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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Complete RAGBRAI 2009 route revealed

Want to see where I will be cycling this summer? The Des Moines Register has revealed the full route for RAGBRAI XXXVI. You can click on the link to see the full map.

Here's a summation of the route:
  • Sunday, July 19 -- Starting city: Council Bluffs. Ending city: Red Oak. Other towns visited: Mineola, Henderson and Emerson. Climb: 3,684 feet. Distance: 52.6 miles.
  • Monday, July 20 -- Starting city: Red Oak. Ending city: Greenfield. Other towns visited: Stanton, Villisca, Nodaway, Corning, Prescott, Williamson and Fontanelle. Climb: 5,096 feet. Distance: 72.6 miles.
  • Tuesday, July 21 -- Starting city: Greenfield. Ending city: Indianola. Other towns visited: Orient, Macksburg, East Peru, Truro, St. Charles, St. Marys, Martensdale and Prole. Climb: 4,470 feet. Distance: 77.1 miles.
  • Wednesday, July 22 -- Starting city: Indianola. Ending city: Chariton. Other towns visited: Ackworth, Sandyville, Milo, Lacona and Oakley. Climb: 2,182 feet. Distance: 44.4 miles.
  • Thursday, July 23 -- Starting city: Chariton. Ending city: Ottumwa. Other towns visited: Millerton, Bethlehem, Confidence, Iconium, Honey Creek Resort State Park, Moravia, Rathbun Lake, Unionville and Blakesburg. Climb: 3,388 feet. Distance: 76.9 miles.
  • Friday, July 24 -- Starting city: Ottumwa. Ending city: Mount Pleasant. Other towns visited: Hedrick, Martinsburg, Pekin, Packwood, Pleasant Plain, Brighton, Germanville and Lockridge. Climb: 2,841 feet. Distance: 75.5 miles.
  • Saturday, July 25 -- Starting city: Mount Pleasant. Ending city: Burlington. Other towns visited: New London, Lowell and Geode State Park. Climb: 1,145 feet. Distance: 43.2 miles.
I am hoping my second visit to Mount Pleasant will be a bit more pleasant than my first. Back in the '70s, my dad took the family up to the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion to see the old steam-powered threshing machines. He even borrowed a camper from a buddy of his so we could stay overnight.

I have to admit I the old steam engines fascinated me, and I even enjoyed the concert that night by Country-Western music legend Hank Snow.

Alas, I spoiled the trip for my dad, through no fault of my own. The combination of steam and coal smoke during the day and rain that night aggravated my childhood asthma. As I tried to go to sleep in the camper, I started wheezing, forcing my dad to drive home in the middle of the night.

I've also been to Brighton, Iowa. In 1969, a group from Brighton, Iowa, visited my hometown of Brighton, Ill., to participate in the community's centennial celebration. In 1970, my family and several other folks from Brighton, Ill., returned the favor and rode in the centennial parade for Brighton, Iowa.

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