RAGBRAI Journey Through Monona County

Our entire county is very excited to be the beginning of your 2018 RAGBRAI adventure. Named for the term “Beautiful Valley” Monona County is home to very well kept National, State, and County Parks. While visiting here you will quickly find that you feel as though you are among friends whether you have been here for 50 years or 5 minutes. Positioned between two cities, Monona County is an excellent place to visit, live, and even start a business. While you are here, please take time to stop at a local shop!

Your journey through Monona County begins with a huge downtown party in Onawa where you can enjoy the happenings at local businesses, home cooked meals from our churches, and delicious Eskimo Pies!

Onawa RAGBRAI Website                     Onawa RAGBRAI Facebook Page

After that first tasty sip of coffee on Sunday morning, you will head East out of town and soon enter the small town of Turin. At the Gateway to the Loess Hills, you will be greeted with excited locals serving up breakfast burritos, pancakes and more!

As you travel through the Loess Hills, taking in the breathtaking scenery, consider challenging yourself by riding the optional gravel loop. Halfway into the gravel loop, you will travel through the town of Moorhead. Home to plenty of historical sites and the Loess Hills welcome center, Moorhead is also known for life in the great outdoors. Enjoy music, a farm equipment show, great food, and a giant swing set downtown.

Moorhead RAGBRAI Facebook Page

Upon completion of the gravel loop, you will enter the City of Soldier, also known as Oletown. Soldier locals are excited to have you pass through and welcome you to take part in their Norwegian heritage. Enjoy taking some fun photos and listening to live music in the downtown beer garden.

Soldier RAGBRAI Facebook Page

Finally, get ready to have a great meal in the town where Jesse James once did. The City of Ute is an official meeting town and your last stop in Monona County. In Ute, you will enjoy taking part in fun activities such as water slides, bike challenges, dunk tanks, photo ops, a signature wall, and the Loess Hills Saddle Club.

UTE RAGBRAI Facebook Page

We hope you enjoy our wonderful county and have a safe ride across Iowa.

RAGBRAI Coming To Monona County 2018

Saturday, January 28th, RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) announced the overnight towns for the 2018 state-wide event. The ride returns to Central Iowa, being one of the quickest, easiest routes for riders. The start of the RAGBRAI event kicks off this year in our county seat: Onawa!

The event starts Saturday, July 21, 2018

According to individuals who have been a part of Onawa hosting RAGBRAI in the past, the riders, vendors, staff, and drivers will start pouring into the area Thursday (7/19), Friday (7/20), and Saturday (7/21), then take off across Monona County heading toward Denison on Sunday (7/22) morning.

The exact route that will be used between Onawa and Denison will be released in March 2018. MCEDP will work to gather this information and notify our county’s pass-through communities immediately.

According to RAGBRAI’s director T.J. Juskiewicz, “Over 200 towns expressed interest in hosting this year’s event.”

It is both a privilege and an honor for one of our Monona County cities to be chosen as a host community! Though this event will be fun for everyone, it also means a lot of volunteering, planning, and top of the line hospitality. Here at MCEDP, both our cell and office phones have been ringing all day with an expressed interest in volunteering and hosting riders. While MCEDP isn’t the contact for this event, we are doing our best to help with local businesses & organization’s concerns and will attempt to stay in-the-know to point all of you in the right direction.

According to MCEDP’s Vice President, Brent McCall, who was involved in the initial planning and applying for RAGBRAI as part of the Onawa Chamber of Commerce, “We will be meeting this week to establish an advisory board and meeting with RAGBRAI staff the following week to start the planning process. We will have more information available then, and will most likely develop a communication platform for everyone in the area to stay up to date.”

If you would like to get your name in as a volunteer, please send an email to Clint Weaver at Onawa Economic Development with your Name, Phone Number, and Email address (cweaver@onawa.com).

For more information on the RAGBRAI event,  visit RAGBRAI’s Website.

Photo Credit: Des Moines Register