DES MOINES, Iowa --The RAGBRAI route is as follows: Orange City to Spencer (SUNDAY - JULY 23), Spencer to Algona (MONDAY - JULY 24), Algona to Clear Lake (TUESDAY - JULY 25), Clear Lake to Charles City (WEDNESDAY - JULY 26), Charles City to Cresco (THURSDAY - JULY 27), Cresco to Waukon (FRIDAY - JULY 28), Waukon to Lansing (SATURDAY - JULY 29).
Total mileage of RAGBRAI: 411.4 (3rd shortest route in history of RAGBRAI)
Total Feet of Climb: 13,078 feet (3rd flattest route in history of RAGBRAI)
Difficulty of Ride: 3rd easiest route in history of RAGBRAI (mileage x feet of climb).
The 2017 RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party was held at The Iowa Events Center in Downtown Des Moines.The route was announced by RAGBRAI Director, T.J. Juskiewicz.
One of the key issues on the minds of everyone involved with Ragbrai is safety. Iowa Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Mark Wyatt said there were 11 bicycle deaths in 2016, which is more than the amount of bicycle deaths in 2014 and 2015 combined. "2016 was a really bad year," said Wyatt. "We know vehicle miles traveled were up, but we rose in bicycle fatalities at a higher rate than automobile fatalities rose, so it's a lot of concern. We want bicycles to remain visible. We want them to be predictable on the road when they're operating, but also we want motorists to pay attention to what they're doing. Stop texting, pay attention. If you encounter a bicycle slow down. Change lanes to pass," said Wyatt. 50% of the fatalities happened when motorists were trying to pass the bicyclist. That's why Iowa Bicycle Coalition is working with The Legislature to require motorists to change lanes when passing bicyclists. Wyatt says there's no silver bullet when it comes to improving safety but changing laws and public policy can play an important role.