010There really is only one good way to inspect the selected roads for a bike event… get out and ride it on a bike!  And that is exactly what will happen starting June 5-11 with a team of knowledgeable cyclists thoroughly examining every mile of the RAGBRAI route on bicycles.

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 Overnight Town and 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.

Approximately 35 experienced cyclists 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.  The local RIDE RIGHT Committees will also join the ride in their areas of the state.

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.

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.

For the past several years, the RAGBRAI Route Inspection Ride 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.  If you plan to join the riders for a day, you must provide your own transportation back.

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
(Downtown Shenandoah)

Tuesday, June 7
(Creston to Leon)
Ride leaves at 7 AM from: Restored Creston Depot
(Downtown Creston)

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

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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