The RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team arrived in Sioux City this afternoon preparing for their seven-day journey across the state.  One of their first visits was checking out the dip site at the Missouri River boat ramp in the main campground at Larsen Park (next to the Hilton Garden Inn).  It has been quite a few years since riders have had the opportunity for a true starting town tire dip, without a long ride out to the river.

Thirty members of the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Team will ride the entire RAGBRAI route 50 days in advance of the event.  This year’s ride will encompass 462 miles across the state, from Sioux City to Davenport, the original starting and ending points of Karras and Kaul’s epic 1973 journey across the state.

The team plans to spend an entire week inspecting the route and meeting with the local RIDE RIGHT Committees, informing them what to do with the information gleaned from the inspection ride.  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.  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 Sioux City 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.  The Sioux City Committee are expecting quite a few cyclists to join the group riding to Storm Lake in the morning.  Sunday’s ride will honor the late Frank Brinkerhoff.  Frank was a leader in the Siouxland area and passed away during the opening day of last year’s RAGBRAI.

Sioux City, Iowa

Located in a tri-state area, Sioux City is Iowa’s 4th largest city, home to 85,000 people with more than 160,000 in its metro area. Just across the Missouri River to the south is Nebraska, and across the Big Sioux River to the west is South Dakota. The region is called Siouxland, and Sioux City is at the heart of it.

Sioux City hosted the inaugural RAGBRAI ride in 1973, and the 2015 event will be Sioux City’s seventh launch in the 43 years of the bike ride.

Sioux City is shaping up to be a great starting town. Kicking RAGBRAI off on Friday, July 17 is Fridays on the Promenade featuring live music from Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition.  The outdoor concert takes place at the corner of Historic 4th and Virginia Streets around the beautiful Roth Fountain. The concert runs from 6-8 p.m. and only costs $3. For more information visit

Following Fridays on the Promenade you’ll want to head over to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City to catch Collective Soul with guest Dishwalla. The concert will be held in the casino’s outdoor entertainment venue, Battery Park. The band will take the stage at 8 pm, for more information or to purchase tickets visit

Saturday night, July 18 national recording artists Huey Lewis & The News will get RAGBRAI off to a rocking start. RAGBRAI participants will be admitted into the concert by showing their RAGBRAI wristbands.  Guest tickets will be available for $20 at the door. For more information visit

Opening for Huey Lewis & The News will be Damon Dotson, an Okoboji native, who has entertained the masses through Iowa and the Midwest. Dotson will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. followed by Huey Lewis & The News. For more information on Damon Dotson, visit his website at

If you’re looking for something to do Saturday afternoon, check out the vendors and second stage of entertainment in the Tyson Events Center parking lots. Also, located in the Tyson Events Center lots will be the RAGBRAI Expo. The RAGBRAI Expo is the largest consumer bike expo in Midwest attracting 25,000 visitors the day before the riding begins on RAGBRAI.

Other area attractions you may want to check out while in Sioux City include:

  • Anderson Dance Pavillion
  • Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
  • Historic Pearl District
  • Historic 4th Street District
  • Flight 232 Memorial
  • Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
  • Orpheum Theatre
  • Peirce Mansion
  • Railroad Museum
  • Sergeant Floyd River Museum
  • Sioux City Art Center
  • Sioux City Public Museum

For more information on these area attractions, plus many more, visit

For more information on Sioux City’s RAGBRAI event, please visit

For those that want to ride for a day and help with the inspection, a schedule is listed below.  You have to provide your own transportation back to the starting location and battle retired RIDE RIGHT Chair Dan McKay, when there is only one slice of apple pie left at the diner!

RAGBRAI XLIII Route Inspection Pre-Ride Schedule
(Sunday, May 31 – Saturday, June 6, 2015)

Sunday, May 31
(Sioux City to Storm Lake)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Dip Site at Hamilton Blvd.
(Chris Larsen Park – Boat Ramp by Hilton Garden Inn)

Monday, June 1
(Storm Lake to Fort Dodge)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Kings Pointe Resort

Tuesday, June 2
(Fort Dodge to Eldora)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Fort Dodge High School

Wednesday, June 3
(Eldora to Cedar Falls)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Eldora High School

Thursday, June 4
(Cedar Falls to Hiawatha)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: UNI Dome (Westside Lots)

Friday, June 5
(Hiawatha to Coralville)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Guthridge Park 

Saturday, June 6
(Coralville to Davenport)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: 30 Hop at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville

Be sure to tune in each day for the daily updates and photos from the route inspection ride on the RAGBRAI web site . You can also follow the pre-ride adventure and learn interesting tidbits about the route by following on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER by following @RAGBRAI_IOWA or @TJRAGBRAI.

Sioux City Dipsite-dipsite