July 23 - July 29
RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its 45th year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest recreational 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 website.
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 state.