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RAGBRAI XLI: Hilliest Day In Heat

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Riders got an early start Monday morning in hopes of beating the heat as they make the trek toward central Iowa.

Riders on the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa left Harlan setting out on the longest and hilliest day on this year's route.

The 83 mile route from Harlan to Perry included 4,239 feet of climb.

There's also an additional challenge for cyclists called the Karras Loop. It adds 24 miles to the route for riders who want to complete a so-called century or a 100-mile ride.

After coming out of the extra loop riders went through Hamlin.

The riders met State Trooper Doug Cutts, who was directing traffic Monday at the intersection of highways 71 and 44.

Cutts also counted the riders on a clicker. By 11 a.m., 10,300 bicycles had already passed. He added that on Sunday, the total topped 20,500.

From Hamlin, cyclists rode the 21 miles to Guthrie Center and they were welcomed with the RAGBRAI pastime of pie.

After leaving Guthrie Center riders enjoyed a jaunt through Spring Brooke State Park. While the park is pretty, it's exit is not. Riders had to scale a large hill named Mockingbird Hill.

Riders passed through two more small towns before arriving in Perry.

Click to see a slideshow of the day’s ride.