• Posted Jan 27, 2019

We are going South this year, but TWO River Towns on the Mississippi?

No one was thinking about the single digit temperatures on a January evening on Saturday, January 26th in Des Moines Iowa as the 47th route was announced for RAGBRAI.

The mindset of the crowd was all about that last week in July.

BIKEIOWA's Random Route thoughts

  • It is a Southern route this year with all overnight towns bottom 3rd of the state. Atlantic, WInterset and Indianola are the most northerly towns.
  • Interesting twist with TWO River towns on the Mississippi this year. Burlington is actually further East than Keokuk which means you'll be headed southwest (yes - west!) on the last day. But.. you get a chance to dip your tires twice and river towns are always fun!
  • Only 39 miles from Winterset to Indianola. Who's doing laps?
  • You'll get to climb crooked Snake Alley in Burlington on Friday
  • Fairfield is a fun and eclectic town.
  • Keokuk - Hello Illinois and Missouri - can you pedal in three states? looks like paddling 3 states may be easier.
  • This will be a good route and we are looking forward to it!!

From the RAGBRAI announcement released on January 26th 2019 :

The 2019 Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, which will take place from July 21 to 27, will start in Council Bluffs and end in Keokuk. In between, riders will stop overnight in Atlantic, Winterset, Indianola, Centerville, Fairfield and Burlington.

Clocking in at 427 miles with 14,735 feet of climb, the 47th edition of this roving cycling party is the eighth easiest in route history. The 2019 ride is also the sixth shortest and eighth flattest.

The full route, including pass-through towns and vehicle directions, is expected to be released in March.

Town by town: About RAGBRAI XLVII

Saturday, July 20: Council Bluffs

  • Population: 62,316
  • History: Seventh time as host; returning after six years; previously kicked off the ride in 1974, 1986, 1994, 2000, 2009 and 2013.
  • Fun fact: Home to the Western Historic Trails Center, commemorating travelers on the Lewis and Clark, Oregon, California and Mormon trails.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon

Sunday, July 21: Atlantic

  • Population: 7,112
  • Mileage (from Council Bluffs): 58
  • Climb: 2,592 feet
  • History: Sixth overnight visit; returning after eight years; previous stops were in 1974, 1980, 1989, 1991 and 2011.
  • Fun fact: It’s the Coca-Cola capital of Iowa.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon

Monday, July 22: Winterset

  • Population: 5,190
  • Mileage (from Atlantic): 68
  • Climb: 2,044 feet
  • History: Second overnight visit; returning after 28 years; previous stop in 1991.
  • Fun fact: Birthplace of John Wayne and home of the Bridges of Madison County.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon

Tuesday, July 23: Indianola

  • Population: 14,782
  • Mileage (from Winterset): 39
  • Climb: 1,443 feet.
  • History: Second overnight visit; returning after 10 years; previous stop in 2009.
  • Fun fact: Home of Simpson College and landing spot for the National Balloon Classic.

Wednesday, July 24: Centerville

  • Population: 5,528
  • Mileage (from Indianola): 78
  • Climb: 2,977 feet.
  • History: Third overnight visit; returning after three years; previous stops in 1981 and 2016.
  • Fun fact: Birthplace of the opera legend Simon Estes.
  • Social Media: twitter

Thursday, July 25: Fairfield

  • Population: 9,464
  • Mileage (from Centerville): 65
  • Climb: 2,328 feet.
  • History: Fifth overnight visit; returning after six years; previous stops were in 1979, 1988, 1997 and 2013.
  • Fun fact: Home to Maharishi University.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon

Friday, July 26: Burlington

  • Population: 25,663
  • Mileage (from Fairfield): 57
  • Climb: 1,626 feet
  • History: Sixth overnight visit; returning after 10 years; previous stops in 1979, 1984, 1990, 2000 and 2009.
  • Fun fact: Burlington is home to Snake Alley, one of the crookedest streets in the world.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon

Saturday, July 27: Keokuk

  • Population: 10,780
  • Mileage (from Burlington): 62
  • Climb: 1,725 feet.
  • History: Third time as host; returning after 27 years; previously marked the end of the ride in 1981 and 1992.
  • Fun fact: The southernmost city in Iowa.
  • Social Media: Coming Soon


  • Download theRAGBRAI appfor Android or iPhone to get the latest updates, photos, videos and maps you can use offline once route details are released in March.
  • Subscribe to theJust Go Bike podcastfor fun conversation on biking, trail and training suggestions and to meet Iowa’s favorite biking personalities.
  • Get this year’s biking gearat theRAGBRAI shop.
  • Find the best stories,videosand photos(and buy them!)
  • Follow RAGBRAIonFacebook,TwitterandInstagramfor fun links, updates and photos.
  • Check back in Marchwhen the pass through towns and route details are announced.




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