RAGBRAI LI Day Passes are still available!

Route Inspection Ride: Day 6 – Grinnell to Coralville

  • 10 June, 2011
  • Jared

by T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI Director

The weather was much better today and the RAGBRAI pre-riders got another full day of riding in without getting wet.  It was overcast and 50 degrees cooler than earlier in the week, which made for great cycling weather.  A few dozen cyclists gathered at 8:00am at Grinnell’s Ahrens Park to ride the RAGBRAI Route.  We had cyclists that were RAGBRAI committee members from both Grinnell and Coralville, riders from Muscatine, Tiffen and Iowa City join the pre-riders.

The day’s ride is about 75 miles and about 2,800 feet of climb.  The day is pretty flat, but has a few nice hills towards the end of the ride.  Friday’s ride will be the inaugural RAGBRAI College Spirit Day, where we encourage RAGBRAIers to wear their college colors.  We will start the ride in Grinnell, home to Grinnell College, and end the ride in Coralville, which is next door to the University of Iowa.

Here are some facts and points of interest from each town.


This town of over 1,300 people will be the first breakfast stop just under 15 miles outside of Grinnell. RAGBRAI has visited the community of Brooklyn four previous times, the last time occurring in 2006.  This time, the route will travel through the downtown of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is known as the “Community of Flags.” The town proudly displays a year-round, gigantic outdoor flag display unfurling the pride of 50 states, the armed services and more.  RAGBRAIers can explore the Brooklyn Opera House, the quaint Brooklyn Historical Museum housed in an 1869 home and a 1930s Standard Oil Station which still provides full service.


Victor, a town of just less than 1,000 people, is very proud of their Belgian heritage. The town is showcasing their ethnic background with the theme, “Rollen’ into Victor”, showcasing their love of Rolle Bolle.

Riders will be invited to play the Belgian game of Rolle Bolle on an official Rolle Bolle court in downtown Victor.  Doug and Boone DeBrower gave the pre-riders a Rolle Bolle demonstration and let them rolle some bolles.  A good Rolle Bolle player knows you needs drink in your non-rollen hand to keep your balance while playing. The court in town was developed by the late Spyder DeBrower.

Victor’s specialty food will be the Breakfast Sundae, which consists of scrambled eggs, sausage links, tater tots and a squirt of cheese and a variety of food vendors.  The town will also have food and drink in the city park.  When asked if they will be serving Belgian food, town co-chair Marla Faga said, “Of course, we will be serving beer!” The American Legion will be serving pancakes and Bloody Marys.  They will also have plenty of pies.


This tiny town of 287 people has hosted RAGBRAI four previous times, the last time occurring in 2006.   The Ladora community threw a huge party the last time RAGBRAI rolled through town.  Ladora will have plenty of food vendors, live bathrooms and a beer garden. 

The town also boasts the Ladora Bank Bistro, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Marengo (Meeting Town)

This town of over 2,000 people hosted RAGBRAI overnight back in 2006.  RAGBRAI has visited the community of Marengo four previous times.  The communities plans to have live bands on their shady town square and plenty of food for the vendors.  Kids can enjoy the new playground equipment in Marengo Park that was helped funded with the proceeds for RAGBRAI’s last visit.

Amana Colonies (West Amana, South Amana & Homestead)

There are seven historic villages of the Amana Colonies that were founded by German immigrants as a religious communal society in 1855 and have been collectively named a National Historic Landmark.  The Colonies are one of Iowa’s most famous tourist attractions.  RAGBRAI will visit three of the villages including West Amana, South Amana and Homestead.  West Amana will have the Village Association and Artist Guild serving food, pies and drinks.  Be sure to rock in the Largest Giant Rocker in the world and see the basket exhibits.

Homestead will be the largest of the celebrations, just as they hosted back in 2008 as riders were heading to North Liberty.  AJ’s Copper Garden will host a large tented beer garden serving locally brewed Millstream Beer, Amana produced Ackerman Vines and Budweiser products. 17 vendors will be serving great food while bands “Let it Ride” and “Past Masters” perform.  Henry’s Market will have food and a farmer’s market as well as Middle Amana’s Rose and Thorn that will be serving chicken. 

