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  1. #1
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Suggesions on an Iowa crossing

    Hi All,

    I'm planning a west to east crossing of Iowa this summer (mid August). We plan to drive from Salt Lake City to the Moline, IL area for my wife's class reunion. I though she could drop me off right at the Nebraska/Iowa line, and I would head east to the Illinois border to join her. She'll be driving along I-80, so a route not too far off I-80 would be great as a drop-off point.

    I looked at U.S. 30, but from the photos I could find, the shoulders look like gravel. Any suggestions? Any books that might be helpful? Thanks, OHB

  2. #2
    Yet another vegan biker
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    Here's a thread you may find of interest. Iowa has a decent cycling map!

    30 is busy, often rough, and has gravel shoulders. Some stretches are now 65 mph fourlane (still gravel shoulders).

    I'd look at a good map and scope the blacktops on either side of I-80 or 30.

    I'd feel much more comfortable without having a beehive of traffic whizzing by all day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy
    Hi All,

    I'm planning a west to east crossing of Iowa this summer (mid August). We plan to drive from Salt Lake City to the Moline, IL area for my wife's class reunion. I though she could drop me off right at the Nebraska/Iowa line, and I would head east to the Illinois border to join her. She'll be driving along I-80, so a route not too far off I-80 would be great as a drop-off point.

    I looked at U.S. 30, but from the photos I could find, the shoulders look like gravel. Any suggestions? Any books that might be helpful? Thanks, OHB
    You might want to look at old RAGBRAI routes. Much time and effort is expended every year at creating safe routes for cyclists across Iowa. You may as well take advantage of that.

  4. #4
    Bag it baby
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    Try getting there for the last week of july and do ragbrai, it will be asome..

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Starting fromSalt Lake City eh? Why Iowa? Miles of rolling corn and sorghum fields. Have her drop you off in Steamboat Springs instead and ride over things like Rabbit Ears Pass and Trail Ridge Road. I have ridden in both states and while Iowa has nice people and a spectacular selection of grain towers and a few surviving Burma Shave signs it can not compare to Colorado for scenery. If you are taking I-80 most of the way even Wyoming would be better.
    This space open

  6. #6
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    Starting fromSalt Lake City eh? Why Iowa? Miles of rolling corn and sorghum fields. Have her drop you off in Steamboat Springs instead and ride over things like Rabbit Ears Pass and Trail Ridge Road. I have ridden in both states and while Iowa has nice people and a spectacular selection of grain towers and a few surviving Burma Shave signs it can not compare to Colorado for scenery. If you are taking I-80 most of the way even Wyoming would be better.
    Thanks everyone. Silversmith, thanks for the link, I ordered the map today from Iowa. Halfspeed, thanks for the suggestion, and coconut, Ragbrai doesn't fit my schedule, but I'd love to do it some day.

    Ken, I'd like to ride any number of other states, including north to south in Utah, and probably will. But, the eastern border of Iowa abutts Illinois and fits our travel schedule, so I don't want to miss out on a good opportunity. I don't think my wife wants to wait 4 days for me on some border in the middle of nowhere when she can, instead be visiting her sister.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    I'd second checking out the old Ragbrai routes they do a very good job selecting routes may not be the always most direct but they keep you on safe roads and are well planned out. www.ragbrai.org
    Also has anyone noticed the recent increase in threads relating to Iowa 3 in the last week. can't say that I mind though.
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  8. #8
    Yet another vegan biker
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    I'm with the others, use the Ragbrai routes. At least the second half of this years will be close to perfect for you.


    Also has anyone noticed the recent increase in threads relating to Iowa 3 in the last week. can't say that I mind though.
    After REALLY working hard all winter to stay fit I'm looking forward to Ragbrai. I'm pedaling from my house in Clinton, overnighting near Cedar Rapids, and then staging the next day into Marengo so that I can ride the last 2 legs of RAGBRAI to the river before turning the old tourer north to home.

  9. #9
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Take the 92, that's what Mike Trevino did.

    http://www.ultracycling.com/records/...ecord2005.html

  10. #10
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Take the 92, that's what Mike Trevino did
    Been many years since I lived in Iowa, but you might be on the right track here.
    Southern tier of counties in Iowa are pretty interesting -- topographically and such. A bit more hilly. Some mining down here. Bridges of madison county and all that along the way. I drove 92 from around Mt. Pleasant to Griswold (SW corner) Lots of great Dairy Dreems and such along the way.

    Iowa (vs. say wisconsin) does not have as good or well organized secondary road system (ag roads). Mostly they are gravel. Drawing a straight line on less travelled, paved roads is a tricky feat. If you could locate old RAGBRAI routes, that would do you. There must be some RAGBRAI riders that save their route plans

  11. #11
    Lost in Los Angeles Bizurke's Avatar
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    As others have said. I would check the old RAGBRAI routes. It also wouldn't hurt to see if anyone around bikeiowa.com has any suggestions for you.

  12. #12
    Hooked on Touring
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    RAGBRAI is fine - but it's very different from what you are doing. RAGBRAI has zillions of riders with signage for motorists and police at critical junctures. You are going to be a solo or pair of riders.

    Here are two maps published by Iowa DOT - the first is its Bicycle Map -
    http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/pdf/bikemap.pdf
    It shows county roads and campgrounds - very detailed - very good.

    The second shows traffic volume on major highways. Here you can see the roads to avoid.
    http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/pdf/2004vehaadt.pdf

    And US 30 is one of those roads to avoid. Just use the bike map (print it in four sections) and you can find great county roads with no traffic for your ride across Iowa.

    Best - J

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