RAGBRAI route to go through northern Iowa, July 25-31

The Des Moines Register threw a sold-out party Saturday night to announce the route for the 2010 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. The 38th RAGBRAI will go through northern Iowa, beginning in Sioux City on the Missouri River and ending in Dubuque on the Mississippi. The other overnight stays will be in the towns of Storm Lake (Buena Vista County), Algona (Kossuth County), Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo County), Charles City (Floyd County), Waterloo (Black Hawk County), and Manchester (Delaware County).

Perry Beeman writes for the Des Moines Register,

RAGBRAI XXXVIII will treat riders to one of the shortest and flattest routes ever as it winds through northern Iowa from Sioux City to Dubuque. That combination means the 10,000 riders will navigate a 442-mile route that ranks as third-easiest historically, at least as far as hills and mileage go.

Click here to register for RAGBRAI. You can follow @ragbrai_iowa on Twitter here for updates between now and the ride.

I’ve never done RAGBRAI, and I probably never will unless my kids become cycling fanatics as they get older. But I would love to have one or more Bleeding Heartland users post updates from RAGBRAI this summer. In an election year you can count on plenty of candidate sightings and funny road/yard signs along the route.

Speaking of fanatics dedicated riders, on February 6 several hundred brave souls will complete the 32nd annual “BRR Ride,” a 24-mile loop from Perry to Rippey and back.

UPDATE: Click here for more on the full route, including pass-through towns.

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  • Boring.

    Might as well ride through southern Minnesota.  

    And I really wonder how long the Register can keep this up.

    They’ve gotta be hemorrhaging funds as thin as that little fishwrap has gotten lately. One day last week, there were only two help wanted ads.  

    My friends and I don’t even bother doing this event anymore.

    Too many east coast liberal types clogging up the route. 🙂

    Nah, in truth, we just have no desire to be around drunk idiots for an entire week.  

  • Except for Sioux City

    that route almost exactly covers a trip I made back in the summer of 1987 as I did advance work for Senator Paul Simon’s presidential campaign. It was a great experience; there are a lot of inspiring Iowans up north. Berkley Bedell from Spirit Lake was an early Simon supporter, his state chair or co-chair if I remember correctly.

    Is Dubuque still a union town? I think I advanced a q-and-a that took place at a UAW hall in downtown Dubuque… didn’t know the first thing about unions then.

    Brush with great(?)ness: ate lunch one day with Fred Barnes, who was writing for The New Republic at the time.

    Sorry to wander off-topic…”You know what you should do? You should sanction me.”

    • did you ever meet Mark Blumenthal?

      He was a field organizer for Simon in Waterloo in 1987. Later he became the renowned “mystery pollster” blogger and now writes under his own name at Pollster.com at the National Journal.

      • I don't think so...

        I looked up his photo and I don’t remember meeting him, though I may very well have. I know I worked some sort of event in Waterloo at or near the John Deere plant that summer.

    • by the way, Paul Simon is never off-topic

      at this blog. I’ve just issued a decree to that effect.

      Love that man. I was so proud to come home from college to caucus for him in 1988, even though the Dukakis and Babbitt supporters gamed us out of a delegate. I told that story here. The experience planted the seeds of my discontent with the Iowa caucus system.

      • Well then,

        since both Paul and his wife Jeanne Simon have since passed away, I may now one day reveal, in a Bleeding Heartland exclusive, some of the funnier moments of my salad days as a wet-behind-the-ears volunteer for the Paul Simon for President Campaign, including but not limited to:

        — Dry cleaning hi-jinks.

        — “Love in the Elevator,” with eponymous Aerosmith song as optional soundtrack.

        — We volunteers’ pet names for the perpetually-overworked, underpaid, and overstressed paid staff in the Des Moines Paul Simon for President HQ on Army Post Road.

        — What happens when a U.S.-Senator-and-at-that-time-bona-fide-presidential-candidate inadvertently leaves his bulging leather briefcase filled with important legislation on top of the car that you arrive in to drive him from the Mason City Municipal Airport to his motel.

        • We could have quite a nice little Iowa Public Television "Remember When"

          Show, starring:

          –PrairieBreezeCheeze as the receptionist/driver who was so dedicated to the bow-tied one that he volunteered all day and delivered pizzas at night and on weekends in his spare time

          — Lee Keither as the media assistant to Barry (“with red hair, like a raspberry”) Surman’s MIT-inspired “Radio Actuality Campaign”

          — Bratt Duggebo as “The Voice of Kennedy,” providing historical perspective, a la Adlai Stevenson during the Cuban Missile Crisis

          — Elaine “Treaty of Guadeloupe” Edalgo, known far and wide among campaign managers for her skill at “giving good phone.”

          — The poor paid staffer who drove surrogate and wife-of-the-candidate Jeanne Simon into a ditch after becoming discombobulated when a large, aggressive Iowa grasshopper leaped into her automobile