RAGBRAIers will enjoy the 68.5 miles that includes 2,541 feet of climb as a bit longer than the day before but a bit flatter. The ride out of Ottumwa will challenge most with some steep climbs through the city before it flattens on the rural stretches. Riders will make welcome stops in Hedrick and Hayesville in the morning then make a stop at the Dumont Museum just before Sigourney, a former overnight town that will host riders as the meeting town after a 24 year gap. The larger hills are done by Sigourney and RAGBRAIers will enjoy two new stops as they get off their bikes at the Wooden Wheel Vineyards and the town of West Chester.
The city of Hedrick was founded in 1881. Hedrick was named after General John Morrow Hedrick, who encouraged its development. The town motto is ‘Where Friends Meet’, and serves the town well as the meeting town for this day, providing riders and their support vehicles the opportunity to meet up. Current population of Hedrick is 764 residents.
Hedrick is the home of the famous kite-shaped mile track for horse races which started in 1892.
The last train rolled through in 1980, but The Hedrick Depot has been restored and is now home to a real estate office. Another historical site to visit while in Hedrick is the Tri-County Veteran’s Museum. This museum contains veteran’s memorabilia from a three county area.
Most of the town’s vendors will be in the large city park that is just south of Highway 149. Riders look to your left as you ride into town.
This year we will visit Hayesville for the first time since 1992! This town of 50 does not have any RAGBRAI plans, but they will host two Official RAGBRAI Bike Shops and they have a great shelter in the park. If you’re a little sleepy, try ringing the giant bell (also located in the park). For the energetic, there is also a basketball hoop and play structure there.
It might also be fun to explore the old church located on the RAGBRAI route. The interior is a bit run down but still beautiful, built in the classic prairie church style.
The Dumont Museum will welcome riders with a discounted ticket of $5 (usually $8). It is an amazing collection for tractor, train, bicycle, doll or Roy Rogers buffs! It is right on the route and you will want to stop!
The Museum is a place to reminisce about your past. Browse through a 30,000 square foot museum featuring a large variety of collectibles for the entire family to enjoy:
- over 100 restored tractors
- gigantic Lionel Train layout
- buggies & horse drawn equipment
- hundreds of pedal tractors & cars
- toys, dolls, & collectibles
- Roy Rogers memorabilia collection
The museum represents a lifetime of collecting by Lyle & Helen Dumont. The museum became a reality in 1994 with the plans being made for the large new building located south of Sigourney, Iowa, that would ultimately encase over 30,000 square feet of space. The Dumont Museum was formed with goals of safely preserving their collections for this and future generations, while making it available to the general public to see and enjoy the museum as a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation which accepts donations and items to be put on display.
SIGOURNEY (Meeting Town)
Sigourney has a great part in RAGBRAI history, serving as both a pass-through town and as an overnight. Sigourney was the host town of the infamous Saggy Thursday!
The town of Sigourney has a historical courthouse with many artifacts on display, the courthouse will be open for tours during RAGBRAI. On the courthouse grounds sits the recently renovated Lewis Memorial Fountain. A few places of interest include the band stand, memorial hall, Dumont Museum and Historical Society/Stone House. There is also a swimming pool at Legion Park.
Sigourney will have plenty of entertainment, beer garden, a lot of food vendors as well as non-food vendors that will be around the courthouse square.
The town has a golf course that is just north of town that support vehicles can utilize when they are in town.
We will have plenty of entertainment, beer garden, a lot of food vendors as well as non-food vendors.
Their website is http://ift.tt/1U5KAsO, they are on Facebook; RAGBRAI Sigourney as well as Twitter and Instagram! They will have t-shirts for sale on their website as well!
WOODEN WHEEL VINEYARD
After the long ride from Sigourney, the pre-ride crew was ready for a break from the heat. Thankfully, the Wooden Wheel Winery was there to provide the perfect setting. With tons of shade and a warm welcome, we found a great place to rest before pushing on. RAGBRAI riders will find the same great hospitality waiting.
The event center on the grounds of the winery is the original barn built in the 1860s. It was added onto in 1937 and again in 2010 when it was converted into the Event Center. Once you enter the events center, you will be asked to remove your cleats as they will damage the flooring of the center.
The winery is located on the family farm first settled in 1854.
