Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Alternative Ride Plan: GRAVEL-BRAI

The Trans Iowa Masters Program route = the PERFECT antidote to RAGBRAI madness.
That "big ride across Iowa" that happens every last full week of July just announced its 2017 overnight towns. As I considered the more Northerly plot of these points on the map, it occurred to me that I had already devised a near perfect gravel alternative to the late July madness that takes place on pavement. And that happened over ten years ago.

I put the route out as the tenth year of Trans Iowa was passing as the "TIMP" ride. I won't get into all the back ground on that. If you want to know more, click the Trans Iowa Masters Program link in the right column.  All that needs to be said about it here is that the route is 380 miles of gravel that actually traverses the entire state of Iowa, unlike that famous, other ride this year.

So, as I said, the overnight towns are Orange City, Spencer, Algona, Clear Lake, Charles City, Cresco, Waukon, and Lansing. Out of those the TIMP route passes through four of them and comes close enough to two others that you could easily make alternative plans to ride gravel instead of getting caught in the traffic jam of bicycles on the "official" 2017 route.

Ride the serene, beautiful gravel roads of Iowa, taking in the pastoral beauty and peace that is in abundance out there. Get away from the crowds and find an Iowa that is fast disappearing and one that is quickly emerging. Do it all without being pestered by thousands of other cyclists. Then crash the party in town in the evening.

Just thought I'd throw that out there..........

4 comments:

Gravelo said...

The idea of an off-road, all gravel ride with the convenience of hosting towns being all geared up for cyclist's to invade is almost too perfect to ignore. My very first post on gravelo.blogspot.com in 07 was inspired by the same concept.
Will this be the year....? I have learned a lot about myself, about prep, and about how much is enough since that short attempt back then.

Kenny Ness said...

First let me say I'm a fan. I really enjoy your daily dose of bike perspective. Thanks for your blog.
But I don't understand your negative feelings for RAGBRAI. What's up with that? What is the matter with thousands of people enjoying a week of bike stuff in Iowa? Especially if they are social butterfly types who don't mind crowds? What's the matter with a week of pie, sweet corn, and chicken dinners in the basement of some church? What's the matter with people getting out and riding further than they thought they could? They may not be real bike people, but isn't that exactly what we need to get them hooked on the wonders of additional bike stuff? So what is your beef with RAGBRAI?

Guitar Ted said...

@Kenny Ness- If you dig it, by all means, partake. I just don't like getting stuck in traffic jams, be they made up of automobiles or bicycles. It just isn't my jam.

And I've ridden on RAGBRAI, so this isn't coming from a perspective of someone that doesn't know what they are talking about.

Ya know, not everyone likes RAGBRAI, and not everyone likes riding on gravel, or trails, or whatever. That's cool. Riding bicycles is all right, but not everyone likes that either. Not everyone can ride a bicycle. I get all of that.

So, what's the matter? Nothing at all. But let's not pretend RAGBRAI is "all that and a bag of chips" just because someone rides a bicycle. If you or anyone else is a fan- Cool! But I think it is healthy to understand that there are alternatives to enjoying riding a bicycle that are exclusive of RAGBRAI.

Hope that makes sense.

MG said...

Amen Brother...