‘It’s a long last day’: RAGBRAI route from Iowa City to Davenport released

RAGBRAI riders in 2015 pedal by the statue of Irving B. Weber. — photo by Justin Torner, courtesy of the University of Iowa

The route that brings RAGBRAI XLVI riders into Iowa City for an overnight stay on Day 6 of this year’s ride will be a relatively easy one. The route out of Iowa City to RAGBRAI’s final destination is a different story.

“It’s a long last day,” Michael Chamberlain of The Broken Spoke said, after reviewing the route for Day 7 that was published on Saturday.

The route from Iowa City to Davenport is 68.9 miles, and climbs 1,585 feet.

“Typically, the last days are short,” Chamberlain explained. “Usually around 45 or 50 miles. Everybody is kind of ready to be done. They’re getting ready to get on the road to go home afterwards.”

“This one, being almost 70 miles, is going to be different.”

Day 7 map for RAGBRAI XLVI. — Used with permission of the Des Moines Register/RAGBRAI

Chamberlain pointed out that if the route went east out of Wilton instead of turning south, the final day’s ride would be closer its normal length. But he likes the southerly route because it takes RAGBRAI by Wildcat Den State Park.

“I hope RAGBRAI finds a way to roll through Wildcat Den State Park,” he said. “I can’t remember what year it was on RAGBRAI, but the route took us through a state park and it was really serene and great. It was a nice change from riding past cornfields.”

According to current plans, RAGBRAI will only pass by the park, but either way, Chamberlain will be riding the route from Iowa City to Davenport.

For the past several years, he and a group of friends have done their own version of RAGBRAI.

“A group of us will leave Iowa City the day RAGBRAI starts, and we’ll head out west on our bikes,” Chamberlain said. “Usually, it’s about three days before we meet up with RAGBRAI, then we’ll normally ride with RAGBRAI for two or three days before we break off and head back to Iowa City.”

“But since it’s going to go through Iowa City to Davenport, we’ll do the first leg like we always do, then ride with RAGBRAI to Davenport.”

RAGBRAI XLVI is scheduled to start on Sunday, July 22. The riders will arrive in Iowa City on Friday, July 27. This will be the first time Iowa City is an overnight stop in the ride since 1976.

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