It’s Not a Race, It’s a Ride

Kids riding alongside retirees. Stops in small towns for slices of pie. Intricately adorned helmets and costumes. All of these epitomize RAGBRAI – the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. As anyone who has ridden it over the last 41 years will tell you, it’s not a race, it’s a ride. RidingThroughHistory

The State Historical Museum’s new exhibit (which appropriately opened during this year’s RAGBRAI), Riding Through History, showcases artifacts, stories, photos and more from the iconic ride.

The exhibit is well done and educates visitors on the history of RAGBRAI (it began as a challenge between two Des Moines Register reporters) and how it became the largest, longest and oldest organized ride in the world.


Bicycle helmets, through the years.

The exhibit includes displays of RAGBRAI “gear and garb” through the years and a host of artifacts, including RAGBRAI badges, pins, stickers and swag.


Newspaper articles about RAGBRAI and an original “completion certificate.”

RAGBRAI jerseys and team outfits

The exhibit also ends with a short video with clips from RAGBRAI rides and a spot where riders (and others) can post their RAGBRAI memories.

A cyclist watches the exhibit's video, "8 Days of Pride."

RAGBRAI riders and cycling enthusiasts alike will enjoy the stories told through the new exhibit. The State Historical Museum is open every day of the week (except holidays) and all exhibits are free and open to the public. Stop in for a great history lesson!


RAGBRAI 2013 is coming to a close, but save the date for RAGBRAI XLII – July 20-26, 2014.

Or, browse Travel Iowa’s Biking Bucket List for more organized rides and Ride-Worthy Routes for a new cycling adventure.

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