RAGBRAI route planners must be getting more predictable these days, as the vast majority of route guesses were for a Southern ride this year! A whopping seven towns won the 2016 Guess the Route Contest.

Over three hundred entries were received in the 13th annual Guess the Route Contest to pick the RAGBRAI XLIV towns, and there were many who guessed five or six of the towns correctly. Only one person guessed seven of eight towns, and contestants who guessed six of the towns were entered in a drawing to decide who won second and third place. As you can see from our preliminary contest results, a lot of people were in the ballpark:

Here are this year’s winners:

Jim Kluesner (Madrid, Iowa) – 1st Place
Dan Lewis (Marion, Iowa) – 2nd Place
Shellie Lackey (Alton, Illinois) – 3rd Place

Jim Kluesner of Madrid, Iowa was the big winner and will receive a gift certificate for $100 that can be used for RAGBRAI Merchandise.

Lucky for you guessers, Jim revealed his trick to guessing so many of our towns – “The only secret I have is unfolding a map and guess.  The start towns are somewhat easy since there are only a handful of viable towns.  Same with the end towns.  But there is a wide range in the middle and that is what makes the guessing fun.” Well maybe that isn’t such a big secret but it sure worked for Jim! The Tall Dog Bike Club member has been riding RAGBRAI since 2009.

Jim picked correctly on Glenwood, Creston, Leon, Centerville, Ottumwa, Washington and Muscatine. Ottumwa was our most frequently guessed town with 118 guesses, apparently we were due for a visit!

Dan Lewis of Marion, Iowa took second place and won a certificate worth $80 of merchandise, and Shellie Lackey from Alton, Illinois placed third and received a certificate worth $60 of merchandise.

How do this year’s results compare with previous contests?

2003 – Winner guessed 7 towns
2004 – Winner guessed 7 towns
2005 – Winners guessed 5 towns
2006 – Winners guessed 3 towns (wow, we stumped you!)
2007 – Winner guessed 5 towns
2008 – Winner guessed 6 towns
2009 – Winner guessed 8 towns (perfect!)
2010 – Winner guessed 6 towns
2011 – Winner guessed 6 towns
2012 – Winner guessed 5 towns
2013 – Winner guessed 6 towns
2014 – Winner guessed 5 towns

We hope you have a great time on the ride!