Thursday’s route from Centerville to Ottumwa travels 50.7 miles with just 1,999 feet of climb.  The morning ride over Rathbun Dam is a breathtaking ride that is not open to cyclists throughout the year.  The ride will visit small towns, all with populations less than 1,000 residents on the ride to Ottumwa.  The early part of the day consists of mostly flat, scenic terrain as you ride from Centerville through Rathbun and Moravia.  The hills begin on the way towards Unionville with a big climb that might make you use your gears.  The route through Blakesburg remains scenic and hilly before flattening out as we roll towards Ottumwa.  The roads are in great shape thanks to the engineers in the area that have done extensive work to ready them.


The city of Rathbun has never hosted RAGBRAI before! A visit is long overdue as the trip over Rathbun Lake is gorgeous as is the surrounding area. Rathbun is just southeast of Rathbun Lake, and was established in 1892 as a part of a large coal mining operation along with the towns of Jerome, Diamond, Mystic, Clarksdale and Darby.

Food and Drink:
Tackle This will be open for breakfast – cash only – including breakfast burritos and Bloody Marys. The City of Rathbun will have a fruit stand serving bananas, granola, apples and more.


The town of Moravia has hosted RAGBRAI three prior times, the last one happening in 2009.  The town of 665 residents is looking forward to hosted thousands of riders again!

Moravia was founded in 1851 by members of the Moravia Church who came from South Carolina seeking to establish a colony in the West. Moravian culture and heritage has been preserved and celebrated.

One of their most famous citizens is Author James Stevens (Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox) Be sure to visit the Wabash Depot Museum Complex, including historic Fairview Chapel, restored depot, authentic summer kitchen- all open for touring with no admission fee.  If you are looking to get married on RAGBRAI, the Fairview Chapel could be your place!

The shady city park in Moravia will be host to over 20 vendors from all over.  Fat Annie’s will again host the beverage garden.  It will be a great place to get off the bike, grab some shade and some rest.

Other places of interest in Moravia include the Moravia City park with benches, outdoor state, playground area; Trussell Park with ball field, tennis court, basketball court, playground area; Old Moravia Cemetery with Civil War era graves; 2 rare in-use 1930’s deck plate girder trestle bridges located 3-4 miles northeast of town on gravel road.

Open, welcoming people, great location, strong musical and athletic background, known as “The Small Town with the Big Heart.”

For more information on Moravia’s RAGBRAI plans, visit:


Follow the winding road from Moravia to Unionville.  At the top of a giant hill, you will take a left turn that leads you into Unionville.  You will be tempted to rest at the top of the hill but just keep going on into town.  You can rest at the Unionville City Park And Recreation Area.  There you’ll find some nice shade under a shelter.  Take a moment at the Veterans Memorial on your way to or from the shelter house.

Just over 100 people call Unionville home.  It was founded in 1849, and incorporated as a city in 1922.


After Unionville we will roll into Blakesburg, a town of 296 that we last visited in 2009. The Route Inspection stopped here for lunch, and enjoyed some delicious tenderloin sandwiches at the Brooklyn Steakhouse.

Food and Drink:
The Brooklyn Steakhouse will be open for business, as will the Beer Bank.

Don’t fly by the Airpower Museum just outside of town – the entrance is partially obscured by large bushes but it’s worth a stop. They have about 25 mostly pre WWII era airplanes on display, plus the Library of Flight, early flight simulators, propellers, engines, and aviation art.

For more informaiton on the Airpower Museum, visit:



Ottumwa is ready for riders to Pedal to the Party on Thursday, July 28 during RAGBRAI XLIV.

Riders will experience southern (Iowa) hospitality and a heck of a good time while in the heart of Southeast Iowa. They will take in the picturesque Des Moines River, experience the revitalization of historic Downtown Ottumwa, and enjoy everything that makes Ottumwa unique. Riders will make their way to the 340 acre Ottumwa Park as it will be the headquarters for information, camping, and showering needs.

