I got this press-release today from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It has links to shaded relief maps and a list of restaurant and bike shops along the route. The IDNR will also be passing out this info at a booth at each night's stop. Wish I was going...
LEARN ABOUT THE LAND - A GEOLOGIC GUIDE TO THE RAGBRAI CHALLENGE
IOWA CITY - For those about to embark on the muscle-straining,
knee-breaking challenge known as RAGBRAI, help is available.
Cyclists who join the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across
Iowa (RAGBRAI) can find their guide to the challenging terrain in a
series of brochures created by the DNR's Geological Survey and the
U.S. Geological Survey.
Each brochure provides a shaded relief map of the day's ride. The
brochures highlight the route and the elevations that cyclists will
traverse. RAGBRAI riders can also find points of interest and
information about the geologic features they will find each day.
"Geology is the interpretation of ancient history, components and
structure of the land," said Chad Fields, a DNR geologist.
The brochures can help cyclists understand the geologic factors that
created the landscape they cross. For day one, that includes a
2,800-foot climb across the Missouri River Valley and up and down the
Anyone who wants to know more about the landscape features is invited
to a "Learn About the Land" discussion at 4:30 p.m. on July 28 in
Iowa City. The talk will be in front of Trowbridge Hall, just north of
the Old Capital, on the University of Iowa campus. Ray Anderson, a
senior researcher with the DNR Geological Survey, and Jim Caldwell, a
hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, will discuss the hydrologic
and geologic points of interest and answer questions about the route.
"Learn about the Land" brochures will be distributed at the
campgrounds by the U.S.G.S. on Saturday and Sunday nights. They will
also be available at the Iowa Conservation Team booth during subsequent
days of the ride.
The brochures are available online at the DNR Web site at:
* Day 1: July 23, 2006 - Sergeant Bluff to Ida Grove
* Day 2: July 24, 2006 - Ida Grove to Audubon
* Day 3: July 25, 2006 - Audubon to Waukee
* Day 4: July 26, 2006 - Waukee to Newton
* Day 5: July 27, 2006 - Newton to Marengo
* Day 6: July 28, 2006 - Marengo to Coralville
* Day 7: July 29, 2006 - Coralville to Muscatine
If planning ahead, cyclists may want to use the DNR's Mapping Web
site (GIS Interactive) to preview the route. The "Recreation Map"
includes interesting Iowa outdoor stops, with a "Service" folder of
businesses such as repair shops or restaurants that might be useful. To
use the maps, visit www.iowadnr.gov and click on "Mapping (GIS
For more information, contact Chad Fields with the DNR at (319)
335-2083; or Kaylene Carney with USGS at (319) 358-3612, or (319)
430-5907 during RAGBRAI on Saturday to Monday.