In anticipation of the 36th annual RAGBRAI®, the “Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,” Des Moines Register Editorial Cartoonist (and race host) Brian Duffy has been checking out the route the past week. The yearly week-long bicycle ride through Iowa is sponsored by The Des Moines Register; the 2008 route will follow much of the Lincoln Highway from July 20-26. RAGBRAI® is the longest, largest, and oldest touring bicycle ride in the world. Click HERE to see a list of Duffy’s daily posts. For a map you can zoom in on, plus photos and videos, visit Duffy’s blog (screen shot below):
Although Iowa seems flat to outsiders, this year’s day 2 alone has more than 5,000 feet of climb in its 80-mile length. The end of that day will bring riders their first views of Lincoln Highway and Burma Shave signs just west of Jefferson.
RAGBRAI was started in 1973 as a 6-day ride (not a race) across Iowa by two Register columnists; it’s still planned and coordinated by the newspaper. This year will launch from Missouri Valley but not pick up the LH till Jefferson, hit it from Ogden through Boone, again some of it in Ames, Nevada, Colo, and State Center, cross it at points in Le Grand and Tama, then pick it up in Chelsea through Belle Plaine, meet it through Lisbon/Mt. Vernon, and finally cross it at Mechanicsville. The bike route will be nearby or parallel the LH for much of the time, though not always along it.