Once riders are settled in they can head over to the Beach Ottumwa for an afternoon of free swimming, tropical music, and a full-blown family-friendly beach bash. Once riders have cooled off, they can make their way downtown to watch the Division BMX Stunt Team fly high and perform death defying stunts. In addition, there will be super-size games such as Jenga, Beer Pong, and Bubble Ball Suits!

The party will continue well into the night with the reggae sounds of Gizzae featuring Rocket and multi-genre cover-band Sellout playing on Stage 2 in the Bridge View Center parking lot. Riders will enjoy music in the beverage garden while in close proximity to a street full of food vendors who will fill the appetites of all hungry riders. The party will be one that riders will never forget when Rick Springfield takes the Main Stage to play his Grammy Award winning power pop and rock ballads recognizable by all fans of the eighties. Enjoy fireworks over the river at the conclusion of the concert as well as an encore performance by Sellout.


Rick Springfield

Over the past three decades, Rick Springfield has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s, he’s a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” and “Human Touch.” He’s an accomplished actor who most recently starred opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash and gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective. He’s also a talented author — both his candid 2010 memoir Late, Late at Night (which Rolling Stone named one of the 25 greatest rock memoirs of all time) and his 2014 comedic novel Magnificent Vibration earned rave reviews and spots on the New York Times Best Sellers’ list. Springfield has even more to say on his latest release, Rocket Science, which is a pop/country blend fused with Springfield’s signature songwriting and performance style, and features much of Springfield’s touring band joined by some guest players.


Sellout plays what the people want to hear – over the top decade smash hit songs that get people dancing and partying like there’s no tomorrow.  Starting early and closing the place down is what sellout is all about.  They are a high energy cover band focusing on retro dance classics from the 80s but Sellout doesn’t stop there. Be it Rock, Funk, Pop, Disco, Grunge, or Hip Hop from today going all the way back to the 60s, Sellout brings it to the party.

Gizzae featuring Rocket

Hailing from the beautiful Caribbean island of Dominica, the Ancient and Holy Lands of Ethiopia, comes the award winning reggae music of Gizzae. Rocket and Gizzae have been playing for crowds across the country for over 35 years! Their musical experiences have collectively earned them Grammy® awards, Chicago Music Awards, and they have opened for some of the biggest names in Reggae. Working and playing with such a vast array of musical styles and talents has enabled Gizzae to create a unique blend of Roots Reggae. Gizzae’s brand of jam-reggae is always backed with strong guitar solos and riffing, warm pads, and ambient vibes from the dual keyboardists. Formed in 1992 after the breakup of Dallol (Ziggy Marley’s Touring Band) and Moja Nya (New York), Gizzae soon became a fan favorite in the Chicago and Midwest reggae scene.

Lenny Frisch Tropical Music

One man, one pan, one good time! Feel the warm soothing beat of the steel drum and ukulele as you listen to the ethereal blend of Calypso, Reggae, Bossa, Soca, and Caribbean Music. Pass the suntan lotion, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to dance!

Division BMX Stunt Team

Witnessing stunt riding on television is one thing, but to have it up close and personal is an experience that will leave spectators in amazement and wanting more. Watch in awe as riders perform tricks at heights reaching over 25 feet above the ground. With high-flying, death-defying entertainment, the Division Stunt Team creates an energetic atmosphere every time they perform. With over 15 years of BMX performances under their belts, the Division Stunt Team knows how to entertain and keep an audience on the edge of their seats.

Main Stage

9:00 p.m.             Rick Springfield

Stage 2

5:30 p.m.             Gizzae featuring Rocket

7:30 p.m.             Sellout!

10:45 p.m.           Sellout!

The Beach Ottumwa

12:30 p.m.           Lenny Frisch Tropical Music

Downtown Ottumwa

2:00 p.m.             Division BMX Stunt Team
4:00 p.m.             Division BMX Stunt Team
6:00 p.m.             Division BMX Stunt Team

For more information on Ottumwa’s RAGBRAI plans, visit:


Group Pic

Rathbun Lake Moravia Rathbun UnionvilleBlakesburg Ottumwa06 OttumwaRick SpringfieldSell Out