Iowa: World’s longest bicycling touring event commences its golden anniversary

Monday, July 24, 2023


RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), the world’s longest, largest, and oldest recreational bicycle touring event, has begun its golden anniversary journey across the state. Cyclists dressed in brightly coloured jerseys and shorts set out on the seven-day trek, which began in Sioux City and ended in Davenport. Riders from all over the world attend the race, representing a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and riding experiences.

RAGBRAI was founded in 1973 by two Des Moines Register reporters, John Karras and Don Kaul. The original event, attended by around 300 people, soon acquired popularity and now draws large numbers every year. The journey is 500 miles long, passing through gorgeous scenery and tiny villages throughout Iowa. Along the route, cyclists are treated to plenty of pie, beer, and spaghetti meals served in church basements.

RAGBRAI’s attractiveness is found not only in the magnificent environment and difficult terrain, but also in the friendship among participants. Riders from many walks of life get together to share their love of cycling and to discover the beauty of Iowa. The event has developed through time, embracing commercialism, but the beauty and spirit of the journey remain.

Despite the expansion of commercial backing and organised charters, the core of RAGBRAI remains the spirit of camaraderie and adventure that attracts individuals from all over the world. Cyclists create lifetime memories by bonding with fellow riders on the thrilling voyage. As the event approaches its 50th year, participants are anxious to experience the excitement of riding across Iowa and the independence that comes with pedalling through the heart of the country.

Image Credit: AP

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