Be sure to try Happle Pies that will be serving organic pies.  They are from Williamsburg but are in the middle of opening a Homestead business.     


Oxford is FIRED UP to host RAGBRAI and benefit the local fire department!  The pre-riders visited city hall in Oxford for some baked treats and visit with city leaders in Oxford.  The community will have plenty of food incluidng Hall Ball Sundaes, ice cream cups , root beer floats, tenderloins, walking tacos, baked kolaches, assorted pies and plenty of drinks.

For entertainment, the Polks Dots will kick things off followed by the Dixie Swing Band.  Next up will be a family of three generations preforming (Carolyn, Holly & Hanna) and lastly, the Randy Harker band which plays country music.  Bags toss games will be availabel for riders to play. 

The Oxford Project is a book capturing the stories of 100 Oxford residents along with photographs of them taken 20 years apart. Photographer Peter Feldstein (an Oxford resident who will be in town during RAGBRAI) took photographs of all but 3 of his neighbors during 1984. In 2005 & 2006 he returned with writer Stephen G. Bloom to take updated photos and interview as many of those original residents as possible.


Friday’s ride will conclude in Coralville, who has hosted RAGBRAI three times in the past.  Coralville’s theme is “Coralville U: Tailgate Tested, Tailgate Approved”.  The community will host the culmination of the inaugural College Spirit Day including the RAGBRAI Mascot Challange. 

Riders will once again get to relax at ST Morrison Park that has large acreage for camping of riders close to all activities.  The pool will be available for riders to cool off after the 75 mile day. 

38 Special in Concert Presented by Two Rivers Bank & Trust
Southern Rock band 38 Special, presented by Two Rivers Bank & Trust, will bring their signature blast of Southern Rock to the RAGBRAI® overnight celebration at the Town Center Parking Ramp on July 29, 2011.  Tickets for the concert will be $10 and free for anyone wearing the official RAGBRAI wristband.

Their many Gold and Platinum album awards stand in testament to the endurance of a legendary powerhouse. Most associate the band with their timeless hits that have become radio staples, including “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Chain Lightnin’,” and “Second Chance.”Times and schedule subject to change.

Day 7 – Saturday, June 11

The weather should be excellent for our ride tomorrow from Coralville to Davenport. Tune in tomorrow for another report from the Route Inspection Ride!


  1. brad erickson

    Please let your riders know that the Ladora Bank Bistro will not be open when the riders come through Ladora on day 6. We will be opening at 4pm (our normal hours) and reservations are always recommended. The town of Ladora will be offering riders a variety of refreshments and activities.

  2. Deb

    Hey RAGBRAI RIDERS: The town of Oxford has a lot more to offer than what was described!!! There are four local bars, and several eatting establishments, and other businesses that are planning other festivities that will give RAGBRAI riders have a great experience.The DAWG HOUSE will be having Garlic Pasta Salad, fresh tomotoes, pulled pork sandwhiches, drummies, and other beverages (SOME MIGHT REMEMBER the OASIS of 2008 before North Liberty) There is a large sandlot located behind the bar with plenty of COLD BEER :-) Bus parking available. Any questions please call (319) 828-4379 after 3pm

  3. Grinnell Steakhouse

    When coming thru Grinnell on RAGBRAI Thursday July 28th, Please plan to visit the Grinnell Steakhouse for a relaxing steak dinner including our fabulous salad-bar, great service, cold beer and a full-bar… where carnivores, vegetarians and gluten-free diners gather together in comfortable air-conditioned dining-rooms with inside seating for more than 300. Bus available from downtown to the Steakhouse & Hotels. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Joan Robinson

    Victor along with our Begium game of ROLLE BOLLE will also have an antique tractor diplay hosted by the Junior Prom committee. Get your pictures taken for a conation.
    Special Ragbrai tshirts will be available with the rolle bolle hightlighted. Come join us for a morning of fun!

  5. mike williams

    Try the Hawk lounge in Coralville for a great local bar. They will have local live music. Mike and Rob have played many many bike rides through the years and should be a hit.

  6. piles hemorrhoid

    Red is your color… just thought i’d throw that out there

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