- Vendors on site will be serving a Lamb Brat on a stick and a smoked loin sandwich. Both can be purchased separately or as part of a full meal.
- There will be watermelon, pie, and several other snacks for sale
- Of course there will be wine available, as well as beer and other drinks. For those wanting to purchase a bottle to go, the winery will provide shipping to home, or will deliver your purchase to Washington so it’s there waiting for you when you arrive. Purchases may be picked up at the local Hy-Vee or Fareway store depending on where you are camping in Washington.
- A DJ will be on hand to provide entertainment throughout the afternoon.
- Holy Trinity Church and the United Church of Faith will be raising funds
Other Items of Interest:
- Washington County is a big player in the Lamb Growers Association
For more information on Wooden Wheel Vineyard’s RAGBRAI plans, visit:
As the last stop on the ride before our overnight stay in Washington, West Chester is planning for a large number of riders to stop and enjoy their town. They are ready for us to make a “Big Stop on the Little Prairie!”
Some of the vendors that have committed to come will be selling rib on a stick, turkey legs, burritos, smoothies, pulled pork & beef sandwiches, brick oven pizza, sweet corn, and other goodies. The local 4-H club will be selling watermelon. The local Boy Scouts will be selling Amish made pies. If you haven’t had Amish pie, you haven’t lived! The Lions Club, who hold an ice cream social every summer, will be selling their homemade ice cream as they churn it that day. We sampled this today on the Pre Ride and it was out of this world. The Heritage Association who manage the community center will be hosting the beer garden. This organization will be raising funds for the community center to help with improvements and operating costs.
West Chester is planning to have the activities at the city park which has an old school building that is now our Community Center. This old school will be 100 years old in 2017. There is a museum dedicated to school and town history that will be open the day of the ride.
For the ghost hunters on the ride – there is a feeling that the school has residents. Two paranormal groups have confirmed those suspicions. There have been many reports of unexplained happenings in the building.
West Chester is also planning to have several photo ops for the riders which will include an old pioneer wagon, the wooden train at the playground, and antique tractors. They have a sand volleyball court to use and hope to have some other outside games for entertainment. They will also have a DJ that follows the RAGBRAI route. With a population of 147 West Chester is small, but they are planning a BIG party for the riders!!
Anything else we should know?
As you leave our town about 2 miles out you will go by a farm that boasts many lit up old time gas pumps and buildings covered with old signage. Many riders may want to venture up the driveway to view this really neat farmstead up close and get some photos. It is especially fun to see at night with all the lights on!!
For more information on the City of West Chester, visit: http://ift.tt/21dM7vN
Washington is “Gettin’ Piggy With It”, and they want you to join in the fun!
As riders pedal their way through one of the largest pork producing counties in the United States they should keep an eye out for some of the 120 or so barn quilts that are visible throughout Washington County. After the scenic ride in, the city of Washington will be waiting with a good mix of history, modern amenities, numerous entertainment options, all in what has been known as the “Cleanest City in Iowa” and the “City of Flowers and Trees”.
If history is your thing be sure to check out the Conger House on Washington Street, the Alexander Young / D.A.R. Log Cabin in Sunset Park, or the Washington County Military Museum on Sitler Drive. And of course no history tour would be complete without visiting the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed longest continually running movie theatre in the world, the State Theater, just off the Southeast side of the square.
Speaking of the square, the Washington downtown square is highlighted by the centerpiece fountain right in the middle of the wonderfully shaded Central Park. The downtown square will serve as the hub of entertainment the day RAGBRAI rolls through. Four stages will be scattered throughout the downtown area featuring a variety of acts, many of them local favorites, all afternoon and well into the night. Our three featured acts begin with the country-styled rock and roll of Lexi Parr, followed by today’s biggest chart toppers performed by Hello Weekend and capped off with Gimikk mixing favorite cover songs and their own original music. The downtown square will also be the site of the bike shops, various vendors, food and more.
By the time RAGBRAI arrives the community will be waiting with open arms, plenty of showers and camping spots, a finely tuned shuttle bus fleet and the churches, non-profit groups and restaurants will be ready to serve thousands of delicious meals.
For more information on Washington’s RAGBRAI plans, visit:
via RAGBRAI http://ift.tt/21dNb2I