The RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team arrived in Glenwood this afternoon preparing for their seven-day journey across the state. Approximately 35 members of the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team, including RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGBRAI Assistant Director Scott Garner and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition’s Executive Director Mark Wyatt and retired RIDE RIGHT Chair Dan McKay, will ride the entire RAGBRAI route 50 days in advance of the event. This year’s ride will encompass 420 miles across the state, from Glenwood to Muscatine. The local RIDE RIGHT Committees will also join the ride in their areas of the state.
For the twelfth consecutive year, the RAGBRAI staff and a select group of cyclists will ride the entire RAGBRAI route 50 days in advance of the event. The mission of the Route Inspection Ride is to spend an entire week inspecting the route and teaching the local RIDE RIGHT Committees what to do with the information learned during the inspection ride. The group meets with the 8 overnight town and close to 40 pass-through town leaders along the way to review their RAGBRAI game plans. They also will be looking at traffic patterns since they will be riding the route on the same day of the week that RAGBRAI will ride on later this summer.
RAGBRAI works diligently with the RIDE RIGHT committees to continually inspect the roads and report potential hazards to local officials and engineers who might be able to repair the roadways. The local RIDE RIGHT committee also alerts home owners on the route about the event and educates townspeople about bicycle safety. Many committees will host bike rodeos, helmet giveaways and other safety events for the community’s youth prior to RAGBRAI’s arrival.
In addition to reporting on road conditions, the team will be posting a daily update for the RAGBRAI.com web site, pointing out some places of interest along the route that riders wouldn’t want to miss. The team will also be inspecting some of the tasty treats that the town will be serving to RAGBRAIers in July.
A big thanks to Rich Ketcham of Geobike for devising a new high-tech GPS tracking system for this year’s pre-ride and Mark Wyatt, the executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and the RIDE RIGHT state chairman, for helping with all safety aspects of the ride.
The team met Saturday evening with the local Glenwood RIDE RIGHT Committee to discuss Sunday’s pre-ride and safety concerns in their community. For the past several years, the Ride Inspection Team has been joined daily on their trek by the local committee members as well as local bike club members and bike shop owners that are willing to help.
RAGBRAI riders will get a “Star-Spangled Sendoff” when they leave Glenwood Sunday morning, July 24, for their weeklong trek across southern Iowa.
Nestled along the picturesque Loess Hills, riders will encounter some hilly terrain as they make their way out of Glenwood to their first overnight stop in Shenandoah. Along the way Sunday, riders will be greeted with southwest Iowa hospitality from the residents of Malvern, Tabor and Randolph. Riders who elect to take the optional gravel loop will pass through Imogene, the self-proclaimed Irish Capital of Southwest Iowa.
Riders will leave Glenwood from the east edge of town near the seven-year-old high school and new city aquatic center. The east end of Glenwood is the location of the outdoor athletic complex and scenic Glenwood Lake Park, which will serve as one of several RAGBRAI campsites in the community. The park houses the Mills County Historical Museum and the 750-seat Davies Amphitheater, the site of a Jimmy Buffett tribute concert Friday evening, July 22. Registered RAGBRAI riders with wristbands will be admitted to the concert free of charge.
Town Square, four blocks west of the park, will be the hub of activity on Saturday, July 23, beginning with the annual RAGBRAI Expo. The entertainment stage will be located on the northwest corner of Town Square, within the open-air beverage garden. Musical entertainment begins at 2 p.m. with Oreo Meatwagon and Lemon Fresh Day takes the stage at 4 p.m. Pop Rocks will be the entertainment stage headliner, performing from 8 p.m. – midnight. Town Square food and beverage vendors will open well into the nighttime hours on Saturday.
Opening ceremonies will take place on the entertainment stage at 6 p.m. The program will have a “Red, Bike and Blue” theme as Glenwood kicks off RAGBRAI XLIV with a “Star-Spangled Sendoff.”
For more information on Glenwood’s RAGBRAI plans, visit:
RAGBRAI XLIV Route Inspection Pre-Ride Schedule
(Sunday, June 4 – Saturday, June 11, 2016)
Sunday, June 5
(Glenwood to Shenandoah)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Downtown Glenwood Square
(in Front of Courthouse)
Monday, June 6
(Shenandoah to Creston)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Shenandoah Inn & Suites
Tuesday, June 7
(Creston to Leon)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Restored Creston Depot
Wednesday, June 8
(Leon to Centerville)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Downtown Leon Square
(at Freedom Rock)
Thursday, June 9
(Centerville to Ottumwa)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Downtown Centerville Square
(in Front of Continental Hotel)
Friday, June 10
(Ottumwa to Washington)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Bridge View Center
Saturday, June 11
(Washington to Muscatine)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Downtown Washington Square
If you plan to join the riders for a day, you must provide your own transportation back.
Be sure to tune in each day for the daily updates and photos from the route inspection ride on the RAGBRAI web site www.ragbrai.com . You can also follow the pre-ride adventure and learn interesting tidbits about the route by following on FACEBOOK Facebook.com/RAGBRAI or on TWITTER by following @RAGBRAI_IOWA or @TJRAGBRAI.
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