Check out RAGBRAI’s newly announced pass-through and meeting towns with details, highlights – Des Moines Register

Posted By on March 27, 2022

Watch as the RAGBRAI 2022 route is announced

RAGBRAI announced the main towns on the route for its 2022 edition, which will run from July 24-30, in a celebration Friday at the Iowa Events Center.

Kelsey Kremer, Des Moines Register

The hometown of the man who set the world record for the longest bout of hiccups. The National Hobo Museum. A Catholic shrine that claims to be the world's largest grotto (nine of them, actually). A rural village,billingitself as the "Hometown to the World," where Hasidic rabbis mingle withimmigrants from around the globe.

These are among the only-in-Iowa wonders among the newly announced pass-through and meet-up towns along the route of49th edition of theRegister's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa..

Unveiled Sunday, they join the RAGBRAI XLIX starting, ending and overnight towns announced in January: Sergeant Bluff,Ida Grove, Pocahontas, Emmetsburg, Mason City, Charles City,West Union and Lansing.

The 462-mile, July 24-30 ride, with12,945 feet of climb, will be the firstsince 1984 to feature a 100-mile Century Day, instead of anoptional added-mileage loop.

The RAGBRAI route is still subject to revision pending an inspection ride by RAGBRAI officials and guests in June. Detailed route maps will be released in June or July.

Here is a look at each day.

More: What to know about the towns on RAGBRAI 2022, from Sergeant Bluff to Lansing


Feet of climb:2,545

Themes:Air Force 75th Anniversary Celebration, Mile of Silence

Pass-through towns

Meeting town:

Miles:71.2 miles

Feet of climb:1,694

Themes:College Jersey Day, PeopleforBikes Day

Pass-through towns

Meeting town


Feet of climb:756

Theme:Dream Team 25th Anniversary

Pass-through towns

Meeting town

More: New to RAGBRAI? Here's everything rookies need to know before riding across Iowa


Feet of climb:1,699

Themes:John Karras Day,RAGBRAI Jersey Day

Pass-through towns

Meeting town


Feet of climb:1,260

Themes:Charlie Harper Day, Crazy Socks Day

Pass-through town

Meeting town


Feet of Climb:2,025

Theme:Iowa State Patrol Appreciation Day

Pass-through towns

Meeting town


Feet of Climb:2,966

Theme:Tire Dip in the Mississippi River.

Pass-through towns

Meeting town

Day 1 will feel a little like 2006. RAGBRAI will go through the same pass-through towns as that year,when the day also started in Sergeant Bluff and ended in Ida Grove.

Pass-through town Anthon was home to Charles Osborne,who held theGuinness World Record for the longest continual hiccup attack, which lasted 68 years. Osborne started hiccupping in 1922 while attempting to weigh a hog before slaughtering it, according to the "Guinness Book of World Records." He never found a cure, but led a normal life, married twice and fathered eight children. Osborne's hiccups finally went away in 1990, one year before he died at age 97.

More: Paul Hassman, Iowa wrestling champ, RAGBRAI rider, dies at 108

Look closelyat the cornfieldsaround Schaller and you may see the makings of buttery popcorn. Schalleris the self-proclaimed "Popcorn Capital of the World," and popcorn brands Bango and Jolly Time used to have facilities there. Jolly Time Popcorn is headquartered in nearby Sioux City and still has growers in the Schaller area. Schaller celebrates magical poppable corn with its Popcorn Days festival each July.

Rolfe is the westernmost point on the Three Rivers Trail, a 32-mile gravel rail-trail route from Rolfe to Eagle Grove.

For the third time in the last 12 years RAGBRAI will roll by the Shrine of the Grotto of Redemption in West Bend. The Rev.Paul Matthias Dobberstein began building the Roman Catholic shrine in 1912. He died in1954 and never lived to see its completion in 1964. The nine grottos depict scenes from Jesus' life.

Every year 50,000 people visit the shrine in the town of fewer than 700 residents.The grotto also has nonreligious appeal. Countless types of rocks and more than 250 types of semiprecious stones from amethysts to drusy quartz cover the grottos.

Theres nothing like it in the world,Marketing Director Andy Milam told the Des Moines Register last year.You may find a little grotto built on the side of a church but not one the size of a city block.

Fly over the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa

Get a birds-eye video of the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. The largest man-made Grotto in the world, the Grotto contains the largest collection of precious stones and gems found anywhere in one location.

Rodney White and Michael Zamora/The Register

On the route areWhittemore andKlemme, members of the increasingly small fraternity offirst-time RAGBRAI pass-through towns.Algona was an overnight town in 1977, 1990, 1999, 2005, 2010 and 2017, but has never been a pass-through town.

Britt is home to the National Hobo Museum, which preserves the history, artifacts and stories of hoboing in the historic Chief movie theater on Main Street. The museum was assembled inthe 1970s '80s and today is run by the Britt Hobo Days Association, a nonprofit that hosts the National Hobo Convention and the Hobo Days Festival each August.

This will be the Century Day, and the RAGBRAI route, usuallyopen from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,will be open for an extra hour, until 7 p.m.

RAGBRAI is working on plans to assist riders who cannot ride the full distance. Organizers anticipate more riders will use the SAG (support and gear) wagons on Day 4 than typical days.

"We know that we're probably going to have a lot of sagging that day," RAGBRAI Director Matt Phippen said in January."But it's a tribute to (co-founder John)Karras. There's people who want that brought back."

More: RECAP: Watch the RAGBRAI 2022 route announcement show

Fossil hunters tourists can search for 365 million-year-old fossilsjust west ofRockford. During the Devonian Period, warm, shallow seas covered Iowa. Most of the fossils found at the Fossil and Prairie Park Preserve are frommarine invertebrates like brachiopods, gastropods, corals, crinoids, bryozoans and cephalopods.

This will beRAGBRAI's second trip to Hawkeye. The only other visit came when it was a pass-through town in 1996.

Postville, "The Hometown of the World," is known for its diverse population, with migrants from a dozen countries drawn by jobs at itstwo meatpacking plants. The Agri Star plant is one of the largestkosher meat packing plants in the world, and among the town's transplants is a cadre ofHasidic rabbis who certify its products.

Philip Joens coversbreaking news and RAGBRAI for the Des Moines Register. He has ridden parts of 16 RAGBRAIs and completed the river-to-river trek five times. He can be reached at 515-443-3347 at or on Twitter @Philip_Joens.

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Check out RAGBRAI's newly announced pass-through and meeting towns with details, highlights - Des Moines Register

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