Ketch at GeoBike does a wonderful job of describing the upcoming RAGBRAI route:
Welcome back fellow RAGBRAI riders!! As I see it, winter is in full retreat (at last!!!) and the cyclists are breaking out all over. We were blessed with a few summer-like days this past week and I was pleased to have encountered a number of fellow cyclists out on the road. Riding to Ogden, I noticed the ice on the Des Moines River was stacked up on the river bank fighting a loosing battle against the sun while a couple of Bald Eagles were soaring the skies. I also found time to sample some of the new trails in central Iowa. If you haven't been on it yet, the trail from Ankeny to Madrid is a dream to ride. I can't wait for the bridge between Madrid and Woodward to be completed.
Ahh - but the creme del la creme this season will be RAGBRAI XXXVII. T.J. and Wes are taking the ride across southern Iowa this year. We start our journey in Council Bluffs, end in Burlington, with overnights in Red Oak, Greenfield, Indianola, Chariton, Ottumwa, and Mt. Pleasant. This year we'll have about 445 miles to consider a lot of pie options. With over 23,000 feet of climb, we have an obligation to exercise a number of these without feeling guilty.... RAGBRAI XXXVII kind of does it all this year. It makes the Top 10 list in terms of climb AND difficulty - so saddle up now and start training. On the flip side, Day 7 into Burlington makes the Top 10 list for least climb AND easiest day. In addition, RAGBRAI adds a number of first time towns to the family: Williamson, Macksburg, East Peru, Truro, Oakley, Honey Creek Resort, Hedrick, Martinsburg, Pekin, Pleasant Plain, Germanville, Geode State Park, and Indianola as our overnight host on Day 3!
Day 1 is from Council Bluffs to Red Oak. The route takes us through Mineola, Henderson, and Emerson. The day starts with about 10 miles of flat running along the Loess Hills. After this warm up, the route turns east and starts hopping hills to Red Oak. All total, the day clocks in around 54 miles and a little over 3700 feet of climb.
Day 2 is from Red Oak to Greenfield. The route takes us through Stanton, Villisca, Nodaway, Dickeville, Corning, Prescott, Williamson, and Fontanelle. This day will get your attention as I'm showing almost 73 miles of riding and over 5000 feet of climb. Fortunately, there are plenty of through towns during the day and they're spaced about every 10 miles.
Day 3 is from Greenfield to Indianola. This will be our first time overnighting in Indianola! The route takes us through Orient, Macksburg, East Peru, Truro, St. Charles, St. Marys, Martensdale, and Prole. This day will also get your attention as I'm showing almost 78 miles of riding and over 4400 feet of climb. Like Day 2, the through towns are nicely spaced.
Day 4 is a a short ride to Chariton passing through Ackworth, Sandyville, Milo, Lacona, and Oakley. It will be only 45 miles of riding and ~2100 feet of climb.
Day 5 is from Chariton to Ottumwa and we return to some long miles. The route takes us through Millerton, Bethlehem, Confidence, Iconium, Honey Creek Resort, moravia, Unionville, and Blakesburg. We'll do about 77 miles and almost 3400 feet of climb.
Day 6 is from Ottumwa to Mt. Pleasant. The route takes us through Hedrick, Martinsburg, Pekin, Packwood, Pleasant Plain, Brighton, Germanville, and Lockridge. This will be the longest day at almost 78 miles and the climb is relaxed a bit to a little over 3000 feet.
Day 7 is from Mt. Pleasant to Burlington and takes us through New London, Lowell and Geode State Park. As I mentioned in above - easy day at 44 miles and 1175 feet of climb.
Hope to see you out training on the roads and trails, and on the RAGBRAI this summer. Keep your eyes open for the rare Pie Owl... Cheers everyone!