RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Saturday, July 26: Independence to Guttenberg

Day 7 SaturdayDay 7: Independence to Guttenberg

And now: The hills. The final day’s 3,000-foot climb is just about twice as high as most of the previous days. So if riders didn’t know why the state’s northeast calls itself “Little Switzerland,” well, they will soon.

The final 68 miles toward the Mississippi River meander throughWinthrop, “the friendliest town for miles around,” and tiny Lamont(which makes no such claim).

In Strawberry Point, riders can see the state’s largest (Fiberglas) strawberry and sample all of the town’s namesake goodies — jam, pie, ice cream, you name it.

They’ll burn off the calories on the way to the rodeo town Edgewood, which straddles Clayton and Delaware counties. And it’s up, up from there to Garber (population: 88) onto the final climb and swift descent to the Mississippi River.

Guttenberg has welcomed riders four times before, most recently in 2005, and knows how to do it right. Visitors can grab a beer or bratwurst, the German town’s specialty. They can see a facsimile of the (one “t”) Gutenberg Bible at the library. They can see catfish at the Guttenberg Aquarium or catch a few of their own along the two-mile riverwalk.

And whenever they’re good and ready, they can load up their bikes and bags and head home. RAGBRAI XLIII starts on July 19, 2015.

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