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Before RAGBRAI, Iowans Joined The League Of American Wheelmen

American Wheelmen.jpg
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa
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Bicyclists on Statehouse steps Des Moines, Iowa August 14, 1886. The bicyclists rode from Des Moines to Spirit Lake.

This year, as a bit of radio consolation for those of us missing RAGBRAI, we are delighted to delve into Iowa’s early bike history with Leo Landis, state curator at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

If not for the pandemic, this would have been the week of RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.

This year, as a bit of radio consolation for those of us missing RAGBRAI, we are delighted to delve into Iowa’s early bike history with Leo Landis, state curator at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

In this River to River interview, Landis recounts stories from the early days of bicycling here in Iowa. Specifically, Landis recalls the story of one group of Iowans who were a part of the League of American Wheelmen, who in 1886, biked from Des Moines to Spirit Lake along the raccoon river valley trail. Below is a video turned GIF from RAGBRAI 2016. This is the type of bike used on the 1886 ride.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY