RAGBRAI Bicyclist Completing 34th-Straight Ride


Tom Kurth on his 34th-straight RAGBRAI in Winterset on July 23, 2019. (WHO-HD)

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Data pix.

WINTERSET, Iowa -- RAGBRAI is expected to have its largest crowd on Tuesday. It’s the day with the shortest trip, around 40 miles, from Winterset to Indianola.

With the route being so close to the Des Moines metro, many riders are planning to jump on the ride for the day.

But of course, there are also those people who go every mile, every year, including Tom Kurth. This year is his 34th-straight RAGBRAI. He started back in 1986 at 41-years-old and hasn’t stopped since. Now 74, he’s biked 15,359 RAGBRAI miles, been through more than 700 towns, and all 99 Iowa counties.

“Well, my son started with me on RAGBRAI 14 when he was 14-years-old. He wanted to go along so he went three years with me,” Kurth said. “Then he got a girlfriend and a job, but I got addicted and just kept going and kept going.”

Kurth is pretty well known along the RAGBRAI routes. He always has on cut-off jeans, no padded shorts, and a shirt that says “I’m Tom.”

“Every day, every mile about 10 people say ‘Hi Tom.’ They don’t know who I am but they do know me by my shirt,” Kurth said.

Riders are currently making their way from Winterset to Cumming, then Norwalk, and finishing in Indianola for the day.


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