Iowa Hotel Reservations
Small-Town Iowa in 418 Miles!
The summer of 2014 brings a unique RAGBRAI event to the Hawkeye State. Held July 20th to 26th, the 42nd annual race will be the second flattest and third shortest route in RAGBRAI history – making it an ideal year for first-timers.
This year’s RAGBRAI participants climb 11,316 feet past Iowa sights like the Iowa Great Lakes, Amish Country, and even the Little House on the Prairie.
The 2014 RAGBRAI route spans small-town northern Iowa, stopping in eight, overnight cities – only one of which features a population of over 10,000. The XLII route starts in Rock Valley on Saturday, July 19th, and covers 418 miles to the finishing town of Guttenberg – the smallest city on the route.
Here’s to touring small-town Iowa on two wheels for RAGBRAI XLII. Find your favorite spot in the northern region of the Hawkeye State – filled with scenic lakes, historic sites, and of course, bike-friendly roads in summer 2014.
Courtesy of the Des Moines Register
Rock Valley to Okoboji
July 20 | 69 Miles | 1,771 Feet
Newcomers to RAGRBAI’s list of overnight towns, Rock Valley and Okoboji are set in northwestern Iowa – 69 miles apart just north of Cherokee. The route from RV to Okoboji climbs 1,771 feet to the Iowa Great Lakes.
Okoboji to Emmetsburg
July 21 | 41 Miles | 1,078 Feet
Another lake-filled trek, the next day’s ride climbs 1,078 feet across 41 miles to Emmetsburg – just northwest of Fort Dodge. A quirky town, Emmetsburg features a life-sized "Little House on the Prairie" replica – plus the beautiful Five Island Lake and plenty of museums.
Emmetsburg to Forest City
July 22 | 73 Miles | 1,333 Feet
Trek from Emmetsburg to the similar-sized town of Forest City. For some extra time of the seat, Forest City features the nine-mile Hanson Trail, four-mile Pilot Knob Loop, and the two-mile Hynes Spur.
If not, check out the Leibrand-Whiteis Historical Center, Heritage Park of North Iowa, and the Bear Creek Golf Course.
Forrest City to Mason City
July 23 | 36 Miles | 695 Feet
It’s a quick ride to the largest city along this year’s RAGRAI route. The inspirational city for the famed musical "The Music Man," Mason City features music festivals and historic sites designed by legendary architecture Frank Lloyd Wright.
Mason City to Waverly
July 24 | 63 Miles | 1,743 Feet
Put the pedal to the metal on your way to Waverly, just north of the University of Northern Iowa. Another former overnight town, Waverly features the Bremer County Historical Society Museum, the Centennial Oaks Golf Course Club, Palace Theatre, and the historic Wartburg College.
Waverly to Independence
July 25 | 68 Miles | 1,623 Feet
Set on the Wapsipinicon River, Independence offers a flurry of activity in Amish Country.
Visitors are just missing the Buchanan County Fair, through Independence still yields the Independence Motor Speedway, the historic Opera House, and Big Bud 747 – find that one out for yourself.
Independence to Guttenberg
July 26 | 68 Miles | 3,073 Feet
The final stretch leads you to the finishing town of Guttenberg, just north of Dubuque and the smallest city on 2014’s RAGRAI route.
Located in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River, of course, Guttenberg is a historic, German-heritage rich town ideal for fishing and bird watching. Stretch out after the race with a stroll along the two-mile Riverwalk or a visit to Guttenberg Aquarium.