Sunday, December 10

430 miles from Sergeant Bluff to Lansing

The return of Century Day, a 100-mile walk, will be the highlight of the RAGBRAI XLIX route on a journey dedicated to the late co-founder John Karras.

The Register’s Annual Great Iowa Bike Ride announced Friday the top cities on the route for its 2022 edition, which will take place July 24-30, at a Friday celebration at the Iowa Events Center. .

Marking its 49th year, the journey will begin at Sergeant Bluff on the Missouri River and end 430 miles away in Lansing on the Mississippi. There will be 11,900 feet of ascent over the seven days of the trip.

Traveling from west to east, riders will spend the night in Ida Grove, Pocahontas, Emmetsburg, Mason City, Charles City and West Union.

Plus:What to know about the towns in RAGBRAI 2022, from Sergeant Bluff to Lansing

RAGBRAI will travel 430 miles and 11,900 feet of ascent from Sergeant Bluff to Lansing from July 24-30.

For the first time since 1985, riders will have to grit their teeth and ride 100 miles on Day 4 from Emmetsburg to Mason City, or potentially endure bulldozing from tougher peers if they end their day as a rider in one of the SAG (support) From the trip. and tackle) wagons.

Karras, a longtime editor and columnist for the Des Moines Register, died in November at age 91. He launched RAGBRAI in 1973 with columnist Donald Kaul, who preceded him in death in 2018, and until 1985, a day trip was at least 100 miles long. .

The following year, after what Karras wrote in a column was “the crying, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth” from riders unhappy with the change, RAGBRAI offered an optional extra mileage route for those who wanted to log at least 100 miles. It later became known as the Karras Loop, and Karras would usually stand somewhere along the way to dole out patches to hardy cyclists. In 2021, Karras Loop added 30 miles to the day trip, bringing the total to approximately 111.

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Plus:RAGBRAI co-founder John Karras dies at 91, leaving a national impact on cycling

New RAGBRAI director Matt Phippen, who started earlier this month after this year’s route was set, said he expects there will be plenty of riders this year who will jump in before covering the full 100 miles on day 4.

matt phippen

“We know we’re probably going to have a lot of flab that day,” Phippen said. “But it’s a tribute to Karras. There are people who want to bring that back.”

For those who like alternatives, the optional full-day gravel route, introduced last year under the direction of former director Dieter Drake, a veteran gravel racer, will return. This year’s gravel ride will be on Day 3 between the corn and soybean fields between Pocahontas and Emmetsburg, criss-crossed by unpaved roads from farm to market.

Riders ride RAGBRAI's first full gravel optional day in 2021. The route took riders over 70 miles with nearly 1,400 feet of ascent.

Drake planned most of the route before being promoted in mid-January to senior director of cycling operations at Ventures Endurance, which runs RAGBRAI and cycling and other active sporting events across the country. It is a division of Gannett Co., which owns RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register.

But there are still plenty of decisions for Phippen to make. Many of them will be revealed in March, when the meeting cities and exact routes are announced.

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