What is RAGBRAI?
RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,
is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its
40th year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest
bicycle touring event in the world.
In the beginning, no one imagined that RAGBRAI would become the Iowa
tradition it is now. We at The Des Moines Register thank all the riders
who have joined us over the years. We especially wish to thank the
thousands and thousands of volunteers in the towns we’ve visited along
the way for their tireless work to show RAGBRAI riders the hospitality
that has made our ride world famous.
We encourage you to follow the application procedures and come along
only if you are accepted as a registered rider. It is crucial that we
keep our number of riders at the level suggested by the Iowa State
Patrol and the Iowa Department of Transportation for the safety of all
riders. We thank you for your cooperation.
For those of you who have never ridden, this rolling celebration of
Iowa attracts participants from all 50 states and many foreign
countries. It has covered thousands of miles through the years, and
hundreds of thousands of riders have hopped in the saddle to pedal part
of those miles.
RAGBRAI is a bicycle ride, not a race. It started in 1973 as a
six-day ride across the state of Iowa by two Des Moines Register
columnists who invited a few friends along. It is held the last full
week in July. RAGBRAI is planned and coordinated by The Des Moines
Register, and riders who participate in RAGBRAI understand that they do
so at their own risk.
The RAGBRAI route averages 468 miles and is not necessarily flat. It
begins somewhere along Iowa’s western border on the Missouri River and
ends along the eastern border on the Mississippi River. We change the
route each year and announce the overnight towns in late January at the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party, in The Des Moines Register and on our Web site.
Eight Iowa communities along the RAGBRAI route serve as “host”
communities for overnight stays. RAGBRAI is a guest in these communities
and we ask our riders to behave as such.
The people of Iowa truly make RAGBRAI the special event that it is by
opening up their towns and communities to participants. We hope you can
enjoy this Iowa hospitality and join us for a memorable trip across the
source: RAGBRAI's About Page