RAGBRAI riders use Raccoon River Valley Trail, do not clog it

Some RAGBRAI riders used the Raccoon River Valley Trail through Dallas and Guthrie counties on Monday and Tuesday, but they did not clog it, a Dallas County Conservation official said.

“I’ve heard it’s pretty open,” said Mike Beeler, natural resource manager for Dallas County Conservation.

The Raccoon River Valley Trail is an 89-mile-long paved trail that runs through Dallas, Guthrie and Greene counties. The trail also connects with Des Moines’ trail system.

In a news release, officials urged RAGBRAI riders not to use the Raccoon River Valley Trail. They warned the congestion caused by RAGBRAI riders could make it difficult for emergency vehicles to respond to accidents on the trail.

The congested bike traffic on the main route was one reason why Bill Goldberg and Tim Wagner of Salt Lake City decided to take the trail to Dallas Center.

“Coming out of Perry… it was wheel-to-wheel,” Wagner said as he stood on the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas Center. “It was nice to get on this.”

Goldberg estimated that he saw less than one percent of RAGBRAI riders using the trail. He noted how the trail “couldn’t accommodate all the riders.”

Goldberg had used the trail when he used to live in Iowa. He said he had to try the new portion of the trail.

“It was a delight,” Goldberg said. “I just rode my brains out.”

Goldberg, Wagner and the rest of their group planned to jump back on the main route to go to Des Moines.

“We need to get back to the social part of RAGBRAI,” Goldberg said.

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