. Even with with perfect numbers it will be August before Iowa enters phase 3. Going back to work is hardly on par with recreational bike ride.

    In any case, a large gathering of this type is not permitted. Even if TJ tries to hold the ride, I doubt the welcome sign will be out in many places and his ride may be rerouted away from any towns.

    The pressure on county commissioners, mayors, and health department to keep his ride out of their county, their town, and their health care system will be great especially in the light of Ragbrai’s reasoning for postponement.

    TJ is going to have to face the fact that he picked the wrong ride, the wrong issue, and definitely the wrong time.

    Maybe it’s a good time to get a partial refund before the money, the ride, and TJ disappears.

  48. Jim McGowan

    Great decision! I was getting worried that you would go ahead and do this and put thousands at risk. I work in a hospital and we’re seeing the impact in our small community and it’s frightening. I can only imagine what would happen if an influx of 10k people stayed over night in our small town. Frankly, it would scare the s**t out of me! Our hospital would be completely overwhelmed. Thank you for making a tough decision to take care of people over making a buck. This was going to be my first RAGBRAI and I’m glad to keep training until next year. See you in 2021!

  49. smithjosepha

    Hey when can I expect my refund? Let’s get on the move with the money I’m not Michael Jordan.

  50. DenBiker

    Patience my friend! Four days past the announcement is way too soon to be expecting a refund.

    According to the FAQ statement found at RAGBRAI.com/registration you first need to fill out a refund request. The requests will be processed 2-3 times a week and even then it may take a couple of weeks to get the refund out to you. Again – Patience!

  51. Bob Amlie

    They CAN’T postpone it!!!! I just bought a nice new $4000 EBike!! I guess I’ll just go ride the route, anyway.

  52. smithjosepha

    Filled out the refund application online. How about a confirmation response DenBike? That would be appreciated.

  53. smithjosepha

    Previous post were implying T.J. ‘s ride would fail to refund registration fees. I was signed up for the Iowa’s Ride and also RAGBRAI. T.J. confirmed my request for refund in a prompt and timely email. RAGBRAI responded after about a week of requesting a refund. It will be interesting to see which rides refund arrives first.

  54. smithjosepha

    Hey got my Iowas Ride refund today nothing from RAGBRAI! Sure could use that refund kids need cereal and milk how about a refund so my kids can eat?

  55. Anne Lawrie


    We apologies for the delay. We processed your refund request and it was cut and mailed on Thursday of last week. You should have recieved it in the mail this week. Can you confirm if it has arrived? Feel free to email me directly at anne@ragbrai.com as well. Thank you.

  56. mcpartla

    This is great sentiment and positive wishful thinking that 2021 Ragbrai will be possible but unrealistic until … and if … we have a cure. Viruses have been with us always … Ebola, Aids, Yellow Fever … and we’ve been lucky so far but this one could be even more potentially harmful and despite what some are saying quite predictable that it would happen. What if it stays in the human body like Malaria and comes back again and again and again? We need national leadership and unity to fight this pandemic. 99 days until our 2020 election.

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