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Iowa's Ride Moving Off Of RAGBRAI's Spot On The Calendar

John Pemble
IPR file
The new ride is being created by RAGBRAI's former director and staff. It's now scheduled to start July 12, a week before RAGBRAI.

The organizers of Iowa’s Ride, a week-long bike ride across the state, announced on Facebook Fridaythat the route and direction of the event will change so it won’t directly compete with RAGBRAI. By moving the event, they are hoping to satisfy cycling clubs split on choosing which ride to support.

RAGBRAI staff created Iowa’s Ride after resigning last month in the wake of the Des Moines Register’s response to reporting on Carson King. At first, the ride was scheduled to take place the same time as RAGBRAI, but director T.J. Juskiewicz said teams told him they were torn trying to choose one over the other.

“We listened to the teams and the riders and it was the overwhelming biggest concern of all the riders, so we decided to make a change,” Juskiewicz said.

Now, Iowa’s Ride will take place July 12-18, the week before RAGBRAI which is scheduled for July 19-25. Registered riders who have a conflict with the new dates can ask for a refund, Juskiewicz said.

In another shakeup of RAGBRAI tradition, Iowa’s Ride will be flipped so riders will travel from the Mississippi River west to the Missouri.

“The feet of climb is probably a little different going in that direction and headwinds are unpredictable,” Juskiewicz said. “But we’ve got a blank slate as we plan this route and talking to the different towns, they’re totally excited about the flip.”

A final route through northern Iowa will be announced later this month. Juskiewicz said he hopes the smaller ride can visit towns that can’t manage an event the size of RAGBRAI.

Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa