Do you like flat bike rides? Organizers announced the 2018 route for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and it’s the fourth flattest in RAGBRAI history.
You might assume that any ride across Iowa would be flat. But the state’s rolling topography means that some of the past 400-plus-mile bike tours have rivaled Ride the Rockies for total elevation gained for the week.
For the record, the expected 10,000 or more bicyclists riding the 2018 RAGBRAI will climb 12, 576 feet as they travel 428 miles across the central Iowa in a west to east direction.
The route and host towns were announced at an annual gala in Des Moines on Saturday night. With 200 Iowa towns vying to be among the host communities to earn huge tourism bucks from the ride, interest in the route rivals the Academy Awards.
And this year’s winners are:
Onawa (pop. 2,998) – Saturday, July 21
Denison (pop. 8,298) – Sunday, July 22
Jefferson (pop. 4,345) – Monday, July 23
Ames (pop. 58,965) – Tuesday, July 24
Newton (pop. 15,254) – Wednesday, July 25
Sigourney (pop. 2,059) – Thursday, July 26
Iowa City (pop. 67,862) – Friday, July 27
Davenport (pop. 99,685) – Saturday, July 28
This year’s route for the 46th RAGBRAI enables bicyclists to explore the state’s two big college in the same trip — Ames (Iowa State University) and Iowa City (University of Iowa).
Ride registration is open now. There’s a Feb. 15 deadline for submitting a paper registration, April 1 for registering online. Since registrations are limited to 10,000, the final list of riders will be chosen by lottery announced May 1.